Norfolk by design
PUBLISHED: 05:44 09 March 2015
A blend of old and new makes for a stunning kitchen, shows Lanassir Lawes, our expert interior designer from Bressingham.
Successfully mixing the old with the new is one of the balancing acts that frequently crops up when designing an interior, whether it is incorporating a client’s existing antique furniture or period architecture it requires careful consideration.
In an old property such as our 17th century farmhouse it was important to us that we had a functional 21st century home without compromising the historic fabric. Having lived in our home for several years prior to completing the major overhaul we were very aware what we needed to suit our lifestyle.
The kitchen and bathrooms are probably the most challenging, due to installing the pipework and cabling discreetly for the fixtures, fittings and appliances. Our old kitchen had the farmhouse look with painted units, butler sink and an oak table and chairs as a centrepiece but was lacking storage and worktop space. I wanted a modern kitchen that was easy to use and contemporary and that would sit comfortably with the oak beams. Although the kitchen was sizeable, we felt that additional storage would be beneficial. This was achieved by incorporating our snug that was in a modern extension adjacent to the kitchen. This works brilliantly as the main kitchen remains spotless, as the meat and vegetables are prepared in a commercial sink tucked around the corner in this additional space.
Choosing the materials and finishes for cabinets and floors can be tricky in a beamed kitchen. I try not to layer two of the same material, so avoiding any more wood was a must. A light natural stone floor is easy to clean and balances the dark beamed ceiling and ceramic-faced kitchen units that I chose. The central island has a granite top with a copper-coloured small sink, taps including a bespoke combination filter/boiling water tap (a must-have in a modern kitchen) and copper ceiling pendant lights above.
To inject colour into the copper, brown and cream scheme, the AGA was re-enamelled orange and bar stools were upholstered in rust fabric, along with patterned Roman blinds at the windows to soften the room filled with hard surfaces.
Integrated appliances can hide away most of our modern comforts but our preference for an eye-level fridge combined with a lower than average ceiling due to the beams put my creativity to the test. A free-standing American-style fridge freezer suited our needs, but the white, black or silver options were not going to fit the scheme. The solution was to have a fridge freezer “wrapped” in a bronze vinyl – if it is durable enough to wrap a car I am sure it will stand the test of time in our