Signature bespoke in-frame Shaker kitchen by Searle & Taylor

The designer: Darren Taylor at Searle & Taylor

The photographer: Paul Craig

The story: The beautiful original beams that feature throughout this large Grade II Listed farmhouse that dates back to the 15th Century presented an interesting challenge for the design of this in-frame Shaker kitchen-diner designed by Darren Taylor, managing director at Searle & Taylor.

The homeowners, a couple with a young child who work in property development, commissioned Searle & Taylor because of the company’s ability to produce completely bespoke furniture to the highest standards with a design that would respect the architecture of the property.

Designer Q&A:

Q) What were the challenges of a Listed building?

The long rectangular kitchen space measures 6.5m x 3.8m and features a central joist running the length of the room with cross beams that drastically reduce its height. In order to perfectly fit the tall floor to ceiling cabinetry leading to the dining area, the floor had to be lowered and dispensation made where the beam ends and the cabinetry starts so that all cupboard doors would easily open; the slimline cupboard beneath the beam in this run is much lower than the others. The tall cabinetry also accommodates a full-height Liebherr fridge and a bank of Gaggenau Vario 400 series ovens. This leads to a glass-fronted cupboard for glasses and decorative items above a recessed worktop with a drawer and cupboards beneath for cutlery and serveware.

Q) How did you design with these challenges in mind?

A specialist in designing curved and circular furniture, Darren suggested creating the dining area in a curve with beadboard panelling and open oak shelving above an integrated circular seating area that seats four people. He also designed the circular oak dining table to fit perfectly in the recess, which is made from solid oak with a central onyx insert that can be backlit at night. This feature area softens the look of the room; it also reflects the architectural style of the farmhouse and the shelving complements the original beams.

Q) Tell us about the storage

On the run facing the tall cabinetry are slimline cupboards leading to natural oak spice drawers above bespoke pull-out chopping boards, which are on either side of the Everhot range cooker in Sage Green, which has a 90cm built-in Westin cooker hood above. The splashback features patterned tiles from Fired Earth. The inglenook was designed in the traditional Shaker style, with a natural solid oak shelf above it.

Q) And the condiment cabinet?

On the diagonal elevation and to complement the spherical dining table is a circular condiment cabinet with two internal rotating oak shelves. It also features a worktop in solid oak with the central section, again in onyx that can also be underlit at night that in turn forms a relationship in proportion with the breakfast table. Directly behind is open shelving for teapots and cake stands.

Q) Tell us about the breakfast cabinet

Within a recessed run is a floor to ceiling breakfast cabinet, which was designed to fit exactly beneath the exposed beams. In a Signature style for Searle & Taylor, it features storage drawers in a four-three-two pattern beneath a granite worktop. Above is a stepped back cupboard with bi-fold pocket doors, another specialism of Searle & Taylor. These feature decorative glass insets, as the cupboard has internal LED lighting, again to make a feature of the pantry at night. When the doors a fully opened they reveal a tea station that accommodates cups, saucers, bowls and plates together with a toaster and a coffee machine.

Q) The sink area works really well, what did you include here?

Facing into the room is the sink run, which is beneath two double windows. This includes storage and utility cupboards and an integrated Miele dishwasher, together with a large double pull-out bin with two 45 litre bins to the left -and side of the sink. The 30mm thick worksurface and 100mm high upstands are made from Blanco Eclipsia granite, which is featured throughout the kitchen. The white ceramic double bowl farmhouse sink is by Villeroy & Boch and the tap is a Quooker Classic Fusion Round Boiling Water tap. All bun knobs and bar handles are finished in a satin chrome plate and are by Armac Martin.

The details:

Furniture and design by Searle & Taylor

Handles by Armac Martin

Appliances by Everhot, Gaggenau, Kaelo, Liebherr, Miele and Westin

Sink and tap by Villeroy & Boch and Quooker

Tiles by Fired Earth

Lighting by Jim Lawrence

Chairs by Ercol

Hayley loves: how sympathetically this kitchen has been designed with its surroundings. It’s a beautiful homage to the Grade II Listed home and is as practical as it is elegant.

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