Georgian Townhouse | Bristol

Designed for life

A young couple bought this perfectly proportioned Georgian town house to create a home for their growing family in the heart of this vibrant English city. In need of a complete renovation to restore the building, our brief was to create a kitchen that, while having a contemporary feel, was sympathetic to the period of the building.

A previous owner had moved the kitchen up to street level from its original location in the basement. This new location suited the way the family planned to live, sitting at its heart in what would have originally been two of the grand reception rooms.

Revising space and interior architecture

A contemporary kitchen had been fitted by the previous owner which did not function well nor suit the aesthetic our client wanted. White, flat fronted cabinets looked awkward in the context of the fine Georgian reception rooms and a supersized island felt out of proportion for a space designed as a Georgian period kitchen. Original decorative architectural detail had been stripped and replaced with plain, square edge skirting which did not suit the atmosphere of the house. Our challenge was to restore a sense of appropriate order and sympathetic character in keeping with a Georgian town house.

Technical solutions

Existing chimney breasts in both rooms presented a challenge. In the kitchen there is an offset chimney breast behind the sink, making it challenging to create furniture that would feel ordered and symmetrical. Our solution was to box in the chimney breast to rationalise the space, using the depth created either side to house extra deep storage, a large Miele Mastercool fridge and a dishwasher. Doing this achieved a sense of balance in the room, optimising its functionality whilst resurrecting the charm of the traditional period kitchen. On this elevation we designed a wall mounted tap to sit above the countertop. Borrowing from the depth created by boxing in the chimney breast, we created a marble niche for hand soap and washing up liquids.

Details and finishing

The furniture is painted Apalacian tulip wood with stained oak interiors – chosen because of its fine grain. This makes it hard and dense – the perfect surface for a paint finish. The island is French oak – the honeyed tones a beautiful contrast to the dark green of the paint. The design of the island references a classic Bristol landmark, Brunel’s suspension bridge, with it’s bespoke brass legs, rivets and decorative tie bars. The sycamore island top extends to provide additional work surface and a comfortable place to sit as well as being an ideal height to provide a table for a high chair.

A brief for modern living

Rather than have a formal and rarely used dining room, the client was keen to incorporate this function into the kitchen. The family’s existing round dining table takes centre stage with plenty of room for children and their toys during the day and for entertaining at night. A keen cook, the kitchen is designed around our clients need for equipment, work surfaces, and food storage. It is both a working kitchen and a beautiful reception room thanks to the banks of built in cupboards. Everything is behind doors with the option of having nothing on display. It is a neat and slick design where everything has its place. At the dining end, a coffee zone and microwave area sit discretely within the wall of cupboards. The system of sliding doors mean that when open, they don’t protrude into the room, creating more space for the family in the heart of this Georgian town house.

The Artichoke effect

The client wanted a layout which would suit their lifestyle yet retained the spirit of grandeur and symmetry of the Georgian town house. The space works well for a modern family with kitchen, dining room, sitting room and playroom all on one floor. We created a hard wearing, practical family kitchen which has plenty of preparation areas and storage while still being beautiful enough to entertain in. Through careful consideration and close consultation with our client, we were able to design a period kitchen, which feels appropriate for the young family who live in it without compromising the integrity of the building’s architecture.