The old vicarage

Country Life Every Week - - Interior Design Kitchens -

Typ­i­cally in early-vic­to­rian or late-ge­or­gian houses, th­ese rooms will be large and square with high ceil­ings, cen­tralised light­ing and, some­times, floor-length win­dows. ‘Today’s coun­try-house kitchens have to mul­ti­task as a space for cook­ing, en­ter­tain­ing, watch­ing TV and all but the most for­mal of fam­ily din­ing,’ says Richard Moss of De­vizes-based Mark Wilkin­son Fur­ni­ture. ‘As a re­sult, it often helps to start to think in zones for stor­age, prepa­ra­tion, sink, cook­ing, eat­ing, en­ter­tain­ment and even an of­fice, which you can then plot sep­a­rately. It’s per­fectly okay to let them bump into each other and join up or have them bro­ken up with an­tiques.’

Win­dows that are too low to have cabi­nets run­ning un­der them make for per­fect win­dow seats; high ceil­ings can be low­ered or a light­ing and ex­trac­tion ‘cloud’ can be in­stalled to bring the ceil­ing down. Range cook­ers dom­i­nate in th­ese kitchens and the king of them re­mains the very Bri­tish Aga, says Richard. ‘The Aga has had its com­peti­tors in re­cent years and the one shown here is a La­canche, from France, which is great for se­ri­ous cooks, but you can’t warm up a spring lamb in front of one.’➢

Try Al­though un­der­floor heat­ing pre­dom­i­nates in new coun­try-house kitchens, a tra­di­tional cast-iron ra­di­a­tor here and there adds a dec­o­ra­tive de­tail. Bisque clas­sic ra­di­a­tor in bare me­tal from £334 (ex­clud­ing VAT) (020–7328 2225; www.bisque.co.uk)

This kitchen mixes both the Cook’s Kitchen (the is­land) and the New Eng­land style from Mark Wilkin­son (for the cooker and stor­age wall), demon­strat­ing that the room doesn’t need to be ho­moge­nous in its de­sign. Hand­made kitchens start from £40,000 (01380 850007; www.mwf.com)

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