REAL ROOMS: THE KITCHEN
The brief: to create a large, open, family-friendly and practical kitchen which maximised the stunning views of the sea and the quality of light
Barnes of Ashburton has a reputation for their stunning bespoke kitchens – and as this example proves, they deserve every bit of it.
‘Our brief was to create a large, open, family-friendly and practical kitchen which maximised the stunning views of the sea and the quality of light,’ says the lucky owner of this kitchen, David Pond. ‘This was fulfilled by situating the kitchen area at one end of the room and creating a dining/social area at the other end where full-wall length glass doors form a wall which folds out onto a decking area. In the kitchen area itself everything has been kept low so there are no wall units or distractions at eye level. This draws you to the stunning seascape in front of you.
To maximise preparation areas and storage the kitchen also boasts a large island. The family-friendly concept was helped by incorporating some of the owner’s existing furniture such as an old Victorian dresser which they stripped and painted in the same colour blue as the units. There’s also an old large oak kitchen table – the sort you might find in a farmhouse kitchen.
The social aspect was very important. ‘We have twins of eight-years-old and the kitchen is an important living room for us,’ explains David. ‘The children sit at the table and draw, play games or paint and crayon while we prepare meals and catch up with them after school and work. It is also the focus for entertaining – guests always congregate in kitchens at parties and the design of ours facilitates this. Likewise for dinner parties we are not stuck in a room on our own cooking or preparing, but we are part of the scene. For barbecues the kitchen is a seamless part of an outside dining and social area.’
One of the highlight elements of the kitchen is the colour. ‘Ultimately the blue was our choice. We wanted to capture and enhance the seascape and bring it into the kitchen. Debbie from Barnes has a great eye for what works and she helped us build the full kitchen palette with a wonderful understated but contrasting colour for the remaining base units. She also gave great advice on worktops.’
The family admit their favourite element is the island. ‘We love the island,’ he says. ‘It is so practical and a joy to use. Again Debbie’s advice was perfect here as we were worried that it would be too large and look out of perspective with the rest of the kitchen. She persuaded us that it would look great and she was absolutely right. We also sourced some fantastic lights for over the island. These we got from Skinflint in Falmouth and they were formally airfield landing lights!
‘We actually started thinking about the kitchen about a year before we were ready to actually get started. This was when we visited Barnes and began the planning process. We fixed the design quite quickly but then at leisure selected colours, and things like the taps, sinks, cooker and so on. The kitchen units and fitting were achieved very quickly and the Barnes fitting team moved in as soon as the builders had completed the room. It took eight men to lift the island worktop which is made of stone and carry it through the park and in through the kitchen doors.
Barnes of Ashburton were chosen for their high quality – not only of the furniture – but also the customer services. The company has been creating kitchens for more than 30 years. This kitchen perfectly illustrates how they have been so successful in such a volatile marketplace.
‘There are lots of kitchen providers and with the scale of our renovation we have dealt with numerous suppliers of all manner of things,’ says David. ‘We have to say that Barnes has stood out above them all. The kitchen is of a very high quality, was achieved at reasonable cost and the quality of customer experience from everyone at Barnes has been just outstanding,’ he says. ‘We love the final result.’