We caught up with Phillip Ozorio, founder and design director of Connaught Kitchens to find out about how he founded his business, his greatest achievements and their 30th anniversary celebrations.
1) How does it feel to be celebrating Connaught Kitchens 30th anniversary in Connaught Village?
They say ‘time flies when you are having fun’. It’s also strange not being the ‘new boy’ and one of the oldest businesses in the Village. Joking aside, running a kitchen interior design business has been a huge learning curve as fashion is changing all the time. I have steered the company through the tail end of the 80’s recession, the 2008 financial crisis, Brexit and now Covid. We must be one of the few independent family-owned kitchen specialists left in Central London.
2) What inspires you?
Working with a well -qualified and talented design team as we tend to learn from each other. Our pilgrimage to the Kitchen Design Fair in Milan is the source of a lot of our inspiration.
3) What are you greatest achievements?
Being on the judging panel for the Designer Magazine Kitchen Awards. It was a privilege. Appearing on BBC ‘Food and Drink’.
4) What is your background and why did you set up Connaught Kitchens?
My background is in hospitality. Working as a chef I learned about workflow in kitchens. Hospitality also requires people skills as we find our clients tend to invest in our service as well as the designs and the products. In setting up my own business I wanted to create a family business with a distinct Boutique in- house design style offering a one stop shop for kitchens with second to none project management.
5) Where does your business come from?
Over 30 years we have built up a loyal client base of Interior Designers, Architects, Surveyors and Property Specialists who bring their clients to us. So, most of our business is repeat, recommended and local. Although we did fit a kitchen in Moscow many years ago sending our fitter out on Aeroflot. We recently collaborated with an interior designer for a kitchen in a hunting lodge on the Aberader Estate in Scotland. We also do kitchens for some of our client’s children and first time buyers and we can work to budget.
6) Tell us about some of the Kitchen projects you have done locally? Any challenges?
These range from small basement flats, to penthouses, to large period houses in the squares. Each project presents its own challenges, you need to take into account access for each project and when you design you need to make sure you can get the products into the property.
This can involve dry runs for the largest items such as worktops and American style fridges.
7) What are the latest trends in Kitchen Design?
We are noticing clients are being more adventurous with colours such as dark blues, dark greens and earthy greys. It’s fortunate that we can offer thousands of colours.
For textures, there is also a huge trend in vertical slated wood kitchen doors. Contemporary shaker doors are very popular too. Visit these on our gallery: Gallery — Connaught Kitchens
8) The future?
Retail has changed but for now small independents will still be in demand for that personal service, expert advice and for people who want to see and feel the products