A timeless investment that’s sure to bring pleasure for years to come, a bespoke country-style kitchen is a style statement that’s rarely out of fashion…
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Who can resist the charm of the country kitchen? This is a style that is all about warmth, welcome and good old-fashioned comfort – where the kitchen really is the heart of the home, wherever that home might be. Small or spacious, the country kitchen is always friendly, cosy and hospitable, as well as being practical and charmingly pretty.
Today’s country kitchen has its roots in the food storage, preparation and cooking areas of the great English houses. Open shelves and a larder cupboard, a dresser on which to display crockery, hanging racks and hooks for pots, pans and utensils, a trestle or refectory table, a deep ceramic sink and a traditional range cooker: none of these has changed much in centuries.
Buying a new country-style kitchen can be as inexpensive – or as pricey – as you wish, but it does help if you ensure that what you’re buying is well-made and durable. It is easily possible to buy just a few, high-quality cupboards and make up the rest of your storage space with open shelves, racks and rails, and pieces such as a dresser, table or sideboard picked up at auction. Older items will have that knocked-about look that prevents a new kitchen from feeling overly slick and modern.
Buying for keeps
Fitting a country kitchen is definitely a safe bet in terms of investing in your property, says Simon Buhl Davis, head of Savills Interiors. ‘A hand-built wooden Shaker kitchen will have enduring appeal and stand the test of time,’ he says. ‘With the current economic situation people need all the comforting they can get, something warm and cosy, that Shaker ethic: simplicity, utility and quality. It’s a much safer option than putting in a modern kitchen that’s hot now, but that will look out of date in five years. If you are going to spend £20,000 on a kitchen, it’s always best to choose something that will last.’
KITCHENS UP TO £20,000
Milton – Second Nature
Second Nature’s ‘Milton Sage’ kitchen features a traditional in-frame design and comes in a delicate sage green – ideal for combining with natural materials such as slate, timber, wicker, pewter and granite. This modern-rustic look is tied together with a cool stone floor.
Kitchens start at £15,000.
Shaker – Harvey Jones
Vaulted Kitchen - George Robinson Kitchens
A key design feature to this kitchen is the vaulted ceiling with exposed green oak beams. This design creates a look very similar to a barn conversion. The choice of cabinetry gives the kitchen a classic look and sheer quantity of draws and cabinets, provide plentiful storage.
THE INGREDIENTS OF THE COUNTRY KITCHEN
A solid-wood kitchen, either left natural or painted a subtle, pale colour, is key to the country kitchen look. Doors should be Shaker-style – tongue-and-groove or simply panelled – and be fitted with wooden or ceramic knobs, or cup-shaped handles. Wall units could feature some glazing, or be replaced by open shelves for an informal effect. If you can find space for a dresser and/or larder, so much the better, while an enamelled range cooker makes the perfect centrepiece. Add a ceramic butler’s sink, beamed ceiling, stone-flagged floor, butcher’s block, hanging rack for pans and utensils, and a farmhouse dining table. Then go to town with accessories – cake stands, mixing bowls, tea cosies and egg cups, wicker baskets, enamelware and wirework and crockery in pretty colours and patterns.
KITCHENS OVER £20,000
Ash Kitchen – Jasper & Co
An average Jasper & Co kitchen starts at £20,000.
Long House – Plain English
Prices start from £20,000; the average cost is £30,000.
Milan – Mark Wilkinson
A kitchen that portrays pure style without clutter, the Milan kitchen has hand-stitched leather handles and soft curved lines that create fluid elegance. The Milan kitchen represents all that the city has to offer, promise and excitement.
A Mark Wilkinson kitchen starts from £35,000.
New Brasserie – Smallbone
Kitchens from Smallbone of Devizes start at £35,000.
Original Freestanding Kitchen – Chalon
Chalon kitchens cost from £30,000.
Painted kitchen – Newcastle Furniture Co
Feature Katherine Sorrel