Monday, September 29, 2014

Kitchen of the Week: Beach-House Beauty With a Practical Style

Proximity to the sea and miles of rugged headland for walking attracted Hugh and Ruth Pittman to buy a ramshackle house in Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall, in southwest England. The original structure had to go, but the new wood-framed house that replaced it provided the couple with a relaxing home away from home, as well as a rental property brimming with character.

Anticipating that the kitchen would be the heart of their new vacation home, the couple enlisted the help of kitchen designer Stephen Graver, who consulted with the architect to create a relaxing design that existed in harmony with the rest of the house. “Working with the architect allowed me to make the best possible use of space in the kitchen,” Graver says. “We were able to redesign the windows to emphasize the symmetry of the room.”

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: Hugh and Ruth Pittman
Location: Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall, England

In keeping with the style of the property, Graver opted for a relaxed beach-house feel. “The finished kitchen is certainly robust enough for rental purposes, but it’s also a very calming and charming room that’s perfectly in tune with its surroundings,” he says. The soft lines of the country-style accessories enhance the Shaker-style cabinets, while the neutral palette, peppered with soft blues, references the property’s coastal surroundings. Graver used Farrow & Ball’s Parma Gray on the kitchen island, capturing the sea colors nearby.

The double-width island is the heart of the kitchen, but it is a practical as well as beautiful feature, Graver says. “Hugh and Ruth wanted a design that could withstand lots of use, so the island had to be robust,” he says. The glinting white quartz countertop is harder wearing than marble and reflects the abundant natural light streaming in from the generous windows. Storage and a dishwasher are concealed underneath the island, which also serves as a laid-back dining area. A double Belfast sink with a Perrin & Rowe faucet keeps the pretty look grounded.

“The windows were much smaller in the original plans,” Graver says. “We turned the process on its head and planned the fixtures and fittings first, before redesigning the windows around the kitchen, to ensure the room has a sense of symmetry.”

Built-in floor-to-ceiling cabinets between the windows conceal a fridge-freezer, as well as storage to ensure clutter is kept out of sight. The burnt-oak flooring — used throughout the house — is another practical solution. It conceals cozy underfloor heating for when the temperature dips.

Kitchen of the Week: Beach-House Beauty With a Practical Style

Kitchen of the Week: Beach-House Beauty With a Practical Style

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