Cottage in Mulbarton
The client liked the idea of a Shaker kitchen – our most popular kitchen style. But more than just looking good, it was important to them that their new kitchen was sturdy. Living in a period cottage, they wanted something that felt permanent and suited the property. They appreciated the fact that at Bear and Woods, we use traditional crafting techniques and quality materials such as solid wood and buck hinges.
Low, beamed ceilings and cabinets built over the windows meant that the client’s existing kitchen felt small, dark and enclosed. The client wanted to open up the space and make it feel as light, bright and spacious as possible. They asked us to create a bespoke kitchen and fit out the adjoining boot room to match.
Wanting a simple, uncluttered kitchen with a nod to traditional style, the client chose a Shaker kitchen with oak block worktops and oak button knobs to match. The appliances they chose – including a Rangemaster Kitchener cooker, a Swan retro under counter fridge, and a Shaws classic sink – suited the classic country style of the cottage.
Creating a small kitchen, we needed to make the most of every space – without making the room feel cluttered. Letting light in was key, so we made sure the wall cabinets stopped a good couple of inches before the windows, which were set back with deep windowsills. This created a lot of space around them, meaning the room felt a lot more open and airy. It meant sacrificing some storage space, but it was worth it.
A small kitchen like this needs some clever techniques to get extra storage room. The corner cabinet is a tricky space, so fitted two doors, one with a knob and both secured with magnetic catches, to make sure the client could use it. We also designed a bespoke angled corner unit, with shelves that tailed off so they wouldn’t block out the small window. When we realised one of the base units had an awkward spare couple of inches, we didn’t want to lose it – so we designed a built-in serving tray, which we crafted in oak to match the worktops. The client hadn’t initially asked for this feature, but liked the idea; it’s the sort of touch you’ll only find in a bespoke kitchen.
The finishing touches are what really make this kitchen feel light and bright. The client chose to have the cabinets hand painted in Bone by Farrow & Ball – an off-white matte – and light the room with LED spotlights and under cabinet lighting. We fitted a simple light pelmet to neaten this up. Although initially the client wanted to keep things very simple and have no cornice on top of the wall cabinets, we suggested that a plain square cornice would balance out the light pelmets. As the cabinets have classical Shaker proportions, this worked nicely.
The boot room was a narrow room that led on from the kitchen, and we fit it out in the same style. We used a one-wall layout to give the client much-needed storage without overcrowding the space. The client asked for an under counter space where they were planning to fit waste and recycling bins, and a glass display cabinet that would be visible from the kitchen.