The barn conversion
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)