Kitchen | Victorian Country House | South Coast

Family Kitchen

The long and welcoming room is flooded with natural light from floor to ceiling windows. The client wanted an understated kitchen designed using natural materials, sustainably sourced, that would wear with age and settle over time.  They did not want a kitchen that jarred given its necessary modernity and yet it had to suit the needs of a contemporary family.

Planning the space and architecture

While a room layout had already been planned by the architect, we suggested an alternative during our first visit which we sketched out on the wall of the old kitchen.  The room was eventually built to this new shape, and involved, amongst other things, moving the staircase to allow a more logical flow and designing a limestone over-mantel to create a focal point as if the range cooker had always been there.

A note on key materials

Originally the over-mantel was to be painted stone so it would appear to have been there many years. However, the client fell in love with the stone in its natural state, so we left it as it was to be over-painted by a future generation.

The work surfaces are all native hardwood at the client’s request, but well-sealed and protected. We also designed a sacrificial frame around the sink which can be replaced if the wood becomes damaged over time. The trench heater under the island is designed to deliver the right heat output for the room which has limited wall space.

Soapstone was specified for the main sink – carved out of a single block.  It was also used for shelves.  It is a beautiful, hard wearing material. We designed in a curtain under the sink to add a feminine touch and to soften the slab of soapstone.

Design and aesthetics

The client’s love of colour allowed for some bold choices which have a dramatic effect in bringing warmth and originality to the kitchen. We designed the beautiful terracotta painted cook’s table to deliver richness and a subtle sparkle – appropriately glossy to be in keeping with the period and providing a lovely contrast to the pale painted walls.  In hand finishing the cook’s table, we replicated the feel of many layers of oil-based paint accumulated over time.  Aged sycamore was used for the cook’s tabletop – the rest are oak.

The fridge is housed in a cabinet which we set back into the wall so as not to be too imposing in the room. The glazed oak dresser has restoration glass and displays a fine collection of crockery.

Guest Kitchen

The evocative kitchenette in the basement supports the guest apartment and is designed to be redolent of pantries in a Victorian country house. We decided to introduce shelves instead of cupboards to make the space less utilitarian.

We designed and made the pretty cabinets which discretely house the dishwasher and fridge. The cabinets are made of Siberian larch, this time painted in Farrow and Ball Wet Sand.

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