Utopia    Real Home 10 Jul 2017

How to turn your dated farmhouse into a stylish rural retreat with Mark Wilkinson Furniture

A very old stone barn was transformed into a new kitchen, yet still managed to retain its sense of tradition.

When farmer Andy Fussell and his wife Lesley inherited an old stone farmhouse and barn in Somerset, they asked Steve Franklin and the design team from Mark Wilkinson Furniture’s Holland Park showroom, to create a classic farm kitchen.


What was the inspiration?

Steve: “The Fussells are farmers, so that was the look we built the design around; complementing the prominent stonework and vaulted ceilings. Mark Wilkinson OBE always speaks to his creative designers about ‘finding a key’ to a design, which in this case was three spectacular elements – the fridge/storage run, the cooking zone and the island – all independent pieces, but with enough emphasis not to be overpowered by the architectural features of the room.”

Lesley: “I favoured a simple style which reflects the country, but had enough presence for the room – The Cook’s Kitchen, by Mark Wilkinson was perfect. My main criteria was that the kitchen wasn’t dwarfed by the sheer size of the room – I wanted a large range, a feature fridge freezer, and a run of tall units to give the kitchen presence.”


How did the design develop?

Lesley: “Steve persuaded us to have the Quooker boiling water tap, which has become a real favourite for Andy, who can get up very early and make himself a cup of tea while he is still half asleep, without the need to put the kettle on.”


What is your favourite part of the design?

Steve: “I am most pleased with the way that the kitchen fits in with the architectural features – the high ceilings and stonework – I particularly like the symmetry of the larders either side of the fridge.”

Lesley: “I love the island – we do a lot of entertaining and I like the fact that my friends can sit on one side of the island while I work on the other.”


The owners

Andy Fussell inherited a farmhouse in Somerset that had been his childhood home and moved there with his physiotherapist wife Lesley and their two teenaged boys. To give them more space they transformed the old barn attached to it into an elegant new kitchen, as part of a complete refit.


The designer

“With a building that wasn’t originally intended to be a kitchen, while it is important to ensure that the scheme works with the architectural features, it is equally important to make sure it suits the lifestyle of the people who live there… to retain a strong element of reality.”

Steve Franklin, Senior Designer, Mark Wilkinson Furniture

Mark Wilkinson Furniture | mwf.com
Published in Utopia Kitchen & Bathroom Magazine