Q&A with Karen Howes
We are delighted to announce our collaboration with aga, the AGA x Taylor Howes cooker. Both brands creative teams have worked together to create this stunning cooker on the cusp of the aga cooker’s 100th birthday.
It is rare for AGA to collaborate, so the Taylor Howes designed AGA is an especially exciting development for both iconic British brands. The new-look cooker features the signature Taylor Howes navy blue colourway with the addition of copper-coloured hardware – the first time this metal finish has been available commercially in the brand’s history – giving it a truly contemporary and elegant feel.
AGA sat with Karen Howes, Founder & CEO of Taylor Howes Designs to get some insight about the collaboration, the new-look AGA cooker design and to find out what an AGA means to her.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT HAVING AN AGA THAT YOU LOVE?
For me an AGA is something that no country house should be without. It is a quintessential element of an English country home. For my family the kitchen has always been the heart of our home, it is where we gather after a long day to unwind and talk about the day and I think the AGA is the main element that attracts the whole family to come and congregate in the space. In fact, I think you could go so far as to say that our AGA is part of the family.
It is a beautifully designed and engineered piece of kitchen equipment and I love that it can sit in both a contemporary and traditional kitchen. More than anything, I love cooking on it. I always tease that your Aga is always there for you, it is one of the most dependable items in your home as it is always on. I love the fact the oven and the hobs are always ready and available to go.
IS THIS YOUR FIRST AGA?
This is in fact my second AGA, the one we had before was much older and when we sold our last home had to remain in place. We were sad to say goodbye as it was still very reliable as only Aga’s can be, but time for a change and having looked at the other AGA’s available I thought that the team at Taylor Howes could inject something new and exciting.
We designed my new home thinking of it as our ‘forever’ home after moving over 30 times during my life I wanted to have a new AGA to symbolise this and to be a pivotal part of our new, very special home.
And that is how we ended up collaborating with AGA on the beautiful Taylor Howes blue AGA that we have designed together. The design has used Taylor Howes navy blue and for the first time ever we have added copper rails and lids – something totally new for AGA too . I just love the new AGA and I feel fits my new home perfectly – it is a true ‘wow’ talking point.
WHAT DO YOU THINK AN AGA ADDS TO THE HOME?
An Aga brings warmth to any home – figuratively and literally. For me an Aga really adds the soul to a home. In our last house whenever the AGA was switched off in the height of the Summer or for maintenance our daughters would always ask what was wrong with the house.
An AGA draws everybody in, everybody congregates around it, leans against it, as I said earlier it’s almost part of the family. We use it to cook meals for our family and friends. It is an object that just brings joy to any home.
WHAT INSPIRED THE BLUE YOU CHOSE?
Blue is a very special colour to me, and I always find myself drawn to it – whether it is in the interiors of my home or the branding of my company! For me, it is the colour of the ocean and the sky; it often symbolizes serenity, stability, inspiration, and wisdom. I find it to be a very calming colour and as a result the whole of our new house is in fact many shades of different blue.
Navy blue is synonymous with Taylor Howes and is a versatile, glamorous and timeless colour so when it came to choosing the colour of this new AGA it was just my natural decision. I find blue always brings a sense of elegance and sophistication to a space, an AGA in my opinion is the central feature of a kitchen so instead of having a neutral colour I wanted to have a statement colour that would really standout.
When choosing the blue, it absolutely had to be the right shade of blue, the blue we have gone for is the perfect depth of blue not to dark and not to bright.
WHY DID YOU WANT TO USE COPPER?
When we first started on our journey with Aga, we could see that there was a trend coming for more copper in the home. We had already been through a bit of a trend on rose gold and we could see that copper was going to be the next major metal being used once again in the home.
An overwhelmingly warm shade, copper has a comforting, homely feel that makes it feel more approachable and down-to-earth than other metal shades. It was for this reason that I wanted to use in on my AGA. I also think Copper compliments the beauty of cool tones such as navy blue perfectly.
Copper is also something people traditionally link with old copper pans and we thought about that in connection with AGA so it just seemed a natural progression. It was technically challenging but I think the end results is absolutely beautiful.
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO COLLABORATE WITH AGA?
Established in 1993, we are fast approaching 30 years in the interior design industry and we thought it was great to collaborate with another brand that has a great sense of longevity and classicism as well.
For the past four years we have been named a Great British Brand, and we love to collaborate with quintessential British brands that celebrate and promote British craftsmanship and design. It is for this reason that we were so excited to work with Aga which we think epitomises all of these traits.
It has been a great journey with the AGA team, and we are very proud to be launching something very special with them that suits both of our brands.
To find out more about the collaboration click here.