Old-fashioned range given all-new stage
ANYONE who takes food seriously these days seems to covet the delights of the old fashioned range. To emphasise the heart of this country home and give the range it's true status, we created an open chimney breast, where previously there was none, and placed the cooker on a raised, slate plinth to give the feeling of an old hearth.
This allowed us to plan the layout of a difficult space around this central feature, matched on the opposing wall by a wood-burning stove.
To make this new feature seem like it had stood the test of time, we laid ceramic tiles in a brick-bonded fashion on three interior walls (try Fired Earth or Johnsons Tiles for similar) and added an architrave around the opening. The latter was made of softwood, which we painted to match the wall colour– Dulux Wicker Dream.
The lowered ceiling enclosed the extractor fan and allowed built-in lights to illuminate the hob. In other situations, we would have considered a mantelpiece to finish the traditional look, but the low ceiling meant it would not have worked here.
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To the right of the range, we designed a larder, something that has had a popular resurgence as an excellent store cupboard for kitchens old and new.
This one was capacious enough for recycling bins, small appliances and household gadgets as well as dry foodstuff.
We used a tongue and grooved door on the larder to create a country kitchen aesthetic, while a Suffolk latch and traditional 'T' hinges added to the aged detail.
Painted a fresh blue in Dulux Hebridean Mists 5, this gave a gentle contrast to the warm brown of the Wicker Dream paint on the chimney breast.
Solid oak doors, edged and braced in a rustic style, lead off to other parts of the house. If your budget won't stretch to solid, handmade originals, try Howdens in St Philips for similar looking oak doors at a cheaper price.
The oak table is an other key item in a country kitchen, where natural materials like timber and stone floors create a homely feel.
Turned wooden legs and a deep edge give a period detail, but painted wooden legs and plain, modern timber tops can work just as well. Here, the client utilised a table she already had and we made it fit into the scheme.
The timber table doubles up as extra food preparation space and softens the look, so that there aren't too many "designer" materials inappropriate for a traditional, or rustic kitchen.
The floor is dark blue slate and the work surfaces are blue/black granite for durability.
To avoid too many built-in units, we used a mix of free-standing and fixed-to-wall storage units, which introduces character and interesting features.
A large American-style fridge- freezer is accommodated to the left of the range and has been framed and partly built-in so that it doesn't impact upon the style of the kitchen too drastically.
Its position allows for the essential kitchen triangle of fridge, sink and cooker, while fitting into the side of the utility room door to make best use of space.
Expect to pay about £25,000 for a similar slice of country kitchen and, even if you live in a city, check out Nailsea Electrical on Gloucester Road, Bristol, for a selection of range cookers.
Gill Richards is half of award- winning husband and wife team, Goodchild Interiors. Call Gill on 0117 927 9475, or see www.goodchildinteriors.net