Case Study: Guild Anderson’s Phoenix Kitchen
The fire was started in this listed Wiltshire country home by a spark setting light to the hearthrug, spreading through the Library and rapidly up the central staircase. Fortunately, no one was hurt but the Grade II listed house needed months of painstaking restoration work. One silver lining as a result of the fire, the owner was able to rethink a rather dark and outdated kitchen. Traditional English cabinet makers, Guild Anderson, were commissioned to redesign and simplify the disjointed layout of the room.
The client worked with owner and designer, Nick Anderson, on a plan that both suited the style of the house and opened up the room. Space was saved by streamlining cabinets and unblocking the boarded-up Inglenook fireplace to perfectly fit a 5-door Aga.
For the facing walls, Nick designed cupboards to house the fridge freezer and a pair of classic, matching, paneled wall-to-ceiling dresser cupboards. The cabinets, painted in a pretty, soft blue-grey Zoffany paint ‘La Seine’, were made to measure, storing the kitchen mixers, coffee machine, microwave and china.
With practical granite shelving doubling as an additional worksurface when entertaining, the dresser is finished with pocket doors that slide invisibly back into the cupboards themselves. This way, the doors don’t protrude and get in the way of the cooking preparation when left open. The Guild Anderson workshop also built a pair of solid, granite-topped trolleys to provide flexible worksurfaces for catering at parties and which will be ideal for carving the turkey near the table at Christmas.
As with all their hand crafted wall cupboards, the cabinets are backed with Guild Anderson’s trade-mark bespoke tongue and groove paneling. Nick’s thoughtful kitchen plan included glass fronted upper cupboards to display some of the owner’s beautiful and original glassware.
The room is finished with handsome, polished nickel ‘Queslett’ knobs from Armac Martin, and the retro horizontal wall tiles in the recess behind the Aga are a deliciously deep amethyst colour.
The result is a phoenix from the ashes: a neater, larger, lighter, welcoming room where the whole family can sit down to Sunday lunch. The hand painted fitted kitchen is both contemporary and at the same time retains the traditional atmosphere and heritage of this classic, English country home.