It is not often that we get the chance to design and build a kitchen for a Grade I listed property. Only 2.5% of buildings in England are Grade I listed, and of those, not many are houses, but places of worship. I was invited to a beautiful, Georgian property overlooking Winchester Cathedral, in Hampshire; a magnificent Cathedral, steeped in history, dating back to the Seventh Century, where Mary Tudor, King Henry VIII’s daughter (with Catherine of Aragon) was married. My clients wanted a painted kitchen for their town house; one that would complement the splendour of its high ceilings and spacious rooms.
The difficulty we face when working with listed buildings, is we cannot really touch anything! If English Heritage grants approval for renovation work, we have to comply with so many rules and regulations. All works have to be carried out using original materials and often using original methods.
It was decided to have a false wall built in front of their existing kitchen wall to house the cooker and cabinetry. They did not touch the existing wall due to the listing prohibitions. Building a false wall also allowed for removal in the future, if they wanted to reveal the old fabric of the building again.
Curved cabinet work was designed for this kitchen, particularly on either side of the cooker. We deliberately set the cooker forward to feature the curved cabinetry and to allow extra depth for a granite storage shelf behind the range for cooking utensils etc. A faux chimney, with over mantle was built and panels either side of the cooker housed hidden storage shelves for herbs and spices.
The mantle that we formed over the cooking area was in keeping with the traditional, moulding styles, which were also used around the beams on the ceiling and the cabinetry cornices.
The granite on the island was shaped to echo the Edwardian mouldings of the of the surrounding cabinetry. Note the centre island plug sockets; these are always very useful and offer greater flexibility around the kitchen for mixers, electric whisks etc. We chose flat plate, brushed stainless steel sockets to add a little contemporary touch.
We fitted metal handles, which work with the dark, marbled tones and hues of the granite worktops.
Here is a detailed shot of a dovetailed, Ash utensils drawer. The drawers all run on state of the art soft close runners.
We shaped the cabinetry around the kitchen to be in keeping with the period of the house.
Matching cabinets were made to fit either side of the kitchen sink, situated under the window at the far end of the kitchen. The tall cabinet to the right, housed a larder and fridge freezer. This photograph demonstrates how the kitchen offers space, beautiful proportions and eye pleasing symmetry. The cabinetry and worktops were all offset perfectly by the warming, buttermilk tones of the walls and the pale, limestone coloured floor.