Thirty-odd years ago, John and Emma Sims-Hilditch bought a rundown cottage, formerly a school house, in the Wiltshire countryside. With three young children and fledgling businesses to run (Emma heads up interior design practice Sims Hilditch), they needed to settle in quickly and chose an off-the-peg kitchen to suit their stretched budget. ‘I soon realised the limitations of the kitchen we’d bought,’ recalls John, ‘not least the bits you couldn’t see. They were flimsy and badly made, and so, when we launched Neptune and started making furniture, it was an obvious progression to experiment with freestanding kitchen pieces such as an island and chopping block, and eventually freestanding kitchen cabinets.’
Those prototype cabinets went on to become Neptune’s Chichester kitchen, tried and tested in John and Emma’s first family kitchen, then moved – lock, stock and barrel – during a major renovation, and finally, re-coloured and restored to their present day glory.
Here’s the story of one kitchen that has most definitely stood the test of time.