Housed in a barn-like space linking the new main country house to a series of outbuildings, the kitchen of our client’s sustainably built house had an impressive footprint and high ceilings.
The brief was to create a highly functional kitchen in a large, open space without interrupting or obscuring its impressive sweep of roof space.
Large rooms present us with numerous design challenges, chiefly in how one creates a practical working kitchen that is not spread over too large a space. We were keen not to introduce a walled partition which would interrupt the roof space, but working kitchens need partitions.
They are useful for equipment and can prevent kitchens from feeling cavernous and cold. We chose to break down the space using furniture to create discreet areas, to house equipment and to lend a warm, human scale to the space.
Our clients are prolific entertainers, so as well as creating the space for an AGA we designed a modern oven into the public side one of the partition pieces.
One of them is a committed washer-up, so the sinks received special attention. They are carved from a piece of solid marble from Bentall in Portugal, then set flush into the plaster behind to avoid having an upstand. The paint used in this area was water resistant.
The sinks have a bull-nose waist so they are comfortable to stand at. The view from the window behind the sinks is magnificent (but not our doing).
The furniture is oak throughout, selected from a family sawmill near Dijon in France. It was raked for texture and then over painted so the grain grins through the oak. The paint was then glazed with an acrylic lacquer to lightly age it.
The island is designed to resemble a re-purposed tailor’s table.
Floors are of French limestone. The willow baskets in the scullery were made by weavers in Somerset.
A beautiful and functional kitchen achieved without compromising the sense of sweeping space created by the architect.
The kitchen enables large scale entertaining but is comfortable and domestic in feel.