When they first moved into their elegant Georgian country house, Jenny and Stephen Jones were underwhelmed by the décor. “The interiors were tired, dark and dated, and given the house’s grandeur, they weren’t in keeping; they weren’t very special at all,” Stephen recalls. “So we commissioned Heaven & Stubbs, who had been recommended by a friend, to design and create the kitchen, utility, three bathrooms and a home cinema.”
The oak kitchen was particularly dark and dated, having been installed 30 years previously, and a key part of the brief was to come up with a suitably grand, period-appropriate solution, which would become part of the home’s internal architecture going forward – something that the original architect might have approved of. Family friend and interior designer David Carter suggested a Gothic-inspired design, which would re-elect the Medieval Revival style that was very much in vogue during the early- to mid-Georgian period, and Heaven & Stubbs came up with what was christened the ‘Strawberry Hill Gothic’ kitchen – named after Horace Walpole’s 1749 Gothic Revival mansion in Twickenham.
“A truly bespoke design, the kitchen is in-frame, with Acoya wood doors featuring a Gothic tracery motif and painted in White Tie by Farrow & Ball, while the cabinet interiors and dovetailed drawer boxes are all in oak,” explains Howard Stubbs, designer and joint founder at Heaven & Stubbs. “The cabinets’ crowning glory are worktops made from intricately-pieced marble.”
“What I like most about the finished design is that it really looks like it belongs,” continues Howard. “It looks like an integral part of the original interior, as opposed to just a collection of unimaginative ‘boxes’ that have just been thrown in with no thought as to the home’s history or style.” And that’s the beauty of the genuinely bespoke, tailor-made cabinetry option, the flexibility to create the perfect balance between form and function, even in a space that is unconventional and unusual.
“We’ve been able to couple a very appropriate period aesthetic with the benefit that modern technology can bring,” Howard explains. “Not just in the high- end cooking and refrigeration appliances, but also in the lighting scheme, which accentuates the Georgian- style cornicing and the cooker’s grand mantel.”
“It’s a kitchen that is exactly what we were looking for – sturdy, beautiful, and something that will become part of the building’s architectural fabric, rather than a fashion statement to be ripped out in 15 years’ time. It’s something really quite special.”Heaven and Stubbs | heavenandstubbs.com