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