Case study: Cool, calm and collected

Drew Forsyth created this bespoke Georgian-style kitchen with plenty of unique touches to make it perfectly suited to the needs of its thoroughly modern clients.

A relaxed, calm, spacious living kitchen that makes the most of the incredible views of the countryside. That was the wish list when the owners of this period property set about reconfiguring the kitchen to create a space that was more in line with their modern lifestyle. 

Overall, the finished space would need to perform on a variety of levels, much like many modern kitchens where family life is played out. This is a space that will be used to enjoy the art of cooking and home baking, fine dining with family, gathering socially with friends and, just as importantly, relaxing. 

For Drew Forsyth’s designer, the onus was on creating a kitchen that mixed practical cooking spaces with social gathering and plenty of storage – all with one eye on the various period features of the room, which the couple were keen to retain. The finished room exudes a timeless style, thanks to its elegant, classic proportions and detailing. 

There is no clearer example of this than in the arched alcoves – an original feature of the room that presented a design challenge before proving to be a style statement. Instead of being blocked off and modernised, the alcoves were made into a feature of the room in their own right. The result is far from just aesthetic, though, as the cupboards that have been created also resulted in much-needed and requested storage space, hidden behind bifold doors, complete with up-lighting to set the mood after dark. 

The hand-painted, in-frame Georgian cabinetry, complemented by Westminster White quartz worktops, ensure the kitchen remains in keeping with the building’s era. The blend of blue and white colouring helps lift the room, which was otherwise quite dark and overpowering.  

The island unit is not only a great storage solution and an informal dining area, it is also perfect for practical tasks like food preparation and washing up. The single white bowl undermount sink maintains the colour balance and simplicity of the clean lines and is just the right size for maximising the preparation space to either side. The island was a key element in the kitchen design as it housed both the sink and dishwasher. With a Fisher and Paykel CoolDrawer also built in here, the appliance is integrated with matching furniture doors for a seamless look.

Internally, the furniture works just as hard, with storage elements such as bespoke cutlery holders and deep drawers helping to keep the finished room in perfect order. 

The end result is a calm, cosy and relaxed kitchen, fit for work, rest and play that bears more than a passing nod to its history. 

The simplicity of design found in the shaker door panels and square supporting framework was sympathetic to the style of the existing wall panelling. This set the tone for the room as a whole. It is the smaller touches that tie this look together, including the small wrought iron studs on the kitchen doors added to match those featured on existing panelling.

A special feature of the room are the alcove bifold units, the doors of which open to reveal worktops, quickly turning this into another primary preparation area complete with LED lighting. 

Up-lighting was also used to good effect on top of the alcove units and hidden around the picture rail of the existing wall panelling to create the sense of increased ceiling height.

When working with buildings that have any type of period features, the challenge is to work with them where possible. This helps retain the sense of character and ensures the finished effect is in line with the look and feel of the property overall. This was certainly the case with this kitchen, with the arched alcoves being a beautiful existing feature that the client was keen to keep. 

A simple installation workaround for these may have been to face them with some dummy panelling, but this would have meant losing the curves. Instead we created templates of each curve and fitted the framework and cupboards to fit, complete with bifold doors to finish the look off. This is a really good example of the advantages of bespoke furniture. 

Home > Indepth > Case study: Cool, calm and collected