Journal

British Icon

Mary Berry

May. 2021

To be commissioned to design any kitchen is exciting and challenging in equal measure.  To be asked in 2018 to create the perfect family kitchen for Mary Berry and her husband Paul’s new home, was a wonderful opportunity to create a kitchen for a true British treasure, and for an exceptional cook.

Mary has published over 75 cookery books, she is an accomplished English food writer, chef, baker and television presenter.  It was a privilege for Guild Anderson to work with Mary and her team; who were a complete joy to work with.

Mary’s favourite appliance is an Aga, but Nick persuaded her to consider incorporating some more modern gadgets such as the Quooker hot tap and Miele Contourline cooking oven.  The idea was to also have the Miele Mastercool fridge, but sadly the ceilings were just that bit too low to accommodate it, so a Liebherr fridge freezer was chosen instead. 

As with any project Guild Anderson consider every detail; and on this occasion the lower than average ceilings added to the complexity of the project.  Nick gave the cabinetry as much height as possible with a slim gothic arched design that Mary chose.  He created an elegance to the room, allowing glass shelving in open cabinets and glazed cabinets either side of the Aga, all lit internally to add a lightness.

Mary wanted to keep the working area of the kitchen compact to minimise on walking; allowing her to turn effortlessly from the large prep area on the kitchen island to her Aga behind.  She and Paul enjoy eating together so she requested a small oak table to be made at the end of the island as space for them.  Mary is an avid collector of mugs, sitting hens and old-fashioned kitchen utensils; Nick incorporated a large feature wall frame to house these charming objects.

Anyone who has watched Mary’s TV shows will know that she adores family life and entertaining has always played a key role.  Guild Anderson were commissioned to design a larger table that could easily seat eight to ten; to be placed in the beautiful hexagonal extension surrounded by windows but very much attached to the kitchen.  The workshop created a bespoke one-off oak starburst pedestal table, finished in a white oil which we endlessly checked wouldn’t mark when the grandchildren came to tea!

In an interview in Good Housekeeping Magazine Mary is quoted as saying that “Nick gave us so many great ideas and he designed and made the kitchen for us.  Everything was designed specifically for how I use the kitchen, from my wrapping paper drawer to vertical storage for baking trays.  The kitchen is all drawers as I didn’t want to have to kneel down and search for things in the backs of cupboards.  There are so many little touches that I love too, from my boiling water tap to the concealed lighting.”   

The colour consultation started with a fabulous ‘Doves’ wallpaper from Lewis & Wood; https://www.lewisandwood.co.uk/wallpapers/doves/

Hannah Anderson visited Mary at her previous home to discuss colours and the overall look for her kitchen.  This chosen wallpaper set the scene for a colour palette, a wonderful starting point.  Mary loves soft colours but wanted to avoid the entire kitchen looking taupe.  Together we picked out Little Greene Aquamarine to feature on the island – a perfect match to her wallpaper and she chose Little Greene Slaked Lime for the other areas of the kitchen. 

A smaller scale version of the ‘Doves’ wallpaper was designed specifically for Mary, and this was positioned behind her Aga, protected by a piece of glass. The glass makers had four attempts at installing the glass as it cracked each time as it was so huge!

Mary and Paul now have a room with style and colour that is a soft and relaxing space for them to spend time in.  It is designed around cooking, but doesn’t feel functional.  It is completely personal to Mary and she knows that it is completely unique, totally bespoke and unmistakably Guild Anderson.  Knowing that our customers feel valued and that we deliver their dream kitchen makes every commission special, whether you are British icon or not!

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