When Sam Dunning and Ted Pearce bought their late 19th-century cottage they knew that they had fallen in love with its period character. It had been a pair of almshouses and is in Worcestershire, on the edge of the Cotswolds. They moved into the house in 1996 and took a slow but steady approach to the work they wanted to do, over time adding a snug and extending the dining room; it wasn’t until recently that they finally tackled the kitchen.
The existing shiny white work surfaces, terracotta floor and small appliances were functional but were in need of a facelift and the primary drawback of the room was its size, which was aggravated by it doubling as a utility room. Sam is a keen cook and wanted lots of space to prepare food, and also chose a large Smeg fridge and a Britannia range cooker, incorporated into a room which harmonised with the rest of the house.
From their first meeting with Parlour Farm designer Nick Grunfeld (parlourfarm.com) they knew they’d found the right team. The brief was to retain the period feel while making it feel larger and less cluttered, and to provide as much food preparation space as possible filled with natural light. Nick designed a bespoke kitchen that ensured every detail was just as Sam and Ted wanted, from the cabinets to the handles.
For Sam, the project was a chance to achieve everything they’d always hoped for in a kitchen. She explains: ‘We were keen to have limestone flooring, a Belfast sink and oak worktops to complement the ceiling beam and doors.’ The placement of the large fridge-freezer and range cooker were central to making the room work and both appliances, though large, now manage to blend in with the soft colours of creams and duck egg blues. Sam had also wanted a solution to concealing the boiler, and this, along with the washing machine, dishwasher, and dustbin, are hidden behind cabinet doors.
Ample storage also doubles up as an effective way to display chosen glassware and crockery. With all the work completed, Sam and Ted are delighted with their beautiful new kitchen. With friends and family frequently gathering as Sam cooks for them, the new kitchen has more than fulfilled its brief.