The Oxfordshire Shaker Kitchen

Jan and Mark live in a wonderfully executed barn conversion, surrounded by the beautiful English countryside, in the county of Oxfordshire. The traditional structure has a distinctive character; featuring  exposed, dark Oak beams and sweeping curved walls. The property’s existing kitchen and hallway were separated by a dividing wall that was positioned to create a walkthrough; but this wall only succeeded in making both spaces seem a lot smaller and restricted the amount of natural ight. So when the couple brought in Cherrywood Bespoke to update their kitchen, they discussed the idea of removing the dividing wall to open the space up. The Cherrywood team were hugely in favour of removing the wall as it would create a larger footprint to deliver the couples’ vision for their new kitchen.

Once the removal of the wall was completed and the new, bigger (and much brighter) space had been created, Cherrywood set about designing a bespoke kitchen based on Jan and Mark's brief. They wanted to create an authentic Shaker kitchen with classic and timeless design appeal. Although it was not necessarily historically and architecturally correct, they felt it suited the feel of the barn. The kitchen presented a design challenge due the thick curved walls that are neither square or plumb, so Cherrywood proposed designs that used both bespoke curved and more conventional cabinetry.

A Shaws Pendle sink was chosen for the space, which was installed neatly beneath a narrow window.

This allowed light to stream in and provides a view to the outdoors whilst washing dishes . Aesthetically, the Pendle sink perfectly complements the Shaker philosophy of practical, simple and highly functional design. The bespoke cabinetry was finished in European Oak then handpainted in Chambers Gate No.85 (a soft pale grey) with the Island cabinetry painted in Oratory No.237 (a dark Anthracite colour) for contrast. Both colours are available from Mylands.

The island was a key requirement for Jan and Mark, and because the original space couldn’t accommodate such a large design feature, they were keen to incorporate one into their new layout. They discussed the size of the island a number of times and decided on a size that was still practical, but left enough space for free movement around the room.

The island and cabinetry was crowned with a bright Stataurio White granite worktop featuring a pencil-rounded edge. This was polished to perfection for a clean, crisp finish that adds a lightness to the space. The cabinetry is adorned with Burnished Brass handles by Armac Martin, which pushes the boundaries of the kitchen’s Shaker values beyond practical and into the realms of luxury. The reeded glass in the cabinets is a nice detail that fits well with the overall look. The textured lime-plastered walls bring a period-correct brightness to the room and succeed in both emphasising the Oak beams and offsetting their imposingly dark presence. The bright walls also provide a perfect backdrop for the decorative items on the open shelves that complete the Shaker look.