We are absolutely delighted to have our Cathedral View project featured in this months edition of EKBB magazine.
Unable to find a home to buy, Emily and Oliver Gray built one from scratch – designing a striking kitchen that makes the most of the beautiful countryside views
Photos Paul Craig Words Amelia Thorpe
Keen to find a new home with more space for family life with their two young sons, Emily and Oliver Gray found themselves searching Lincolnshire with a fine toothcomb. “We wanted to stay in the area, because the countryside is so peaceful and beautiful, but it was difficult to find a house that gave us great views – and on the few occasions that we did, the properties were pinched from under our noses,” explains Emily, full-time mum to Charlie (7) and Joshua (5).
Then they stumbled across a plot of land in the ideal location, not far from Oliver’s office, where he runs his own business. “We had always rather liked the idea of building our own home, but plots of land with great views are even rarer than houses, so when this one came along, we felt it was too good an opportunity to miss,” says Emily.
The family were able to continue living in their existing home while plans were developed for a new build, 7-bedroom, cedar-clad farmhouse, including maximum glazing to ensure an interior filled with natural light and to afford the best possible views of the surrounding countryside. While the application for planning permission was in progress, Emily and Oliver followed up a recommendation and met with Maria-Elianna Constantinou, senior design manager at Krantz Designs, to create their kitchen. “We knew we wanted an open plan design with plenty of wow, because we love having friends and family to stay,” says Emily. “Our aim was to create somewhere designed as the heart of our home, with room to socialise and areas to gather for breakfast and dinner.”
The layout is designed to accommodate every family and social situation: island bar stools, comfortable upholstered banquette seating around a breakfast table, and dining table positioned in front of full height sliding glass doors with views of the fields beyond. The large island is the focus of the room, backed by a run of tall cabinets for storage and built-in appliances, and a well-planned sink zone. “It is a very practical and welcoming family space,” says Emily. “I love the blend of dark colour and warm metal accents – together with that wonderful view.”
Bespoke Wollaton Shaker in-frame cabinetry is painted in Farrow & Ball Railings for dramatic effect, the bold colour offset by accents of walnut, brass and copper for subtle glamour and warmth. Dark grey marble-effect Holyrood quartz worktops and burnished metal pendant lights complete the eye-catching design.
Senior Design Manager, Krantz Designs
How did you begin the project?
We worked on the layout initially, focussing on creating distinct zones to be used at different times of the day. It made sense to position the dining table in front of the best views of the garden, with the breakfast area tucked into a nook to one side of the room. For the cooking area, we wanted to create an immediate sense of impact as you enter the room from the front door, hence the block of tall cabinets and large island, painted in a strong, dark colour.
Can you tell us about the style of the cabinetry and the dark colour?
It is classic in-frame furniture with square pilasters and skirting, creating a timeless appeal. Its clean-lined simplicity and symmetry gives it a contemporary edge, as do brushed gunmetal handles. The dark painted finish creates a strong sense of definition in such a large room, filled with natural light – we felt that pale colours would have looked bland.
And the walnut and burnished metals?
We added the walnut panel on the front side of the island with an aged brass footrest to add some rich colour – plus a footrest makes it more comfortable to sit on a bar stool. Walnut has also been used to make the breakfast table with its layered pedestal, creating a striking feature. Copper details, including bar stools and specially-made mesh in the glassware cupboard, ‘lift’ the look and add a touch more warmth and character.