Mixing traditional elements, with a punky purple palette and quirky hidden elements, we just love this farmhouse kitchen…
Although the Smiths’ home is a substantial three-storey period farmhouse, in keeping with many such properties of its era the kitchen was relatively small. In the past, as it was a functional area in which only the necessary time was spent, the room was usually compact, even in grand properties. But with modern lifestyles transforming this formerly utilitarian space into the true heart of the home, the more modest kitchen is often extended to create an open-plan living, dining and cooking area where the whole family can come together.
Such was the case for the Smiths – though they made the choice to create a space which wasn’t entirely open, to separate the cooking and preparation areas from the living and dining zones. “I’d seen similar open shelving with glazing while I was in France,” recalls Mrs Smith. “It does the job of breaking up the huge room very well indeed. It’s also quite appropriate for a period home such as ours, because it’s reminiscent of a traditional kitchen dresser.”
The pippy oak finish adds a bit of an elegant twist to the cabinetry, which is a bit of a riff on farmhouse style – the doors, with their Georgian-style panelled appearance, were designed especially for this project – while the traditional knobs and cup pulls have been brought bang up to date in an edgy copper finish. This warm-toned metal also provides the perfect rich shade to complement the opulent purple- painted cabinetry of the island, and in the scullery.
“We always liked the idea of wood to give that farmhouse feel, and the pippy oak appealed to us straight away,” continues Mrs Smith. “The painted island was a bit of a surprise, but once it was suggested we quickly came to love the idea; it works so well, and gives such a dramatic look topped with the strongly veined granite worktop.”
“Having been involved in the extension project from a very early stage, we were able to create exactly the right balance between the functional and living areas in this very large room,” explains Tom Edmonds, director at Lewis Alderson & Co. “The island unit sits at the centre of a nice square kitchen space, which has just the right proportions to be comfortable and roomy, without losing a cosy feel.”
The space-dividing cabinetry also offered plenty of scope for integrated technology that would be a boon to the family while entertaining or relaxing – for example, there are hidden charging points for their smartphones and tablets. It’s no wonder that the Smiths now pretty much live in this part of their property, with formal and informal dining options, relaxed seating, and of course all the mod cons they need for both family meals and catering for more of a crowd. “It’s a wonderful space for entertaining,” enthuses Mrs Smith. “The kitchen is a lovely size for cooking, and I couldn’t imagine what I’d do without the functional scullery area!”Lewis Alderson | lewisalderson.com