A purpose-built extension provided the perfect blank canvas for this open-plan kitchen-diner, with cooking and entertaining top of the list
23 June 2016
One of the best things about adding an extension to your home is it gives you an entirely new space to play with, allowing you to plan it to suit your purposes exactly. This couple from northeast England worked with Julia Brown from Mowlem & Co to create a fantastic multi-purpose living area, including a separate boot room, utility area and pantry, with plenty of distinctive personalised details.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A couple who work in commerce and fashion
Location A semi-rural setting in northeast England
Size 15m x 6m; incorporating a living/kitchen/dining area, as well as a laundry space, boot room and pantry
Designer Julia Brown of Mowlem & Co
Photographer Jake Fitzjones
“Classic meets contemporary was the brief for this design,” says Julia Brown. “This living space is part of a new, three-storey extension attached to a 19th century coach house, replacing the footprint of a former 1960s addition. In keeping with the existing building, the homeowners wanted to create a space that blended old and new seamlessly to give a timeless, sophisticated finish.”
The hand-painted cabinets, which were designed bespoke for this scheme, feature doors with a flat centre panel and characterful steel handles.
Island unit painted in Pelt; main cabinets painted in Strong White, both Farrow & Ball.
“The key feature of the design is the L-shaped island unit with built-in banquette and curved breakfast bar,” Brown explains. “The couple love to cook and entertain, so we had to bear that in mind, especially in terms of all the details. The sociability of the space was another key factor in the brief.” In keeping with this requirement, to the left of the kitchen is a large seating area.
Mowlem & Co made the limed oak dining table, which features an 80mm thick top, to match the oak open wall units.
Ripasso pendant lights, Sarah Bowen Lighting.
See 9 great ways to illuminate your kitchen island
“It was a challenge to include all the key requirements of an open-plan space without it looking crowded, but we pulled it off,” says Brown. “I really like the way the island unit looks – it’s impressive yet welcoming.”
Brown is particularly proud of the combination of colours and wood finishes used. “The units are hand-painted,” she says, “and the effect is very pleasing – but I also love the subtlety of the limed oak touches used throughout, too.”
There are plenty of clever elements, including an open-ended rack for magazines built into the dining booth, customised storage for cookbooks, and pull-out serving trays.
Separate areas house a pantry and a boot room. “We decided to add a stud wall along one side of the room,” Brown says. “Along the kitchen side of this is a run of units containing one of the room’s two sinks, and behind it you have the walk-in pantry and boot room – each accessed on either side of the units by frosted-glass doors.”
The walk-in pantry was built to the owner’s requirements and features oak shelving and pull-out storage baskets.
One of the key considerations for Brown was that the room looked good from whichever way you enter it. There are multiple routes in and the space has been carefully zoned to make sure the design flows and works together.
The worktop is a luxurious 30mm thick Bianco Persa granite in Crystal White. The bank of units on the back wall contains appliances including ovens, a warming drawer and a fridge-freezer. The gas hob and a second sink are housed on the island.
Taps, Perrin & Rowe. Appliances, Gaggenau.
Inside the boot room is a laundry area, which can be hidden away from sight when the couple are entertaining.
Find out how to plan the perfect utility room
A tall chalkboard next to the boot room, with sockets and a shelf below to hold keys and phones on charge, is another bespoke element, designed to meet the owners’ needs.
The boot room features a simple padded bench and limed oak shelving, and echoes the colour scheme used in the kitchen.
What do you like about this kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.