Taking its style cues from the original 19th-century farmhouse, this family kitchen in a new extension is a lesson in welcoming country chic
Set in a new extension, this scheme takes its cues from the original 19th-century farmhouse.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE PROPERTY?
It is a beautiful five-bedroom 19th-century farmhouse in Hampshire. This kitchen is actually in a new extension; the original kitchen was in a small, dark room with oak cabinets at the back of the property. By extending, the owners not only gained a bigger, more sociable space, but the light levels and views were vastly improved.
HOW DID YOU PLAN THE LAYOUT?
We focused on cooking, eating and entertaining with a simple L-shape run of units, an island and a dining table. We used the ever-faithful working triangle formation for the sink, oven and fridge to maximise efficiency while prepping, cooking and cleaning.
WHAT INSPIRED THE OVERALL LOOK?
We had a good understanding of the owners’ lifestyle and tastes, but the building’s architecture, with its traditional stonework and sash windows, also strongly influenced the décor. As this kitchen is the home’s social hub, we wanted it to be calm, comfortable and welcoming. Taking inspiration from the original farmhouse’s character, we collated a palette of neutral, soothing colours and textures to give it a modern lift. The ceiling was panelled in white-washed timber and we chose crisp paint shades for the cabinetry. The units are in an archetypal country style and the dresser in the dining area is also imbued with rural charm.
AND THE OTHER MATERIALS AND FINISHES?
For the worktops, we chose a blue-grey granite with a honed finish. It has just enough colour to lift the room’s pale palette and is very durable and family friendly. The walls are painted in a warm neutral tone that works well with the pale cabinets and oak surfaces.
WHY ARE THERE NO WALL CABINETS?
Tall larders make better use of the vertical storage potential, especially in a room with a high ceiling. It is best to contain tall storage in one area to prevent it overpowering the space, so we installed two tall larders side-by-side, one of which houses a fully integrated fridge. We then added a slim-line shelving unit for decorative detail and cookery books.
WHAT APPLIANCES DID YOU CHOOSE?
The only visible appliance is the range cooker, which is an electric model that the owners chose for its energy efficiency and ambient heat. We had a robust oak-clad mantel built above it, with plastered corbels to mimic a hearth. All other appliances are fully integrated to maintain the feel of a traditional farmhouse kitchen.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE LIGHTING?
Wall and pendant lights above the island can be used independently from the downlighting, which is important in a multifunctional room. At the flick of a switch, the kitchen can be transformed into a softly lit dining room.
ABOVE Pendant lights above the island have telescopic adjustments so that they can be positioned at different heights as required. BELOW Classic country features, such as painted furniture and a large ceramic sink, are in keeping with the traditional farmhouse style and make the kitchen feel homely.
DESIGNER Garry Meakins, head of design, Sims Hilditch, 01249 783087, simshilditch.com.