A word-of mouth recommendation from friends resulted in this month’s case study – a timeless forever kitchen in Cambridgeshire.
Designed by Jonathan Turner and created as the hub of the home within an exquisite, Queen Anne house, light pours into this beautiful kitchen from every angle. Skylights set into the kitchen’s vaulted ceiling banish darkness and shadows, whilst sunshine spills in from sash windows. A feature ‘turret’ – suggested by Jonathan – ensures that the dining area is also flooded by natural light.
One side of the kitchen is dedicated to a run of practical cupboards and integrated appliances, whilst the opposite side features floor-to-ceiling hand painted cabinetry that comprises of deep, wide storage drawers, two half-height pantry cupboards and, most impressively of all, a curved end unit that brings to mind the quietly grand storage of country house kitchens from times past.
However, whilst this lovely kitchen’s overall aesthetic might be classic, there are a number of features that make it a very modern space indeed. These include a Sub-Zero fridge/freezer and a sleek, built-in oven, which is in addition to the kitchen’s focal point black Aga. Smaller contemporary touches such as the striking, globular candelabra – independently sourced by Jonathan’s stylish client – bold soft furnishings and original artwork result in a kitchen and living space that is undeniably luxurious, but individual, too.
The cabinetry of the kitchen’s island in limed oak is an elegant contrast against the painted furniture that features throughout the rest of the kitchen; it also ties in perfectly with the natural wood dining table and the floating feature shelves that are softly lit from underneath.
The homeowners had considered a number of ‘kitchen solutions’ before a word-of-mouth recommendation from friends led them to Bryan Turner Kitchen Furniture. Their previous kitchen had been laid out very differently and Jonathan worked closely with his clients’ architects to create a kitchen-come-dining space that is both considerate of the family’s requirements and the house’s original architecture.
“I always try to relate a kitchen’s layout to a building’s architecture. Working with, rather than against, a building’s structure is the key to a great kitchen that genuinely complements a house. An equally important consideration is how the kitchen is going to be used – will it be a cook’s kitchen, a space for all the family, somewhere to entertain – or does it need to tick all three of those boxes and perhaps more?”
Based on this premise, some significant changes were made to the kitchen’s structure and layout. The kitchen’s entrance was redesigned and Jonathan also reconfigured the kitchen’s pantry – with a little, round ‘porthole’ window being added – now referred to as ‘Jonathan’s Window’. In addition, Jonathan suggested moving the kitchen’s Aga – from where the fridge/freezer is now sited – to the end of the kitchen. A faux chimney area, complete with mantel and cleverly concealed extraction, was built to surround the Aga. The result is two uninterrupted runs of space, either side of the kitchen’s island.
“Repositioning the Aga at the end of the kitchen meant we could create a dedicated cooking zone. In its previous place, it had caused a bit of an obstruction. For suppers and summer baking, we also installed a built-in oven into the kitchen’s island. Immediately opposite the Aga, it means all the cooking appliances in one place.”
When it came to deciding the kitchen’s colour palette, there was much discussion – but from the beginning – Jonathan took his inspiration from the striking painting that hangs to one side of the dining area.
“When I initially met with our clients, we fell into a conversation about our mutual love of Southwold on the Suffolk coast. The painting – which is of the beach at Southwold – seemed to provide us with a ready-made palette of colours from which we drew inspiration for the kitchen’s cabinetry, its use of limed oak and soft furnishings.”
The choice of Silestone surfaces for the kitchen’s main cabinetry was also influenced by the painting. A darker granite surface on the kitchen’s island creates superb contrast, whilst the homeowners’ decision to use Optiglass – a low-sodium glass that avoids altering the colour of paintwork and décor – makes for practical, yet perfectly invisible splashbacks.
Summing up their feelings about the finished kitchen, Jonathan’s clients say,
“We couldn’t be more delighted with the kitchen; it has exceeded all our expectations and it was an added bonus that Jonathan was able to work so closely – and effectively – with our architects. We also love the fact that the kitchen is genuinely individual and reflective of us. It’s practical, accommodates our family and friends, but most of all, every feature has been created with us in mind – and that’s invaluable.”