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Kitchen Tour: A Period Home Gets a Kitchen Fit for a Chef

Not only does this kitchen get top marks in the style stakes, it’s also the perfect place to cook

Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance journalist with more than 13 years’ experience… More

When the owners of this Georgian townhouse in Edinburgh asked Brian Minns of Sculleries of Stockbridge to design their kitchen, their brief was straightforward. “They wanted a kitchen that was simple, beautiful and maximised the space, while not overcrowding the room,” says Minns. They also required the space to function almost like a professional kitchen, as one half of the couple is a private chef. “She does a lot of cooking at home, so this kitchen needed to live up to expectations,” explains the designer, who set about creating a space that combines modern functionality with traditional aesthetics.

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Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here
A couple and their two sons (3 and 6 months)
Location Edinburgh
Property A Georgian townhouse
Size of kitchen 6m x 3m
Designer Brian Minns of Sculleries of Stockbridge

Photos by Douglas Gibb Photography

The layout of the cookspace was very much determined by the position of the sink. “We wanted it to be at the window to make use of the expanse of the bay,” says Minns. The worktop extends right back into the bay, providing plenty of room around the ample butler sink. “The position of the cooker required symmetry and had to be in the middle of the room,” says Minns. “After that, the rest of the layout determined itself as the tall unit could only really go at the end of the sink run.”

Below the sink is a rail made of walnut, which is also used inside the cabinets. “With butler sinks you will often get some water running over, but the natural walnut absorbs it before it can cause the painted cabinet door to crack or peel,” says Minns.

Classic butler sink, Shaws of Darwen. Ionian tap, Perrin & Rowe. Kitchen units painted in Hague Blue, Farrow & Ball.

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The stainless-steel range cooker takes centre stage and the uninterrupted row of wall units above keeps the space uncluttered and symmetrical. Minns fitted a hidden cooker hood inside the centre cupboard to filter cooking smells. “We kept the hood hidden as we wanted to achieve the look of one piece of furniture,” says Minns.

The wall units are two-tiered (see first picture), with larger shelved cupboards below and smaller cabinets for large pots and appliances above. “By breaking the doors up it stops the units looking too plain and gives them presence,” says Minns.

Below the wall units hangs a long pan rail, which is the perfect spot for the owner’s well-used collection of brass cookware. “She can have her pans there, ready to rock,” says Minns.

Cache 800mm cooker hood, Westin.

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A preparation area to the side of the cooker has a useful magnetic knife rack above and a cutlery drawer below. An integrated refuse cupboard has space for two bins.

Either side of the cooker are narrow cabinets that provide storage for things like baking trays. The run of units has been fitted with a Shaker-style side-panel detail, which provides an attractive finishing touch.

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All the cabinets and drawers have walnut interiors.

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The pantry, located next to an integrated fridge-freezer, was an important addition for the cook in the house. The shelves are adjustable, while a large door rack is perfect for spices.

An LED cabinet light comes on when the door is opened. Elsewhere in the room there are under-cabinet LED lights and attractive pendants.

A handy towel rail hangs on the side of the pantry, not too far from the sink.

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The clients chose a dramatic dark blue for their cabinetry, which was hand painted on-site to ensure it looked right in the room. The copper handles provide a striking contrast to the deep shade of blue.

The marble worktops, splashback and upstands were also chosen by the clients, who had used the material previously. “Marble is a fabulous material,” says Minns, “but we do explain the pitfalls beforehand. It marks easily and requires a lot of maintenance, but the clients were well aware of how to work with it.”

Minns recommends using an organic marble cleaner, and advises clients to avoid any hint of bleach or acid.

Unit handles, Armac Martin.

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Opposite the cookspace is a dining area, where the design team built a fitted bespoke dresser. The piece is painted in white to differentiate the two zones. “One of the nicest compliments we get is when someone says a piece of joinery looks like it has always been there,” says Minns.

The flooring throughout is the original pitch pine. The team stripped it back and applied a lacquer.

Dresser painted in Cornforth White, Farrow & Ball.

What do you think of this classic kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.

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