Kitchen Inspiration Blog


A Hideaway Kitchen: “Thumper” Phillips’ Social Haven

02 Jul 2024

Tucked into the Welsh coastline, Newton is like many seaside towns. On one hand, it’s a hotspot for young windsurfers, ten minutes from Porthcawl. In another context, though, it’s a retiree’s Mecca, sporting a boat club and beachfront views. It caters for multiple generations. But don’t we all?

Family kitchens are similar, Tom from Sigma 3 Kitchens considered while driving to a Newton-based couple, Mr and Mrs Phillips, who recently bought a range. Social kitchens are for family meals but also glitzy adult parties. If only there were hideaway kitchen features that catered for both worlds.

Indeed, no strangers to entertaining adults and hosting grandchildren, like Tom, the Phillipses once feared it wasn’t possible to get kitchen that did everything. However, as Tom would soon discover, our Swansea kitchen designer Ryan Thomas had a few tricks that would help them smash that belief.

Hideaway kitchen owner Alan reviewing his white gloss handleless kitchen

Alan’s Kitchen Design Plans

“So, why don’t we start with a bit about yourself?” Tom prompts, now sitting opposite Alan Phillips. Alan, a warm personality with man-down-the-pub charm, has already made several jokes and seems comfortable in front of the camera. So, it makes sense, Tom thinks, to dive right into their interview.

Despite his success as a former Wales international rugby player and manager, Alan gives himself a humble introduction: “My name is Alan Phillips and I live in Newton, Porthcawl,” he begins, a glimmer in his eye. “Moved down here two years ago from Rest Bay. I’d heard about Sigma 3 from a friend of mine. He had a great experience.”

Listening intently with a coffee, Tom marvels at the pristine handleless kitchen. The range artfully blends three cabinet types – H-Line Larna Scots Grey with H-Line Hampton Scots Grey and H-Line Ligna Washed Oak.

A white handleless kitchen island with concealed kitchen storage capacity
A true handleless kitchen sporting hidden kitchenette storage features

“Ryan introduced himself to us,” Alan continues, “one of the sales guys there, and designer. We took to him straight away. He was very calm. He wasn’t pushy on us. He showed us round. We had some ideas. He started giving us some ideas to go with it – the colours and different things.”

Tom nods in understanding. “Sounds like a good first meeting. Did you order right away?”

At that, Alan smiles. “We went away and we came back about a week later, and – obviously – we’d gone online and looked at other different features and things. So, we came down the second time a bit more clear with what we wanted. We’d more or less nailed what we wanted.”

A wine rack with drawer options, also sporting a wine shelf rack for wine bottles

“Ah, I see.” Tom eyes a kitchen wine rack cabinet insert stocked with excellent wines. Knowing the Phillipses occasionally babysit their grandchildren, he enquires about their initial handleless kitchen design ideas; the challenges of creating a functional kitchen for adults that’s also safe for little ones.

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“My wife wanted plenty of space to store stuff,” Alan explains, gesturing to kitchen drawers and their Sigma 3 Space Tower pull-out larder cabinet with drawers – a perfect solution for keeping less child-friendly beverages out of little hands “We went for two double larders and big drawers on the island. We were impressed by the storage’s room and how strong these drawers are on the island.”

Extra wide kitchen drawers set in an inviting kitchen for entertaining
Wide kitchen unit pull-out storage emerging from an island kitchen drawer unit

“Fantastic,” Tom remarks. “They make for a clutter-free kitchen, don’t they? But it’s also functional. It’s important; despite the minimalism, this is still an inviting kitchen. Any other storage features?”

A set of doorless kitchen cabinet drawers containing wine drawer inserts

“On the other side, we’ve got a wine feature, which we can pull out, which people love,” Alan says, as if anticipating the question. Used to this enthusiasm, Tom smirks, knowing just how much love the Sigma 3 wine drawers attracts. Indeed, wine drawer inserts in Portland Oak are a fan favourite.

