A Cornish Kitchen

We are half way through the kitchen renovation down at Leat House and it’s suddenly dawned on me that I haven’t shared any of my plans or designs with you all!

From the outset I knew I had to work with the Cornish charm of our 200 year old property – with it’s uneven floors, low ceilings, wonky walls and original Rayburn (a far cry from my own home!). I knew I wanted a shaker-style kitchen with in-frame doors, no high level cabinets and a stone worktop, but what I needed help with was the physical layout of the units.

The kitchen is small and quirky so everything needs to be bespoke built. Knowing what each unit could or could not be (based on bespoke measurements) was crucial and only a kitchen designer, with an understanding of kitchen manufacture, could help me with this.

The kitchen previously
This is how the kitchen looked when we bought the house in 2017

In September last year I began the kitchen design process by visiting a selection of different suppliers to get a range of design ideas and also a range of prices. Due to the bespoke nature of this project I had to approach companies who could offer a made-to-measure kitchen (which inevitably pushed the budget up…).

Ever since I saw this DeVOL kitchen (inserted below), I have lusted over the thought of having one in our own cottage. Their paired back designs and classic shaker style is everything I wanted for Leat House. Sadly, my budget couldn’t quite stretch to DeVOL prices and neither did I think a hand-painted kitchen was appropriate for a holiday home and rental. I know from first hand experience that it can easily get knocked, chipped and scuffed from general wear and tear. At home I installed spray finished kitchen units in our utility room and they are much more durable and hardwearing, but they still look great!

Kitchen inspiration

After much searching, product comparing and design tweaking I found a relatively local, family-run company based in South Devon. Wisteria Kitchens designs, supplies and installs British made kitchens from 3 leading manufacturers.

Whilst the owners, Sam and Michele (husband and wife team) were really helpful and approachable, initially I wasn’t sure if they could provide me with what I was looking for as up until now, they hadn’t offered front-to-back, fully bespoke kitchen design and customisation. However, this was an area they wanted to explore so we agreed I would be their guinea pig and give it a shot!

I am striving to achieve a high-end, bespoke kitchen but without the associated high-end price tag that you get from some of the more established brands.

Wisteria Kitchens
Sam from Wisteria Kitchens (image taken from their website)

I have been working closely with Sam to come up with the right design. We have designed every aspect from scratch using inspiration found via Pinterest (see collage below), to guide the look and feel of the kitchen.

Kitchen mood board

The cabinets are an in-frame shaker style with soft close doors, dovetail drawer finishes and oak internals. I chose Farrow & Ball’s ‘Drop Cloth‘ as a colour for the woodwork which we were able to colour match. The units were then sprayed in the factory prior to installation to give it a quality (yet hardwearing) finish.

kitchen manufacturekitchen manufacture

Sam’s 3D CAD drawings and 2D plans below have been a great addition to the design process, making the visualisation that much easier.

Pete, the kitchen fitter, has been working on site for the last 10 days and has been fantastic. When I met him for the first time last week he greeted me with a warm welcome, a friendly smile and came across so passionately about his work and craftsmanship. Together we went through some finer details (a few measurement tweaks) to ensure everything was on track.

We have opted for some bespoke fitted seating at the front of the kitchen, below the window, to provide a sociable breakfast eating area. Previously we had a large round pine table and 4 high back chairs there which completely consumed the space.

The low level seating is streamlined to the walls and also doubles up as storage which should maximise the space and allow for an easy walkway through into the kitchen and beyond.

kitchen seating Kitchen seating previously

For the worktops I have opted for the same stone as I have here in my own home – Silestone quartz in the colour ‘Yukon‘. It’s off-white in colour, has a lovely soft mottled tone to it and has been sourced from a local company that Wisteria work closely with called SCI Masonry. The kitchen previously had black worktops which made the room feel quite dark. I’m hoping that the new light worktops will bounce light around and make the space feel that bit brighter.

The same units and worktops will flow through to the larder and utility room. Below is an image of the utility room now and some CAD designs to give you an indication of it will look once complete. I’ve gone with an open base unit so we can put dogs bed under there and a floor-to-ceiling cleaning cupboard to house the ironing board, iron, brooms etc.

Utility room Utility room cupboardsCleaning cupboard internals

There will also be a fitted bench and some coat hooks in the utility room, similar to the below image;

Utility bespoke carpentry

The larder will have a built-in unit with basket drawers and a full standing fridge freezer. I’ll also put the microwave in there which will sit on top of the quartz worktop.

Larder plans

Lastly, I have opted for antique brass hardware for all the kitchen cupboard door knobs, cup handles, walls lights and ceiling pendants. These are the ones I have purchased;

So there you have it, the kitchen, larder and utility room designs for Leat House – I just hope it all comes together!!

Thanks for reading, SJ xxx



  1. March 10, 2020 / 12:13 pm

    Very excited to see the end product, I love your creativity with the space!

  2. Lorna
    March 10, 2020 / 1:53 pm

    Hi what flooring have you used please?

    • justalittlebuild
      March 10, 2020 / 2:02 pm

      We have the original slate which is lovely but we’ve had to relay in places as it is so uneven!

  3. Linda
    March 10, 2020 / 2:42 pm

    I’m sure this is going to look wonderful! Really well thought out – the hidden storage is such a great use of the given space! Can’t wait to see the finished kitchen!

  4. Wendy
    March 10, 2020 / 5:45 pm

    Can’t wait to see this evolve, it is going to be stunning!

  5. Rebecca Day
    March 10, 2020 / 8:36 pm

    Looking fab SJ. Can’t wait to see the finished pictures!

  6. Mo
    March 10, 2020 / 10:29 pm

    Sounds amazing. Look forward to seeing all the progress.

  7. Kelly
    March 11, 2020 / 11:17 am

    I can’t wait to see all your hard work come to life! It will be amazing ❤

  8. Patricia Basso
    March 11, 2020 / 5:19 pm

    Looking forward to see it finished 😍

  9. Lisa
    March 11, 2020 / 6:45 pm

    Looks really good….look forward to seeing the finished kitchen. Exciting. Love the inset doors…never thought about that before. x

  10. Paula
    March 12, 2020 / 3:07 pm

    This looks fab already. I’ve pinned your kitchen cupboard handles as I’m renovating my kitchen at the moment & love the style of your houses. I’m also changing door handles throughout the house. Would you have any recommendations as to good suppliers for these please? Struggling to decide which metal for these!

  11. Rachel Dawson
    October 25, 2020 / 7:55 pm

    Beautiful kitchen! Can I ask what is the name of the tiles you chose over the job/cooker? I can see they look like subway tiles but slightly softer. Thank you!

    • justalittlebuild
      October 26, 2020 / 8:06 am

      They are farmhouse tiles from Wickes

  12. Suzanne
    December 10, 2020 / 10:02 am

    Please can you let me know the colours used on the wall and cupboards in the entrance area where the coats are hung. Sooo love your tastes and thank you for sharing.

    • justalittlebuild
      December 13, 2020 / 9:24 pm

      Hi, of course, we have Wimborne white on the walls and Drop Cloth on the cupboards/bench. Both F&B colours.

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