The client wanted a new kitchen for their new home: a barn that they had converted themselves, with a new roof and an extension. They were committed to finishing the property to a high standard, and knew that a high-spec kitchen that would last for many years to come was worth investing in. They were impressed that we use the best materials for the job and build each kitchen by hand, and chose Bear and Woods because of the quality and durability of our work.
Because the property was a barn conversion, the main living area was a very large room with a high vaulted ceiling. The client wanted an open plan space, and asked us to install a kitchen on one side of the room. They were planning to use the other side of the room as a lounge, but as it was such a large space they were keen for the kitchen to be a social area.
The client wanted a clean, modern kitchen, but liked the idea of giving a nod to the property’s heritage. They chose a Shaker kitchen, and we gave it a modern edge with star galaxy granite worktops and chrome Oxford cup handles and knobs. This style was carried through in the kitchen appliances: an American style fridge-freezer and a Rangemaster cooker. A bin and dishwasher were integrated either side of the Belfast sink.
Designing a kitchen in a converted barn meant that we had a lot of ceiling height to work with. It meant that we could use the tallest wall units, each 900mm high, and it meant that we could design an integrated wine rack on top of the fridge-freezer cabinet. The client didn’t want to lose any storage space over the sink, so we added top boxes with top-hung hinges for easy access and a floating oak shelf – something we couldn’t have done without the extra ceiling height.
However, the ceiling height became a problem when it came to designing the overmantle. For this feature, we create a faux chimney breast that usually goes up into the ceiling. However, that wasn’t going to be possible in this property. To finish it off neatly, we had to create a special angled piece on top that gave the appearance of the chimney breast going back into the wall.
It was important to the client for their kitchen to be the hub of their home. We suggested creating a kitchen island that doubled up as a breakfast bar, allowing guests to sit and chat while they were preparing food – and they loved the idea. The kitchen island has full storage along the back and either side of the seating area, which gives it extra practicality.
The client chose star galaxy granite worktops for the kitchen run. They wanted a solid, chunky look, but granite worktops normally only come in 20mm or 30mm thickness. To achieve the style they were looking for, we put two 20mm slabs together: a technique that’s known in the industry as “20/20”. We put an aris in to neaten up the join between the two slabs, creating an attractive double chamfer profile. The kitchen island features a 40mm timber block worktop, so we cut an aris into it to match. It’s a small detail, but it’s one of those thoughtful touches you’ll only find in a bespoke kitchen.