Ryan’s Hideaway Kitchen and Bar

“Interesting,” Tom says. “It looks like some of the features Ryan included really help you balance entertaining adults and the grandchildren. Any that spring to mind on that front?”

“We’ve got our own bar there,” Alan says, referencing a tall drinks cabinet – a Sigma 3 Bar Dresser with a mirror, a hanging wine glass rack and a solid drink shelf for spirits and water bottle storage. “We can close the doors. And once all the doors are shut, you wouldn’t know what we’ve got in there.”

Doors hiding cocktail cabinet kitchen dresser units and wine storage cabinets
A hidden home bar with a secret drinks cabinet built into a childproof kitchen

Tom raises an eyebrow. At first glance, the doors look like solid panels, but closer inspection reveals the truth: hidden cupboard doors, cleverly disguising an even more hidden home bar.

“A lot of people are impressed with that when we open the doors and show them the bar,” says Alan. When Tom turns, a pristine ice bucket reflects the man’s beaming grin above a luxury wine cooler fridge. “And – as you can see – we are fond of a drink or two, so that goes down very, very well.”

Ryan Thomas - Kitchen Design Consultant at Sigma 3 Kitchens Swansea

"The Phillipses wanted a multi-functional kitchen. Grandparents’ kitchens often need to be that way as they spend a lot of time child-free, entertaining adults, but also need to be ready whenever they’re called to duty. At Sigma 3 Kitchens, we relish the challenge of creating a versatile kitchen. In this one, I got free rein to be creative – and the Phillipses loved the result."

Ryan Thomas
Kitchen Design Consultant at Sigma 3 Kitchens Swansea

Lost in enthusiasm, Alan’s attention sweeps elsewhere: “I’m just amazed at the hob; how quick it heats stuff up.” Mrs Phillips takes this opportunity to demonstrate their Neff hob and downdraft hood. “It’s amazing for safety with our grandchildren. If they’re round the hob, we can be boiling a saucepan and you can put your hand alongside it and you can’t feel no heat.”

A childproof gas stove with a commercial kitchen appliance built into an oven

Shifting focus, Alan also adds, “The hot water tap – that’s amazing; how quick you can make a cup of tea now – or a cup of coffee.”

A hot water tap including Quooker tap technology, a leader in boiling water taps

Tom whistles, impressed. “I’d go further than to say this is a multi-purpose kitchen. It’s a real forever kitchen, isn’t it?”

To that, Alan nods. “The new kitchen was a change to us because – bear in mind – we lived at the last house for 20-odd years and we’ve only had one kitchen there. This has modernised our lives, actually; how quick everything is; how accessible everything is.”

Extra wide metal kitchen drawers with Blum Legrabox drawer technology
Steel drawers for cupboards with fitted kitchen drawer cutlery dividers

His eyes drift to the metal storage drawers, complete with Anthracite linen cutlery dividers and industry-leading depth. Powered with Blum technology, their moving parts come with a lifetime guarantee, traditionally associated with traditional craftsmanship, despite their futuristic appearance.

Alan’s Sigma 3 Kitchens Review

“All these features are great, even in isolation,” Tom says. “Have they changed how you feel about your kitchen overall?”

“We just pinch ourselves now,” Alan admits. “The design is a big part of the house. It’s a living area, this kitchen is now. I think my wife loves it as much as I do. Every time somebody comes here now, they all go, ‘Wow! Where did you get that kitchen from?’”

A light grey handleless kitchen with ultra-modern kitchen furniture

“Awesome. So, you’re happy with what Sigma 3 has done then?” Tom smiles and leans against a kitchen cabinet rail, suspecting he knows the answer.

In response, Alan looks sincere. “It’s just a very, very good company – well, it’s more than very good, actually.”

Want a Hideaway Kitchen Like Alan?

If you need help creating a hideaway kitchen like the Phillipses, find your nearest Sigma 3 showroom and book a consultation slot or become a Sigma 3 Insider for free. As a Sigma 3 email subscriber, you’ll get exclusive design tips, plus access to a library of guides to help you make the most of your kitchen.

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