From awkward to seamless, perfecting the floor plan
The mother of this young family described her kitchen as ‘very awkward’, with a door in the middle of every single wall. “I’d been agonising over the right place to put the Aga,” she says, “because people wouldn’t be able to walk through easily without getting in each other’s way.”
She also knew that you only get one chance to design a kitchen and, wanting it to be perfect, she got in touch with Countryside Kitchens & Interiors. Shona has an amazing knack for visualising space potential and she immediately spotted the solution – moving the Aga and placing it against the opposite wall.
“It was a wall I hadn’t considered, but it was a compromise that really worked. Everything fell into place after that.”
Countryside Kitchens & Interiors came up with a design that completely reversed the kitchen to give access through French doors onto the garden and patio, with the main sink now also facing the lovely garden view.
“The flow of the kitchen is so much better now. We’ve arranged it so that we can have five of us round the breakfast bar, and the children love to sit and have some squash and chat while I’m cooking, so it’s a very sociable place.”
Storage space was also a big priority – “you can never have enough” – and ceiling-height cupboards were chosen, with clean lines for an uncluttered look, as well as a huge walk-in fridge. “It’s amazing – it only takes up a one square metre footprint, but you can stand two people in it!”
To create the ‘magic triangle’ of cooker, sink and fridge for efficient workflow, a second small fridge was installed in the island. “This gets used for small things, butter, milk, cheese… so that I can quickly get the kids a snack.” Shona and the family also discussed a few unusual bespoke storage features to help minimise clutter and keep worktops free.
“The breadmaker has its own cupboard with a socket inside, so I just fill it up, shut the door and away it goes. The Kitchen Aid mixer also has a pull-out shelf that clicks into place, giving an added workspace. I don’t need to dig it out, unwind the cable, plug it in. It just pops up, gets used, I wash the bowl and beaters and put it away.”
The Winchester Chateaux tiles behind the Aga make a stunning feature in the kitchen. This beautiful range is inspired by the rich colours of ancient Persia, Morocco, Turkey and Andalusia. “The tiles are to die for,” says the owner. “Shona suggested them as something different – I hadn’t seen any like that before. The design is timeless, and everyone say ‘wow’ when they see them. The overall workmanship is fantastic – you can see that everything is hand built and hand finished.”
The kitchen transformation also gets the thumbs-up from her husband and daughter, who initially weren’t keen on change. “They weren’t wild about the upheaval, but now the kitchen is here, they think it’s fabulous – they love it!”