Richard Moore, design director at Martin Moore on the integral role his kitchen plays and tips on how you can revitalise your space.
Founded in 1975 by Martin and Barbara Moore, Martin Moore has been bringing elegant, custom-built designs to British homes for over forty years. Delivering well-appointed, quintessentially British kitchens that showcase quality craftsmanship, the family-run business has built a reputation for timeless and bespoke interiors. Bringing dream kitchens to life and ensuring perfection in every minor detail, Martin Moore’s son, Richard Moore, reveals how he has been spending lockdown at home and how the pandemic has changed how people utilise their kitchens.
Where is home for you?
I live in Bowdon, Cheshire. I returned to the UK, from Australia, in 1997 so that I could join the family business and so it made sense to settle close to our HO in Altrincham and our workshops in Yorkshire.
Martin Moore champions quintessentially British design and craftsmanship. Is this style reflected in your own home?
Working in this industry, alongside expert British craftsmen, has given me a true appreciation for beautiful materials and an understanding of how good design can improve one’s quality of life. My own personal style is classic yet understated with a modern contemporary edge. I like a palette of warm neutrals combined with bold pops of colour such as cobalt blue, viridian green and mustard.
What was it like growing up with such creative parents and how did they influence your concept of what the home is?
My parents, Martin and Barbara, bought a large Victorian house in 1975 that was in need of renovation. They wanted a kitchen that would complement the period heritage of the house, however, the only kitchens around at that time were mass-produced German and Italian ones. This prompted dad, a design engineer, to begin designing and making furniture that would suit the house and our family life.
Their appreciation of traditionally built British housing stock and their love of quintessential English style resulted in designs that were perfectly suited to Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian homes.
I grew up with a workshop in the cellar and designs being discussed at the dinner table, so I have always had a passion for design and furniture. I was lucky to have both parents working from home, so we got to spend lots of time together – this has made me appreciate close family life.
How much of your home was a product of your own design?
The opportunity to alter and extend the back of the house was the deciding factor in buying the property – it gave us the opportunity to design a house entirely suited to our lifestyle. The decor hadn’t been updated for decades and so each floor was reminiscent of a different era. We gutted the entire property back to the bare brick, moved walls, changed the orientation of the staircase, restored the panelling to the hallway and added a family den and cinema room in the basement.
What’s your favourite part of your home and what changes, if any, would you make to it?
Obviously, it is my kitchen! We have a large open plan kitchen/diner which leads into the sitting room and out onto the terrace and garden. We spend much of our time here as a family and, in more normal times, we love to entertain family and friends.
We all love cooking, and the layout means at least two of us can be cooking at the same time – three people if you include the barbeque!
In hindsight, I would have included an extra Gaggenau dishwasher – something I am planning to do.
If our readers were thinking about fitting a new kitchen, what are the most important aspects they should consider?
We always advise clients to pull together a wish list – detailing how they use the space, what they like and dislike about the existing kitchen, what they need to store, what their must-haves are, and how the space could be used better. Gathering images of interior schemes and kitchens you like is a great help. These can be pulled from a variety of sources, such as magazines, websites and social media platforms, like Instagram and Pinterest A good designer will then be able to work with you to create your dream kitchen.
Since the first lockdown, many people have been spending more time in their kitchens. What are your tips for how readers can refresh their kitchen space?
Decluttering the kitchen is a great way to refresh the space. It is important to identify what you actually use – really look at what you have out on the worktops and what you are storing. Declutter by taking anything you have not used in 6 months down to a charity shop. Zone each area according to its purpose and organise the cupboards to suit this. Not only will this bring a sense of order to the space, but it will also improve traffic through the room.
Martin Moore’s legacy began with elegant, bespoke and handmade kitchens. How much time do you spend in your kitchen and what’s your go-to dinner recipe?
After returning from work I am usually in the kitchen until my youngest daughter goes off to bed, around 9pm.
My go-to recipes are pancakes – both savoury and sweet – cooked on our teppanyaki for breakfast, prawn linguine for lunch and a grilled medium-rare steak with parmesan salad for dinner.
How has lockdown changed your perception of the home and how you spend time in it?
Being at home has reaffirmed my belief that it is worth spending time getting it right and using the very best materials when designing a space. I really appreciate that I didn’t cut corners and took the time to create bespoke storage and finishes when first designing our kitchen. It has been wonderful to hear from both past and present clients saying how much they have enjoyed their Martin Moore kitchen over lockdown and how much our design recommendations have really paid off.
How will this translate to your approach to design?
It has cemented my belief that bespoke design coupled with traditional craft skills and the finest materials are not simply luxuries but necessities that enhance our lives. At Martin Moore, we have always created timeless furniture and given a lifetime warranty, but it has strengthened by my belief that it is always worth going that extra mile as our homes are where we spend so much of our time and where many of our key memories are made.
You’ve got a day to spend at home with no obligations or distractions. What would we find you doing?
After a light breakfast, I would hit the Peloton bike for an hour to get in some training – when the weather improves, I’ll get back out on my road bike – whilst thinking about what to make for lunch.
Is there a piece, whether from your showroom or from a recent project that you’re particularly proud of?
After working together on a series of cookery masterclasses for our clients in our showrooms, restaurateur David Moore commissioned Martin Moore to design a luxurious, domestic-scale Chef’s kitchen upstairs in his Michelin-starred restaurant, Pied a Terre. As part of the new space, I designed a dresser to complement the New Deco kitchen. The piece has custom storage for glassware, china, and cutlery, as well as dedicated space for a record player and records. Designed on a grand scale the dresser features fluted glass doors, bronze handles and beautiful panelling. It also frames and backlights a spectacular piece of art glass by the artist Yorgos Papadopoulos.