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Our Team

Meet the designers! Our lovely team have 20 years of experience in interior design and kitchens. They will collaborate with you and work their magic to bring your ideas and inspiration to life. Find out more about them below!

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Zahraa Khan

Zahraa studied Spatial Design at UAO, the University of the Arts in London. Courses ranged from architecture to pattern design and fashion. She lived in London for some time. She enjoyed visiting exhibitions and galleries, to give her creative inspiration.

Her favourite places to travel were Copenhagen and New York, because they’re completely different to being at home. Shes like to follow architecture inspiration pages on Instagram. Her personal style favours colour and patterns, rich colours, tones of wood, and a 70s aesthetic or inspired by Art Deco.

She loves the journey of chatting to the customer then them being really happy at the end of the process, based on what they like and love. She feels people like to escape to the kitchen, that it’s a social space and sanctuary within the home.

Jane Thyeson - Smile Kitchens Designer

Jane Thyeson

Jane has been a kitchen designer for 10 years, after studying Interior Design at university. She moved from South Wales to Manchester, and has travelled the world – Singapore was her favourite destination, for the architecture and clean lines.

In terms of inspiration, Jane spends time on Pinterest and Instagram, watching home TV shows and reading home magazines, but finds her best work comes from listening to the customer and coming up with designs together.

She likes to work together and find out what they want, if they have children, pets, what they like to do in the kitchen. Her favourite design style is fusion – traditional with a twist, or modern with traditional elements.

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Steven Filkins

Steven has been in the kitchen industry for over 16 years, straight from school, and has great technical and practical experience as well as product knowledge and how things work.

He is a problem solver, likes to look at the layout and plan, his knowledge is ideal for layouts that are problematic and unusual. He likes to look at how the kitchen would work, before moving on to the design and finishes.

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Dawn Filkins

Dawn studied Interior Design at college then at UCLan university, before moving into the creative industry. She has worked on kitchens before, gaining a good deal of experience on the technical and design side. She then spent some time working on student accommodation, pubs, hotels and restaurants.

The detail is key in kitchen design, because the functionality has to be correct as well as the design. Dawn has been with Smile from day 1, and finds that dealing with the customers inspires her, as they work together to get the best result. Dawn has a large family and friend group, and likes nothing better than company and laughter.

Corinne Barton

Corinne has always had a passion for interior design and decorating which led her to study Interior Design in her mid-twenties. From this she found herself working on design and decoration for a property development company buying, renovating and selling on houses.

Outside of designing kitchens and interiors, Corinne worked in the beauty industry for a number of years before taking the leap to do kitchen design full time 4 years ago.

Corinne and her family have lived in Cyprus, Crete and Tenerife, but they have now settled down in Greater Manchester. Corinne draws her inspiration from her time abroad, TV shows such as Grand Designs and Selling Sunset, and from Pinterest.

Corinne loves to spend time in her kitchen and is a big fan of cooking at home. That’s why she likes to spend time getting to know each customer so she can really understand what they need from their kitchen design, allowing her to make each kitchen personal to its new owner.

Outside of work corinne loves to spend time with her 3 grown-up children and her granddaughter. Corinne likes to travel and to stay fit and healthy. She regularly goes to the gym, trains weights, walks and does yoga. On weekends you might catch Corinne out at local restaurants or out for a spot of dancing.

Eloise Linnett

Eloise studied Product Design at University of Wales Trinity St. Davids and specialised in interior products. Prior to joining Smile Kitchens, Eloise spent a number of years designing kitchens and bathrooms for a DIY company.

Eloise says her family play a big influence in her design approach as her parents were both very hands-on with DIY projects at home, ultimately teaching her a lot a long the way. Eloise loves to add modern twists to classic aesthetics, adding additional flare through colour and finishing choices.

Eloise believes the kitchen is the heart of any home and that it is the most intricate space, with so many different components. Eloise likes to work into the detail of her designs to ensure every inch of a kitchen is perfect for its new owners.

Eloise now resides in Greater Manchester, but has spent time living in Swansea, Hertfordshire and North London in the past. Eloise loves to spend time with her partner cooking together at home. She’s also a huge Tottenham Hotspur fan and loves to watch football on weekends. She also regularly attends pub quizzes with her friends.

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