The barn con­ver­sion

Country Life Every Week - - Interior Design Kitchens -

Not un­like a cot­tage or farm­house kitchen, un­even walls can prove prob­lem­atic when de­sign­ing a space in what was pre­vi­ously a build­ing that housed an­i­mals or farm ma­chin­ery. Oth­ers is­sues in­clude damp, oddly placed beams or small door­ways that con­flict with the de­sired out­come of an airy and spa­cious liv­ing room.

‘Stone walls can often be a night­mare when it comes to get­ting the cabi­nets to run smoothly to the end, with ugly joins from wall to cab­i­net,’ ex­plains in­te­rior de­signer Emma Sims-hilditch. ‘In the past, we’ve over­come this by adapt­ing the end of the cab­i­netry panel to fol­low the rus­tic flow of the brick­work, how­ever, with the Lime­house kitchen, we didn’t want to take away from the strong, con­tem­po­rary straight edge of the col­lec­tion. In the end, we pulled the cab­i­netry away from the wall and used an in­fill­ing panel be­hind.’

There’s only one way to ad­dress the damp, she adds: ‘It re­lies on lots of heat­ing and de­hu­mid­i­fiers and the wait­ing game of the room dry­ing out, I’m afraid.’

When beams are in a po­si­tion to com­ple­ment the kitchen de­sign—as op­posed to be­ing in the way—they can give the eye ex­tra de­tail to fo­cus on and un­der­line the his­tor­i­cal prop­er­ties of the build­ing. ‘High ceil­ings can work amaz­ingly well in a kitchen, cre­at­ing great drama and mak­ing the space rem­i­nis­cent of old ban­quet­ing

halls,’ adds Emma. Try The Onos Ad­justable Pen­dant by Hec­tor Finch Light­ing, £1,584 (020–7731 8886; www.hec­torfinch.com)

The jux­ta­po­si­tion be­tween the con­tem­po­rary de­sign of the Lime­house kitchen and the nat­u­ral stone walls and rus­tic na­ture of the barn works well (Nep­tune by Sims Hilditch). From £35,000 (01249 783087; www.nep­tunebysimshilditch.com)

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