Prince Charles collaboration with Plain English Kitchens

When Prince Charles collaborated with UK-based kitchen makers (and a fave of Kitchens-Kitchens) Plain English on a model house, he wanted to know: “How can we get this to the people?” The answer is the new, lower-priced British Standard Cupboard line from Plain English, offered at “sensible prices for discerning folk of modest means.”

A longtime campaigner for sustainable living, Prince Charles and his Prince’s Foundation for Building Community collaborated with Plain English to build a model eco-friendly house, displayed at the Ideal Home show in London last year. The Prince was so inspired by the quality and the craftsmanship of the cabinets that he prodded the company to come up with a lower-priced solution.

Prince Charles, who toured the environmentally-friendly model home at the 2011 Ideal Home show, was apparently particularly impressed with the craftsmanship in the kitchen, Remodelista reports.

His remarks led Plain English to consider finding a way to bring the ‘green’ designs to a mass market.

Worktops are available in three colours, iroko, oak, or sycamore wood, to give your kitchen an elegant royal makeover, and the range contains floor, tall and wall cabinets, which come in egg shell for you to paint the colour of your choice.

An entire kitchen costs about £5,000 while an individual single floor cupboard costs £400.

This might not seem particularly cheap, but the kitchen displayed in the original model home or ‘Natural House’ showcased at the Ideal Home Show in 2011 would have cost around £35,000 to have installed.

Katie Fontana, Creative Director of Plain English and British Standard says: ‘We wanted to celebrate 20 years of Plain English by taking a lead from His Royal Highness, Prince Charles: going back to basics and making cupboards that ordinary people can afford – ‘sensible cupboards at sensible prices’.

‘We are also paying tribute to the British craftsmen of the past whose honest, unfussy but eminently practical designs provided the original inspiration for Plain English all those years ago.’

It is a re-creation of the ‘natural house’, a new home design currently being pioneered by the educational charity at the Building Research Establishment in Watford. The house is a traditionally built low carbon home made from natural materials. Inside the exhibition hall, Charles was shown around the two-storey Prince’s House by television property experts and ambassadors for the charity Kirstie Allsopp and George Clarke.

The Prince appeared particularly taken with the crockery featuring dogs, exclaiming ‘I love that’, and also the red dinner place mats made from old fire hoses.  Inside, the house contained cushions made from old T-shirts and re-upholstered chairs made from recycled linen, as well as vintage furniture.

After their tour, Ms Allsopp spoke about the Prince’s interest in the project.  She said: ‘He’d seen the blueprint. It was the first time he’d seen it in 3-D as it were, but was very aware of what was going on the whole way through and he’d been to Watford to see the prototype of the house.

‘He loved it. What he particularly liked was all the different re-upholstered items and reuse of fabric. He was very impressed by the fact you could take something made for a different purpose and make it domestically useful.’

She added: ‘It’s what the Prince has been so passionate about for so long and yet it is at the moment enormously fashionable.’

Read more: A Kitchen for the People, Courtesy of Prince Charles by Christine Chang Hanway at remodelista.com/posts/a-kitchen-for-the-people-courtesy-of-prince-charles

 

Plain English is a traditional joinery company who use the techniques of 18th and 19th century cabinetmakers to make their traditionally crafted brand of kitchens.

Plain English Kitchens are a relatively small, niche brand of kitchen makers who, using skilled joiners make their kitchen cupboards and furniture by hand from their Suffolk workshop.