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Mike Lawrence

As a boy Mike Lawrence decided he was going to be the skipper of an ocean-going salvage vessel. The sea's loss is Ashgrove's gain: Mike changed plans and graduated from university with a degree in interior and building design, going on to further qualify as a chartered designer. Winning the prestigious Queen's Award for art and design led to studying design and architecture in Italy. Now he brings all this experience and his passion for design excellence to our clients at Ashgrove.

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Mike's early career saw him in the vanguard of style, designing on the King's Road, Chelsea. Ironically, his first kitchen design was for the financial accountant at Arsenal Football Club! Since then he has created scores of kitchens in the UK and overseas, including the particularly memorable one in solid mahogany (before well-founded environmental campaigns) shipped to Madagascar for an African gold miner, who paid with a suitcase full of cash.

Mike came to Devon with his family some thirty years ago and is one of Ashgrove Kitchens’ longest serving designers, having worked for the company for 20 years. He is well known for his strong views on kitchen design and, in particular, on the subjects of proportion and the use of light and space. He has the proven expertise to guide you through the vast array of design choices to your perfect kitchen.

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Lesley Barber

Lesley lives in Exmouth and has worked as a kitchen designer for over 25 years, ten of which have been spent at Ashgrove Kitchens. The first kitchen that Lesley ever designed was for a client in Bournemouth, and was a white, red and ash Poggenpohl kitchen for a bachelor pad. 

She still thinks fondly of her first kitchen design and believes she was one of the first to design fitted kitchens with removable tables, which was, she says, 'very avant garde for the Eighties!'.

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One of Lesley's most prestigious jobs was to design a kitchen, study, bedrooms and dressing-rooms for a large manor-style house in Salisbury, with a comparably large budget, and one of her quirkiest challenges was in London - to design a kitchen that would wrap around a spiral staircase. 

Readily adaptable, Lesley says that current kitchen trends include contemporary, unfussy kitchens but that 'cottage style' kitchens are also very popular.  

When she isn’t designing kitchens, Lesley enjoys creating machine embroidery and textile art.

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Stephen Bottomley

Stephen lives in Honiton in Devon and has worked for Ashgrove Kitchens since 2007. Becoming a fully-qualified carpenter and joiner after leaving school led naturally to designing kitchens. In 1979 he designed his first kitchen - and then handbuilt it too!

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Stephen has designed many interesting kitchens and is particularly proud of solving what clients think are difficult gaps and spaces in their kitchens: "with a little ingenuity, it's very satisfying to present a creative solution that will give a practical and pleasing end result. I like to show clients that where relevant we can also use interesting curves and smooth lines to achieve a very usable kitchen."

He clearly enjoys the challenge of designing kitchens and believes that having work done on your house  by a well-managed and experienced company can be an invigorating process - from initial ideas through installation to using the newly-installed dream kitchen. Mindful of making the design and fitting experience as stress-free as possible, Stephen is also looking to the future which he believes will incorporate more energy-saving appliances.

When he isn’t designing kitchens, Stephen enjoys scuba diving, camping, walking and enjoying the outdoor life in general.

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Trevor Pearson

Trevor has been designing kitchens for over 35 years and has worked for Ashgrove for 14 of them. He finds it difficult to decide which of his kitchen designs has been his best as “each year, with innovations in the industry, they just get better”. 

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One of his most prestigious kitchens, however, was for a London-based surgeon. Used to the highest standards in his workplace, the customer wanted the absolute best in all materials used to construct his kitchen: "So it made suggesting options a complete delight". Among the more unusual commissions - not without their challenges - was a circular kitchen for a former oast house, and a kitchen in a garden shed!

Trevor thinks future kitchens will see an increase in computerised gadgets, but in his leisure time he enjoys the age old simplicity of fly fishing, as well as cooking at home and eating out.