This striking kitchen by Mowlem & Co appears in the February 2013 issue of Homes & Gardens. We talked to designer Jane Stewart about the design and the process of creating it.
DESCRIBE THE SPACE
This kitchen is in a large country-style period home in Surrey, which has a modern glass extension at the rear. The idea was to open the kitchen to the garden to make the most of the landscaped gardens.
WHAT WAS THE CLIENT’S BRIEF?
The family wanted a relaxed environment with plenty of space for work and play. They wanted it to look fresh and elegant, with a contemporary edge, but it also had to work in harmony with their home’s country-style architecture.
HOW DID YOU PLAN THE LAYOUT?
It’s a large space to fill but we were careful not to overcrowd it or distract from the views. I kept the major appliances away from the dining area to give the chef plenty of space. The long island works as a barrier but it has a breakfast area at one end so that guests can sit and chat.
WHY THIS CABINETRY DESIGN?
This design is classic but not overly traditional. Shaker-style door panels are timeless but we made the doors handle-free for a contemporary touch. The glazed dresser unit in the corner is painted in Mizzle, and the rest of the cabinets are all Lamp Room Gray, by Farrow & Ball for a modern palette.
WHAT ARE WORKTOPS MADE OF?
We wanted something really hardwearing that would complement the soft blues and greys of the cupboards and chose a composite stone called Oyster from Caesarstone. On the island, we added a thick band of end-grain oak – partly to break up the large surface area and soften the look, but also for practical reasons. It’s incredibly hard to manoeuvre worktops longer than three metres.
AND WHAT ABOUT APPLIANCES?
For a modern edge, we chose industrial-looking appliances from Wolf and Sub-zero. This is serious, ultra-functional kit that’s hard to beat in a domestic kitchen. The extractor, made to our bespoke design by Westin, also has a very strong presence so we kept the cooker splashback simple, using tinted glass.
WHAT IS THE KEY TO THE SUCCESS OF THIS KITCHEN?
The subtle contrasts between materials and shapes. The rustic dining table adds a touch of raw natural beauty to the otherwise slick surfaces, making the space feel more relaxed. Upholstered seating and a stone fireplace also add an element of comfort and familiarity, which helps to soften the glass architecture. It’s a balancing act that I think has paid off.
Photography Jake Fitzjones