Christopher Peacock Talks Cabinets, Inspirations, and His Own Kitchen Style
You founded Christopher Peacock Cabinetry in 1992 in a small shop in Greenwich to create “handcrafted classic British cabinetry made to order in the U.S.A.” Now you have showrooms throughout the U.S. and in Europe. How did you build your brand from local to global?
I grew the business slowly. Sometimes my ideas worked and sometimes not. You learn by your mistakes and get better at making the right choices. I always had a global vision, not a local one, and I think it’s important to know where you want to go. I have always believed that what we do translates well to many places and has large appeal. It amazes me how well received our product is around the world.
You are known for popularizing the now iconic white kitchen. What is your personal favorite color palette for a kitchen?
I don’t have a favorite per se. Each project has its own charm and sophistication. Sometimes it’s all glam and sometimes it’s very understated. The most important thing for me is balance. The whole house should feel harmonious, and the rooms that we are involved in should fit within the greater context of the design story. I don’t like colors that are forced, but I am a fan of using strong color.
Describe the kitchen in the house where you grew up.
Very small, very simple and functional. My father built the cabinets himself and installed them. They were white and wood tone “Formica” and had aluminum handles. Somehow my mother made amazing meals out of that small space.
What style is your own kitchen now? Did your family contribute ideas?
It’s a white kitchen! It fits the house, and my wife and kids wanted that look, so it works. Actually, we are about to remodel and so it will probably be an updated version of the same thing. I like simple, classic and appropriate design, and that is what the house we own calls for.
What is a favorite space that you’ve designed?
I am typically most excited by the latest projects I am involved in. I have had so many amazing clients and opportunities to create special rooms, but the newest ones always give me energy to create something new. I love designing our showrooms as well, which is where I get to play without a client involved. My current favorite is our Dallas showroom, which is spectacular, even if I say so myself!
Who are three people who have inspired you and how?
First, my parents, hands down. They showed me what hard work is, how to battle through tough times, and how to appreciate people from all walks of life. Winston Churchill also comes to mind. Growing up in the U.K., he was a huge part of our heritage and history, and a personal hero. I loved his strength in the darkest times and his humor. His wit and banter got him through the toughest times, and I am a firm believer that one must be able to laugh at oneself.
Besides tackling the spaces at the Open Door Kitchen in Norwalk, what’s another example of your philanthropic efforts?
I like to help people when I can. Our showrooms often host charity events, and I’m also a trustee and on the Board of the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the Bronx. It’s amazing what they do to help the community and the kids in those neighborhoods.
You’re also a drummer in a band. What’s your favorite piece to play?
It’s all over the place for me, I like such a wide range of music. But if I am being selfish and just want to hit the drums, probably something loud and fast by Led Zeppelin.
If you were in a different industry, what would you do?
I used to want to be a professional musician, but I think I would want to teach now. Teach what? I love reading European history and that fascinates me, but also I could teach or lecture about building a business and about design.
What is your personal credo?
You’re only as good as your last project.
Christopher Peacock is the 2018 CTC&G Innovator of the Year. Watch his tribute video here.