A cluttered barn kitchen has been transformed into a light, open-plan, Scandinavian-inspired cookspace
Houzz UK contributor. Freelance interiors journalist with over 20 years’ experience… More
As this converted barn has exposed timber lintels and roof trusses, the owners might have been tempted to choose a country-style kitchen that echoed the period and architecture of the property. But the retired couple wanted something different. They were keen to harness their love of contemporary design and all things Scandinavian and, thanks to the expertise of bespoke kitchen specialist Stephen Graver, it’s a design juxtaposition that was cleverly pulled off.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A retired couple
Property A converted barn with three bedrooms and three bathrooms
Kitchen dimensions 45 sq m
Designer Jonathan West, design and project manager at Stephen Graver
The dark, dated and cluttered kitchen the owners of this converted barn had inherited needed a total overhaul. Once kitchen specialist Jonathan West took a close look at how the couple lived, it was clear, also, that there were significant areas of the house that weren’t being optimised.
“We therefore suggested relocating the kitchen and linking the cooking and dining spaces by removing an internal wall,” West explains.
The kitchen now sits within the heart of the house. The designers effectively did a swap job – the cramped, dark kitchen became the dining room, while the large, unused dining space became the central cookspace. “The owners wanted the kitchen to become the hub of their new layout,” West adds.
The owners upgraded the varnished pine cupboards and terracotta tiled floor for a modern, Scandinavian look.
The kitchen is totally bespoke and handmade using marine birch plywood carcasses and Formica veneer in a colour called Lead for the doors. It has an almost modular concept comprised of a central island unit, a sink and washing-up station, and a bank of floor-to-ceiling units.
“The tall units include a cupboard with pocket doors to house the toaster, tea and coffee, and some crockery,” West says. “The owners wanted a space that could be used to hide certain appliances, and retain that feeling of an uncluttered kitchen.”
The bank of units also neatly houses the ovens, wide drawers, an integrated fridge-freezer, a bespoke wine rack and the boiler.
“When it came to the flue for the boiler, it had to extract out of the top of the cupboard due to Building Regulations. So we had to bear this in mind, in the design, to minimise the visual impact,” West says.
The vaulted ceiling with original beams is an impressive feature and creates an eye-catching context for the new, pared-back kitchen. The flooring is tumbled Varese limestone.
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Practical and saturated in colour, the Formica door fronts are framed by solid wood, emphasising the almost “freestanding, furniture-like” concept of the design.
The wall between the two original rooms was removed to create an L-shaped space that’s full of light.
The central island unit is the focal point of the kitchen. It includes an induction hob and downdraft extractor, storage cupboards and drawers, plus a breakfast bar for casual meals on the dining/social side of the room.
Walls and ceiling painted in Wevet, Farrow & Ball.
The downdraft extractor retracts from view when not needed. It’s the ideal type of ventilation in a kitchen with these sorts of architectural challenges.
“The worktop is a colonial white granite. The owners were keen to include a natural igneous rock in the design and fell in love with this,” West says.
Downdraft extractor, Caple. Induction hob, Siemens. Colonial White granite, Bristol Marble & Granite.
A bespoke walnut cutlery tray slides out from the island unit.
An exposed stone backdrop nods to the barn’s history and creates a pleasing juxtaposition between the original raw materials and the slick modern kitchen. A simple granite upstand protects the wall without detracting from the stone.
The kitchen leads seamlessly through into the dining area, with the same tumbled limestone flags underfoot and pendant lights by the same designer.
A classic midcentury modern dining table and chairs accentuate the owners’ love of modern, Scandi design.
CH327 dining table; CH23 dining chairs; Opala pendant lights, all Hans Wegner at Twentytwentyone.
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The kitchen company also designed and made the low sideboard with shelving above in the dining room.
“The owners wanted somewhere to house their collectables while keeping the linear look of the room,” West says. “These are suspended, Scandinavian-style cupboards with a solid oak top, hanging below simple, floating shelves.”
Light pouring into the dining space is boosted by the unadorned white walls. An armchair at the far end makes a good spot to stop for a cuppa and enjoy the views through the glazed door.
What do you think of this Scandinavian-style kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.