COUNTRY KITCHEN FOCUS
A rambling farmhouse now » boasts a dream kitchen
For a rambling farmhouse with five bedrooms, the original kitchen in Carmel and Graham Botwright’s home was surprisingly pokey. ‘We bought the house for its traditional country character and its large, bright rooms, a combination that doesn’t often go hand in hand,’ says Carmel. ‘The tiny, dark kitchen, however, let the house down. To get round that, we decided to build an extension and turn the old kitchen into a bar area and utility room.’
Vale Garden Houses created the generous rectangular extension, with glazed roof apex and a traditional brick exterior to complement the original farmhouse. For the kitchen, Carmel wanted a similarly sympathetic design in a classic style that would still look fresh in 20 years’ time. After speaking with several companies, she decided to go with Martin Moore for its top-quality traditional cabinetry that wasn’t too formal in feel. ‘Besides the company’s kitchen layouts, I also appreciated its designer Toby Patch’s spatial design advice. He came up with some great ideas, such as moving the back door, which helped us to achieve a much better kitchen space,’ says Carmel. South African-born Carmel describes herself as a ‘bit of a light junky’, so her main priority was to establish a pale colour scheme that would work with the heavily glazed room to create a sun-filled living space. ‘I didn’t go for pure white, which can be too sterile, but everything except the outer granite worktops is in offwhites and palest greens,’ says Carmel. The couple also had a substantial Wolf range cooker and Sub-zero fridgefreezer on their wishlist. Both were appliances they had learned to appreciate while living in New York. ‘Of the two of us, Graham is the better chef, although I try to keep up,’ Carmel says. ‘He tends to do the impressive entertaining, so he wanted all the gadgets.’
Carmel’s vision for the kitchen island was to achieve a large, clean surface, where she could really spread out when baking without sinks or hobs getting in the way. With seating on two sides, perfect for guests, the island is also a highly sociable feature. ‘We enjoy chatting to friends while we cook and we usually end up eating at the island, too,’ says Carmel. ‘In fact, I often joke that we live in the kitchen now. If we just had a hammock to sleep in, we could rent out the rest of the house!’
Carmel and Graham were invited to visit the worktop supplier with designer Toby and chose the stone slab that was then carved for the island unit.
Ancient oak beams frame the link between the old and new kitchens. The bookcase is in the former doorway to the garden.