In the heart of the English countryside, a 17th century detached family home now has the versatile, and historically sympathetic kitchen its owners dreamed of.
‘The brief was to design an open-plan social space that remained in keeping with the era of the property,’ said Alex Main, Director of The Main Company. ‘To achieve this we installed a large kitchen island with additional breakfast bar seating and kept the décor light and airy.’
As part of this full property renovation in rural Sussex, The Main Company were charged with creating kitchen ideas for an open-plan space that would serve as the family’s communal hub.
We took a tour of the space and talked to Main about how they created this charmingly rustic kitchen with modern touches and sustainable secrets.
1. Get raw with reclaimed wood
Using unpainted wood will usually lend a touch of rusticity to any kitchen – but for a farmhouse feel that is as good for the world as it looks, choose raw, reclaimed wood. A more sustainable choice than newly sourced lumber, it also lends a historic feel to new kitchens.
As well as exposing beams and adding accents through wooden shelving and surfaces, The Main Company also installed a reclaimed barn oak floor that runs through the kitchen and into the living room. The floor’s uneven tones and grains create a true farmhouse kitchen feel.
2. Ensure your island is versatile
The kitchen island ideas were a huge part of the design for this space – not just to create the kind of social atmosphere the family craved, but as a key functional aid. As well as the reclaimed timber-topped breakfast bar that reaches around its corner, the island also houses ample storage, both a Caple wine fridge and a wine rack, a Lanache oven and an integrated glass hob. The island is not just a communal center for the space, but is the kitchen’s beating heart.
3. Bolt on a boot room
‘One of my favourite parts of this design is the bespoke boot room,’ said Main, discussing the mudroom ideas they added to the top corner of the L-shaped kitchen space. ‘We supplied reclaimed cladding, which not only created an impactful feature wall but perfectly complemented the more rustic, traditional elements of the property, including oak beams, metal accents and exposed brickwork.’
Using a nook like this for a deliberate purpose is a great way of creating natural flow in an awkwardly shaped space, and allows for a brief, boot-removing repose before entering into the throng of the kitchen.
4. Create depth with tones of grey
Grey kitchen ideas are a huge trend at the moment, and this room is certainly in the loop. Not one, but two types of grey are used for the shaker-style cabinets in this kitchen – a dark blue-grey ‘Basalt’ and a pale ‘Ceviche’, both from Little Greene. Not only are these color choices perfectly contemporary neutrals that ground the space in the 2020s, but their tonal nature helps add depth to the kitchen’s design.
5. Mix rusticity with sleek modern touches
As well as the paint choice, this rustic kitchen is given balance through the use of numerous, but subtly deployed modern kitchen ideas. The brushed stainless steel Quooker tap matches the glimmering metallics of the large Fisher & Paykel fridge-freezer, as well as the high tech Westin extractor fan that has been installed in the ceiling above the island’s hob. As well as these more obvious mod cons, the rustic textures of the wooden accents is balanced out by the seriously slick worktops, made from Omega Stone’s Westminster White quartz.
Kitchen design / The Main Company
Photography / Chris Snook
I started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. I then spent three years at the Evening Standard on the GO London team, covering restaurants and bars, and getting to eat and drink a veritable smorgasbord of wonderful things around the city. I left the paper in 2020 and went freelance, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures. A little less than a year later, I started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing me to fully indulge my love of good interior design.
Dining room storage ideas – 11 ways to keep your space clutter-free
Good-looking dining room storage ideas are a must if you want your space to look simply stunning for socializing...
By Lucy Searle •
A fisherman's cottage kitchen in Cornwall is given a bold look that bridges old and new – perfectly
Using a well-loved kitchen from one of the deVOL showrooms, the owners of this cottage kitchen have created a bright room with a nod to traditional style
By Lola Houlton •