When our client originally called us, it was to request that we quote for a new utility room in their recently purchased detached home nestled in the south-west Northamptonshire countryside.
During that initial appointment, where we quickly established that we were all relocated northerners, we bonded over interior design related chat and our clients very quickly asked that we would consider designing their kitchen also, which we were delighted to oblige with.
Over the course of a few initial meetings at the client’s home and at our showroom in Daventry we discussed and finely tuned the details regarding layout, materials and finishes, fixings, and appliances. As a fellow interior designer, it meant there was a lot of bouncing around of ideas and I must admit I may have got more than a little excited when the client gave me the initial brief.
Before pics of the clients space…
It was important to the client that the kitchen felt very ‘Classic English.’ Read, beautifully made, with a simple shaker style; timeless, elegant, and grand, yet in an understated, country way. The first decision to make on our design journey was the door style. We suggested the painted solid Ash ‘Chartwell’ door with its subtle nod to an in-frame style that wouldn’t overwhelm the space with beading and detailing that would have taken us away from the brief.
Being an interior designer, our client has a strong affinity to colour and opted for elements of the kitchen to be painted in a bespoke colour match to ‘Fired Earth’s beautiful ochre based green, ‘Wild Olive’. The Tall units stand sentry like in a strong oily toned ‘Charcoal’ and this is tempered with a warm greige neutral ‘putty’ on the central island. These colours help to zone the room, give it some real character and warmth and because they are vintage hues will stand the test of time.
Other decisions that came easily after this were based around discoveries in the showroom, such as the Natural Lancaster oak toned carcasses, exposed in the open units of the island, and simply framed to add a touch of elegance.
Our clients may have wanted a traditional style, but wisely have opted for layout and internals that are more suited to the 21st century. This couple are real ‘hosts with the most’s’ so an integrated larder fridge-freezer layout was a must, perfect for platters and sharing boards. With entertaining in mind, we also checked that the shelving in the island would work perfectly to make a little easy to reach bar cupboard. Another must have on the list was a pantry cupboard. Used a little like a breakfast cupboard, so a ‘one-stop-shop’ for teas, coffee’s, jams, and other breakfast accoutrements. Keeping the tall units to one side of the kitchen was important to keeping the space feeling light and airy and luckily as we are able to make bespoke sizes of units, we could even make a shallow, narrow cupboard that whilst perfect for a collection of mugs, also hides some boxing in of pipework.
A keen baker, our client wanted to make the island the hub for preparing the perfect cakes and bakes. Centrally positioned pan drawers to the island made perfect sense for ingredients, easy to reach and easy to read the labels. Whilst in the drawer below, neatly stacked, sit the baking trays and small appliances. A pop up socket neatly sits on the worktop surface and prevents the trail of wires across the kitchen and gives our clients a spot to charge devices.
Small 150 cupboards and a pull out either side of the range keep our keen chef’s oils and condiments at hand. And a Le mans pull out makes the best use of an otherwise awkward corner.
Finishes such as on the handles were so important to getting this look right and the client had a clear vision of what that would be. A beautifully brushed antique brass finish that the client was able to source matching electrical finishes for.
The client mentioned that a few years previous she had become very unwell after contracting a bug from drinking water taken straight from the tap, so as we couldn’t replicate the exact finish of the handles required in the tap, the ideal solution was to install an Abode ‘Swich’ system. It consists of a round or square switch that sits on the work surface, and an under-sink filter that connects to existing plumbing, available in different grades for different water hardness. You can choose between standard and purified water with a simple turn, saving the filter for use only when you are drinking or using the water for cooking.
In terms of the other appliances supplied, we worked the layout around the couple’s recently purchased range cooker and advised on a model of Bosch dishwasher that would cope with the couples regular entertaining, but also be economical when it is just the two of them in the home.
Worktops were provided by the craftspeople at Algarve granite, with subtle flecks in the ‘Blanco snow’ quartz on the main run, paired with ‘Montclair’s’ more dramatic swirls that pick up the charcoal and putty colours used elsewhere in the kitchen.
An undermounted sink from The 1810 company provides seamless modernity but as it is ceramic still gives a nod to the traditional theme that runs throughout this beautiful space.
Our fitter devised a beautiful solution for containing the extraction hood using a sculptured piece of cornice to frame the surround and mask the boxed in pipework to the right of the oven.
Our interior designer client made some beautifully bold choices for the walls, Little Greene’s Portland stone deep, and Farrow and Ball’s book room red if you are wondering, and with her wonderful knack for styling we feel that together we have really hit that brief and created a truly ‘Classic English’ kitchen.
The finished article…