With each series of The Great British Bake Off we become ever more inspired by the budding bakers (and the assiduous comments of baking doyenne Mary Berry).
It’s not just about what you measure into the bowl though – the best bakes come out of a kitchen you want to spend time in. So, in honour of the 2016 series of Bake Off (and an extra slice of cake all ’round), we have picked out five of our favourite kitchens, each of which showcases some brilliant decorating and storage ideas for the all-important mixing bowls and tins.
A mix of all eras
‘Mixing styles and eras is all about being confident and thinking, ‘Yes, this will work”, says interior designer Louise Convert. A local firm made the kitchen units in her kitchen from recycled scaffolding boards, while the vintage ladder is from AG Hendy & Co. The old copper pans have been collected from eBay and the cabinet is a vintage French piece.
Spencer Swaffer and his wife Freya both have an eye for the unusual. Spencer bought his first antiques aged 11: three scarab beetles that he bought for six pence and sold, along with some other archaelogical finds, for £50. The kitchen in their Georgian home, with its exposed-brick wall, has an industrial feel. Eames ‘DSW’ dining chairs are juxtaposed with a 1940s Parisian machinist’s lamp from a French flea market and an 1820s heart-shaped wine merchant’s sign, also found in France.
Relaxed country style
The kitchen of this Cotswold-stone cottage dates back around 200 years. By keeping some of its original features, such as the exposed stone wall, while fitting in new cabinets (with plenty of shelves for the pans), the kitchen maintains its period feel with a fresh, clean attitude. The addition of the shelf above the stove allows for displays of personal crockery and maximizes the available space. ‘When you take a building right back and start again, everything about it is yours,’ says the owner, Sam Wilson.
‘You can’t go far wrong if you keep Tuscany in mind,’ says Sheila Wallace, arranging sweetpeas in the kitchen of her Regency seaside home near Whitstable. Around her, sunlight floods in creating haloes around the antique copper saucepans, 19th-century continental chairs and whitewashed fittings. The Victorian storage jars on the kitchen shelves have been bought from various fairs and antiques shops over the years. The cow overlooking the over-sized butter dish was bought from dealer Tina Pasco.
Although not strictly a kitchen, we can’t help but imagine how good the church pew dining set up in Salvage Hunter Drew Pritchard’s home would look laden with baked goods! Drew has been familiar with church interiors for a long time – he started out apprenticed to a stained-glass restorer. His collection of ecclesiastical pieces includes crosses, statues, pews, an altar and a lot of kneelers. ‘I own so many kneelers I hardly know what to do with them. When the kids were small, they would use them to climb up the dining table,’ he laughs.