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Kate, Adrian & their Chichester kitchen

Kate, Adrian & their Chichester kitchen

When Kate and Adrian found their home in Sunningdale, Berkshire in 2008, it had seen several extensions and was now three times the size of the original house. Built in 1831, it had gradually transformed over the years from a two-bedroom cottage into a large family home, with all the character that comes along with that. They then set about extending the house further, bringing a sense of light and space to the interior. And nowhere more so than in their kitchen – a room that they’d envisioned as open and inviting, overlooking the garden at the back of the house. ‘The space gets so much gorgeous sunshine and natural light, we just knew it would become the heart of our home,’ explained Kate.

Inspired by a French kitchen they’d spied, which was made from solid oak wood, Kate and Adrian decided on a freestanding layout rather than a slick run of cabinets to create the simple yet traditional feeling they wanted. With rustic French charm in mind, they chose the Chichester kitchen, painted in soothing shades of Aqua Blue and Calico (one of the shades from our archived Earth palette, which we can still mix to order), and paired with a solid white oak work surface. ‘It was so important that we kept the rustic country house feel, so we chose distinctive wood floorboards, kept the original windows, and styled the house to fit the aesthetic,’ said Kate. ‘In a way, it felt like putting back into the house the things it was asking for.’

Like so many, Kate and Adrian’s kitchen had become the centre of their home, but after ten years enjoying the space, they decided to repaint and restore the cabinetry. ‘Although the cabinets had lasted really well, and didn’t look particularly shabby, you could see the chips and bumps that come with everyday life, and we simply felt they needed refreshing,’ said Kate.

While the couple were keen to lend their kitchen a more contemporary aesthetic, they didn’t want to lose the down to earth, bucolic feel that flowed so well with the rest of the house. The island and the wall cabinetry were the first aspects of the kitchen to be restored when they were repainted in Moss, the coolest shade in our Plant palette. Initially concerned that the kitchen was being overpowered by the green hues, it wasn’t until the remaining cabinetry was repainted in Smoke, a deep and chalky grey that takes on an almost teal blue tint in the warm light of this space, that the room was grounded and the earthy colours harmonised. ‘We’re so pleased with how it’s turned out, and love that we didn’t have to completely change the design of our kitchen,’ added Kate. ‘It feels brand new, but with all the wonderful aspects of the old house.’

Life in their new (old) kitchen

What’s your favourite thing to do in your kitchen?

‘Making our morning coffees and gazing out to the garden. It’s so peaceful.’

The best part?

‘The AGA. It’s where most people congregate to chat and socialise, and it brings such warmth to the house.’

What’s next?

‘We’d love a new wicker lampshade for above the island, but it’s not urgent. We’re just loving the new design and feel, and spending more time in the kitchen as a family.’

Find out more about designing a kitchen with us online here, or by visiting one of our stores.