Introducing Esher: Q&A with Design Manager Jessica Sroga

11 July 2024Introducing Esher: Q&A with Design Manager Jessica Sroga

Our Esher Project has recently been completed! This particular project involved the full transformation of the kitchen, orangery, entertaining space, and master suite of a stunning Georgian property.

Jessica Sroga, our talented Design Manager, led this project from initial concept through to completion, so we caught up with her to ask some questions about her design approach.

Jess Sroga - Design Manager at Krantz Designs

Jess studied fine art at Loughborough University, and her journey from an art student to a pivotal figure in interior design is nothing short of inspiring. Jess had always known she wanted to work in design, but she only really began to consider interior design towards the end of her degree. She completed a work experience project at an interior design studio, which affirmed her decision. After a lot of industry research, she then reached out to Krantz Designs to discuss upcoming vacancies.

Her passion for interiors grew from there. Over her 5 years at Krantz, she has progressed from a Design Assistant to Designer to Senior Designer. She is now our Design Manager and has worked on countless excellent projects, including Stamford and Huntingdon. The Esher Project stands out as a real highlight, so we’re taking a deep dive into the complexities and creativity that shaped this remarkable project.

Bespoke kitchen by Krantz Designs, featuring blue and cream cabinetry and dual kitchen islands.

When starting a project, what’s the first thing you focus on?

My first consideration is the space itself. For the Esher project, the challenge was the sheer size of the kitchen. The kitchen had been relocated into the old drawing room, and an external wall was being knocked down for an orangery extension.

The space needed to feel homely, and movement needed to flow freely, so we decided on two kitchen islands to maximise functionality. One island is for cooking; including two sinks, breakfast bar, and food prep area, and the other is for family meals and day-to-day tasks, comprising of a higher worktop and embedded banquette seating. We even incorporated personalised drawers for the kids’ homework!

How does your approach change when working with a period property?

I love the stories that all old properties hold. The Esher Project was in a stunning Georgian home, filled with quirks, character, and original features. When working with a period property, it’s important to ensure that some design features mimic or echo aspects of the building itself. This prevents a design from seeming at odds with its surroundings.

For instance, the house had original Georgian windows with glazing bars, so we echoed these features in the top box cabinets, and we mirrored aspects of the door mouldings into our designs.

The goal was to honour the property’s historical essence while integrating modern luxuries. The engraved mantle above the cooker was entirely new, but we added coving to make it look like an original feature of the house. The antique backsplash mirror served to reinforce the connection between the old and the new by framing the reflection of the orangery extension.

Antique mirror backsplash behind a bespoke mantle in a Krantz Designs bespoke kitchen.

How closely do you work with clients?

Extremely closely. The Esher clients were based abroad during the final stages of the project, so it was crucial that I understood their vision deeply enough to make autonomous decisions on their behalf. I managed the team of builders and contractors on site, and fully co-ordinated the installation process, so there was the wonderful ‘final reveal’ moment for my clients when they returned home!

What was your biggest challenge with this project?

The client’s desire for a vivid palette and eclectic motifs was a real challenge, but one that I was excited to tackle.

The homeowners were very well-travelled, and they wanted to incorporate designs, colours, textures, and patterns that reflected some of their favourite African and Asian destinations. Each element, from fabric choices to door inlays, was carefully chosen to embody this vision. I especially loved the subtle yet striking elephant print on the primary bedroom’s feature wall.

Bespoke Krantz Designs master suite with striking feature wallpaper.

How has your design approach changed since working at Krantz?

It’s been a truly transformative experience. Every project is a new learning curve, enhancing my confidence and improving my ability to guide our clients.

I feel especially proud of my work on the Esher project, as it really showcases my ability to lead both the design and execution phases effectively, even without the client present.

What was your favourite part of the project?

I love making drinks stations, so when I knew the client wanted an entertainment area adjacent to the kitchen, I was so excited. We created a space perfect for hosting, and the bar was completely bespoke.

We even made custom timber stemware rails to showcase the clients’ extensive glassware collection. There’s also a side-by-side wine cooler and pull-out drinks fridge integrated at low-level; so everything is within reach when the party starts!

Where do you draw inspiration?

I follow the work of other designers and I take steps to stay on top of new innovations in our field, but I draw the most inspiration from the clients themselves. Each project starts with their vision, and my role is to bring that vision to life in a way that’s uniquely theirs. With this in mind, I allow the client to inspire me and lead my initial design concept.

An open-out pantry in a bespoke Krantz Designs kitchen.

This design in particular really showcases Jess’s skills as a Design Manager. We’re incredibly proud of her work on the Esher Project, and we’re looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

To see more examples of our designs, head to our portfolio page or follow us on Instagram.

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