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Kitchen of the Week: An English Glasshouse Addition with a deVol Kitchen for an Aesthete and a Chef

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Kitchen of the Week: An English Glasshouse Addition with a deVol Kitchen for an Aesthete and a Chef

August 2, 2018

Hannah and Michael Holloway decamped from London for Bath shortly before their now three-and-a-half-year-old daughter was born. The city is known for its regal, historic townhouses, but the couple decided against vertical living in favor of a Regency-era artisan’s cottage with a generous garden in the village-y enclave of Larkhall. Built of the region’s signature honey-colored Bath stone, the structure had been untouched for decades, which they welcomed: “It gave us carte blanche to do what we wanted,” Hannah says.

At the top of that list was a tailor-made kitchen: Michael, aka The Wild Fork West, is a wedding and event caterer who often woos clients by cooking for them at his home. Hannah, they both say, is the design-minded one: With her parents, she owns and runs the fashion boutique Maze. She had spent years assembling clips of  interiors and, upon seeing that their new tiny kitchen was, in Michael’s words, “best forgotten,” began the rehab process by assembling a collection of favorite looks and materials: “concrete, copper, black metal, and pale beechwood formed a little pile on our table for quite some time,” she says. After much brainstorming, Hannah’s fondness for Crittal windows led them to their biggest remodeling move: They decided to gain needed space on the ground floor by adding a glass-house addition for the kitchen. And thanks to one of her saved magazine pages, they turned to deVol for the kitchen cabinetry: “It fits perfectly with the modern-rustic aesthetic I wanted to achieve.” Michael, meanwhile, saw to it that ease of use rules the design. Beyond happy their results, the couple invited us in for a look.

Photography courtesy of deVol.

The greenhouse-style extension is fitted between two wings of the house (scroll to the end to see a stepped-back view). The couple worked with Mark Watson of architect-surveyors Watson, Bertram & Fell to draw up plans and secure building permissions; the bespoke steel-framed doors are by Fabco.
Above: The greenhouse-style extension is fitted between two wings of the house (scroll to the end to see a stepped-back view). The couple worked with Mark Watson of architect-surveyors Watson, Bertram & Fell to draw up plans and secure building permissions; the bespoke steel-framed doors are by Fabco.

“To achieve the right height at the back, we lowered the floors and raised the ceilings where we could,” Michael says.

An original Bath stone wall runs from outdoors to in. The island that runs parallel to it creates a setup from which Michael can work while entertaining guests in the adjoining dining area.
Above: An original Bath stone wall runs from outdoors to in. The island that runs parallel to it creates a setup from which Michael can work while entertaining guests in the adjoining dining area.

Note that all of the elements in Hannah’s materials palette found their way in: The cabinets, from deVol’s popular Sebastian Cox line, are band-sawn English beech that’s stained an inky blue-black or given a natural finish; the counters and floor are concrete; the windows are framed in black steel; and the circular cabinet finger holes are rimmed in copper. As for working under a glass ceiling, Hannah says, “We don’t suffer temperature extremes in the room thanks to the southwesterly positioning of the house. The two side walls are higher than the roof, which keeps the glass largely shaded, and the thickness of the old stone means that when the sun does pass across the top, the space remains cool in summer and warm in winter. We also have underfloor heating for the cold months.”

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Above: “The Bath stone wall sets the tone for texture and scale, and the modern materials we built with provide a neutral background for characterful older pieces,” says Hannah.

The couple credit their perfectionist project manager, Andrew White, as their chief collaborator and “the one who was responsible for the success of the project—he’s a cabinetmaker who can also do stonework, plumbing, and carpentry: He really does turn his hand to everything and his standards are exacting.”

Cookbooks are stored at the front of the island (and the dishwasher and trash bin are on the other side, near the sink). The fridge is just to the right of the tall cabinet, which is used as the pantry and also conceals the microwave.
Above: Cookbooks are stored at the front of the island (and the dishwasher and trash bin are on the other side, near the sink). The fridge is just to the right of the tall cabinet, which is used as the pantry and also conceals the microwave.

The stainless steel stove is a made-in-the-UK Falcon 00 Deluxe. In lieu of cabinets, the couple lined the wall with four rustic open shelves—mango wood Batu Wall Shelves from Nkuku—for accessibility: &#8
Above: The stainless steel stove is a made-in-the-UK Falcon 1000 Deluxe. In lieu of cabinets, the couple lined the wall with four rustic open shelves—mango wood Batu Wall Shelves from Nkuku—for accessibility: “All utensils and the most frequently used ingredients are stored ‘on show’ rather than behind cupboard doors, which makes for easy access and clean up,” notes Michael. His knife storage of choice? A simple magnetic strip, which Hannah sourced in black (for something similar, see the Schmidt Brothers Black Magnetic Wall Bar at Crate & Barrel).
A lineup of black-and-white dishware, including numbered nesting bowls, line the open shelves. (See Burleigh Pudding Basins for the design with blue numbers.) Admiring the basket? Go to Object Lessons: The Almighty Wicker Basket.
Above: A lineup of black-and-white dishware, including numbered nesting bowls, line the open shelves. (See Burleigh Pudding Basins for the design with blue numbers.) Admiring the basket? Go to Object Lessons: The Almighty Wicker Basket.
The trio of lights over the island are Vintage Appleton American Warship Enamel Pendants from Bath lighting dealer Felix. For similar rescued designs, see Reborn in the USA: Soviet Industrial Lighting from Fixt Electric.
Above: The trio of lights over the island are Vintage Appleton American Warship Enamel Pendants from Bath lighting dealer Felix. For similar rescued designs, see Reborn in the USA: Soviet Industrial Lighting from Fixt Electric.

The brushed-stainless-steel undermount double-bowl sink and the F
Above: The brushed-stainless-steel undermount double-bowl sink and the F2 SQ faucet are both from MGS Milano.

The 50-millimeter-thick concrete counters were poured off-site and cut to fit. “They’ve developed an aged appearance but show no signs of cracking—yet,” says Michael. “We love materials that gain a patina, so concrete was the perfect choice.”

Hannah purchased the glass-topped dining table from the Conran Shop for her first flat in London  years ago; it&#8
Above: Hannah purchased the glass-topped dining table from the Conran Shop for her first flat in London 15 years ago; it’s traveled with her ever since: “I think it suits this spot the best.” The vintage botanical prints are another long-ago purchase; they came from Pitfield in London.
The house is part of a series of connected cottages. Steel-framed French doors open the dining area to the enclosed garden, framed at one end by a Bath stone wall. The couple reused stone to build the back terrace. &#8
Above: The house is part of a series of connected cottages. Steel-framed French doors open the dining area to the enclosed garden, framed at one end by a Bath stone wall. The couple reused stone to build the back terrace. “We established box plants and pleached hornbeams to create structure within the space,” says Hannah. “The perennial planting is an ongoing project, and I’ve spent much of my free time squeezing creeping thyme between the cracks so it looks like it’s been there forever.”

Here are four more kitchens linked to gardens:

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