Featuring pale grey tones and flashes of warm oak, the Shaker kitchen in this Bristol home spills into a smart, light-filled extension
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An extension at the rear of this Bristol home turned a small, dark kitchen-diner into the kind of light and open cooking, eating and living space most families hanker after. The kitchen now stretches into the new extension, its huge island doubling as a breakfast bar, with the dining area flowing off it and a living space to one side.
This generous, L-shaped footprint is now very much the heart of the home, but despite its size, planning a kitchen to fit in perfectly and meet its owners’ needs threw up a few challenges for designer Jane Denton of Sustainable Kitchens.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A couple and their children
The property A semi-detached home
Size 10m from top of kitchen to end of dining space; 7m wide from kitchen wall to the far wall of the living space
Designer Jane Denton of Sustainable Kitchens
Pale colours, light stone worktops and the solid oak shelves and breakfast bar are combined with woodland wallpaper to give this space a softly Scandi feel. “The owners always wanted Shaker-style cabinets,” says designer Jane Denton. “They were also clear about having pale stone worktops. They wanted a very light feel for the space and chose the colour for the cabinets early on in the project.”
The extension begins where the wallpaper starts. A supporting wall was removed here and a steel inserted above.
Shaker-style oak kitchen units painted in Pavilion Gray, Farrow & Ball. Woods wallpaper, Cole & Son.
The owners’ original brief was to include a very large larder that incorporated a full-size fridge and freezer. “This was one of two key challenges in the project,” says Denton. “We tried all sorts of ideas, but just couldn’t fit all that in on the wall.”
The solution was to include an under-mounted freezer in the island. Now, the wall of floor-to-ceiling cabinets contains a double larder (behind the first two doors on the left) and an integrated fridge.
The owners specified a large island. “Part of the brief was to include a longish island, around 2.8m,” says Denton. “In the end, we installed one that’s 3.1m long. The room is very large, so it was easy to fit it in and it doesn’t look out of place.”
However, the generous size of the island threw up a second key challenge: finding a single slab of worktop to fit. “We had to make sure we could get hold of a 3.2m slab in the stone the owners wanted,” says Denton. “Fitting two pieces would create a join.”
Worktops, Bianco Venato engineered quartz (try The Marble Store).
A corner of usable space sits to one side of the larder. “You can’t build a larder into the corner, as you would struggle to open the doors,” says Denton. “We also wanted to fit low cabinets by the range and these needed to come round for the space to flow.”
This corner now serves as a little breakfast area, complete with kettle. “It has worked out really well,” she adds.
The range is tucked neatly into the chimney breast, with an extractor fan built in above. It was already in place in the original, smaller kitchen. “We didn’t touch this area,” says Denton, “apart from to add a splashback in the same material as the worktops.” A neat oak mantelpiece was also fitted above, providing display space.
Walls painted in Strong White, Farrow & Ball. Range, Falcon.
The only wall cabinet sits at one end of the worktop space, close to the dining area. “The owners originally specified no wall cabinets at all,” says Denton, “but as we moved forwards through the project, we all felt the need for just a little more storage to serve the dining area.”
The reclaimed pine flooring has been sanded, lacquered and also filleted, a process that fills in the gaps between boards.
Floating oak shelves run around the kitchen, providing display space for the owners’ collection of cookbooks and ceramics. The warm oak breaks up the cool white and grey scheme and leads the eye through the space.
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Oak has also been used to line and define the breakfast bar area of the island. Its built-in design keeps it looking discreet and the beech stools slot neatly underneath the worktop when not in use.
The oak is a beautiful contrast to the pale colours. “We use oak a lot,” says Denton. “It just brings a warmth to a scheme, which is really valuable in a kitchen made up mostly of pale colours.”
The owners knew they wanted a Belfast sink. “A double one, too, if we could get that to fit,” says Denton. Originally, they didn’t want the sink in the island. “It soon became apparent that the overall kitchen design worked best, from a functional point of view, with the sink there,” she says. “Now, you have the cooker, sink and fridge all in one small triangle.”
Aluminium bifold doors, which open off the sitting area (not seen), give access to the garden and flood the space with natural light.
Classic farmhouse sink, Shaws.
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Under-mounting the double Belfast sink has kept the island worktop beautifully sleek and clean-looking.
Brushed-nickel tap, Sterling.
The oak cabinets are all finished with neat knobs, painted the same shade but made from beech.
Discreet spotlights have been fitted in the ceiling and these handsome pendant lights serve as focal points, zoning the island space.
Caravaggio steel pendant lights, Lightyears.
What do you like about this stylish Shaker kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.