For many, the kitchen is more than just a place for cooking: it’s a place for relaxation, social events and the hub of the family, and Kim and Russell are no exception in this case. With a south-facing room that overlooks their newly landscaped garden and Oldbury Woods National Trust park, there was plenty of potential to create a multifunctional and open-plan area connecting a modern interior with the rural outdoors.
Russell said, ‘We always knew we were dealing with a difficult house, with parts of the kitchen that were a little awkward, but it had so much potential, and we wanted all of the best aspects to feel connected and open.’
Finding the balance between traditional and modern, and incorporating enough storage space for the family, along with the room to clean, cook, work and play can be tricky. ‘Storage is so important for us, with room for a double sink and a big enough fridge,’ Kim said. However, they decided that through adding an extension – and creating a more modern, functional space – they wouldn’t have to sacrifice the more characterful traits of the old cottage.
After visiting Neptune Tonbridge and meeting with their kitchen designer, Vicky, they felt confident that they’d found the team to help them make the most of their home. ‘Vicky really got it. She had a vision of how to use awkward spaces. She advised us on which cabinets to put where, and how to include a large family fridge, and she completely transformed the room into what it is today,’ Kim added.
The couple decided on a Chichester kitchen in Shell, combining traditional cabinetry with a clean, stream-lined finish. They also had room for a utility, which meant they could move some of the bigger cabinets and appliances out of the kitchen. Kim opted for grey walls to match their Everhot and to create a calming and peaceful atmosphere that complements the natural light and peaceful outdoors.
‘The kitchen is very much the centre of the house now. Where it once felt disconnected and bare, it really feels like home,’ said Russell. ‘From the outside, the house still looks old, but once you step inside you can see how we’ve mixed contemporary design with the traditional features of the building.’