Lots of white units teamed with warm oak and copper accents create a clean, uncluttered kitchen in this Somerset home
Houzz UK Contributor. I have been an interiors journalist since 1995, writing several… More
The kitchen in this Somerset house was the last room to be tackled by its owners, after they’d renovated the rest of the property. “That was unusual,” says Sam Shaw of Sustainable Kitchens, who designed the new kitchen. “Often we’re called in when the house is basically a building site, because the clients want the kitchen done first.”
However, having waited meant the owners had a good idea of what they wanted for the space: a clean, simple look with white cabinetry, a large island and oak surfaces. “It was easy to visualise the space, but then it was up to us to make best use of it all,” says Shaw.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A family with a teenage son and daughter
Location Street, Somerset
Dimensions The space, including the dining and sitting areas, is 8.3m x 6.1m; part of a semi-detached, 1930s house with 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms
Designer Sam Shaw at Sustainable Kitchens
Photos by Charlie O’Beirne
Clean, uncluttered and easy to use, this kitchen rocks a fresh, simple recipe of white cabinets, warmed up by lots of oak details and copper accents on the pendant lights.
Originally, there was an awkwardly shaped kitchen in this space. “We’ve built a U-shaped design with a large island,” says Shaw, “but previously, there were also two retaining walls creating a thin walkway into the kitchen space.”
This peculiar layout created lots of tricky angles and corners. “There were also brick walls, funny faux beams and mock pillars,” adds Shaw. “It was easy to see that it all needed to be stripped out!”
Ripping out those retaining walls and dated features opened up the kitchen and revealed its generous dimensions. It sits within a spacious, open-plan room, which also contains a dining area and living space with a wood-burning stove.
With windows and large sliding glass doors on two sides, the space is extremely light, and the kitchen’s white cabinetry fits in perfectly with the pale, pared-back look found throughout.
The kitchen is designed with an area of tall units flanking the fridge-freezer, which provides a huge amount of storage. It also means that low cabinets are sufficient elsewhere, and this gives the whole scheme an open, streamlined feel.
As well as the slim larders either side of the fridge-freezer, there’s also a bridging cabinet above. “You can pull the larder shelves out,” says Shaw, “so it’s easy to reach stuff stored right at the back.”
G-series fridge-freezer, Samsung.
The cabinetry consists of flat, panel-style cupboards, made from birch ply with an oak frame and worktops. “The cupboards are all painted white,” says Shaw, “with simple J-shaped handles.” This type of handle forms the shape of the letter J in cross-section, integrated into the door. “Your fingers drop down into the dip of the J, but you can’t see through into the cupboard,” explains Shaw.
Units painted in All White, Farrow & Ball.
Shaw designed a box shelf for one wall, in the same oak as that used on the worktops and island, creating a unified feel. “A single shelf is never very strong, but as soon as you build a box construction, it’s much more robust and can easily support books,” says Shaw.
Range cooker; Super Extract hood, both Falcon.
Two rows of white square tiles create a minimal and inexpensive upstand that contrasts nicely with the oak worktop.
The owners knew they wanted a large island for this space and this one measures 240cm x 92cm. The owners’ two teenage children often eat breakfast here, so there are plenty of sockets built in for their tablets and mobile phones.
“I always remind clients that you’re going to have to be able to walk around the island, but here, it’s such a wide space that installing a design of this size wasn’t a problem,” says Shaw.
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The worktop, box shelf and wraparound surface on the island are all made from an American oak, which has been treated with lye (a mild form of bleach) to make it look beautifully pale.
The owners sourced the simple yet sleek sink and tap from Ikea.
The owners find that their new kitchen, completed in June 2016, is easy to keep tidy. “I went back there recently and it was spotless,” says Shaw. “I asked if they’d tidied just for me, but they said that because there’s so much storage space, it’s really easy to keep it looking uncluttered. There’s a home for everything now. They like to keep the worktops really clean with nothing on them.”
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