Icon - Arrow LeftAn icon we use to indicate a rightwards action. Icon - Arrow RightAn icon we use to indicate a leftwards action. Icon - External LinkAn icon we use to indicate a button link is external. Icon - MessageThe icon we use to represent an email action. Icon - Down ChevronUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - CloseUsed to indicate a close action. Icon - Dropdown ArrowUsed to indicate a dropdown. Icon - Location PinUsed to showcase a location on a map. Icon - Zoom OutUsed to indicate a zoom out action on a map. Icon - Zoom InUsed to indicate a zoom in action on a map. Icon - SearchUsed to indicate a search action. Icon - EmailUsed to indicate an emai action. Icon - FacebookFacebooks brand mark for use in social sharing icons. flipboard Icon - InstagramInstagrams brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - PinterestPinterests brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - TwitterTwitters brand mark for use in social sharing icons. Icon - Check MarkA check mark for checkbox buttons.
You are reading

Kitchen of the Week: A Historic Kitchen in Shropshire, Recast in Monochrome Green

Search

Kitchen of the Week: A Historic Kitchen in Shropshire, Recast in Monochrome Green

January 11, 2018

Recently, Margot discovered a kitchen that’s a perfect storm of a few of our favorite all-time design features (Shaker-like simplicity, original architectural details) and our obsession of the moment: deep, moody green. When the then-London-based homeowners (who asked us not to disclose their names) discovered the circa-1890 farmhouse—charmingly called Ferney Home Farm—in the English county of Shropshire a few years back, it had no running water and had been abandoned for 10 years. But they set about remodeling the house, including the kitchen, working carefully within the limits of its historic designation as a Grade II property (for “particularly important buildings of more than special interest”). (The house, and its orchard and outbuildings, are also only accessible through Grade II parkland—plenty of space for the family’s three dogs and two pigs.)

For the kitchen in question, the owners sought out UK-based designers Plain English. The ask? A space that would be family-friendly but blend seamlessly with the historic interiors while incorporating a variety of textures and materials. But the striking color was a last-minute impulse. Says the owner: “We went to London to check the final details, as it was meant to be painted blue-gray with a gray stone worktop, but I made a split decision to have it painted in the very dark Army Camp Green, with an amazing green-streaked marble worktop.” The result is a richly-colored space that feels both of-the-moment and timeless. Take a look.

Photography courtesy of Plain English.

The team maintained the original bones of the house, including the leaded windows, flagstone floors, oak-paneled walls, and fireplaces. Then, Plain English set about building out a kitchen that feel as though it&#8
Above: The team maintained the original bones of the house, including the leaded windows, flagstone floors, oak-paneled walls, and fireplaces. Then, Plain English set about building out a kitchen that feel as though it’s been there forever: cupboards from the company’s Spitalfields line, with added beading detail; a small bench beside the doorway for setting down grocery bags; and a massive worktable in the center of the room, which adds prep space while maintaining openness and a view of the original flooring.

Most important to making the space feel historic: the monochrome color palette. Painting everything, from cabinetry to walls to doors, in the same color (in this case, Plain English’s Army Camp Green) creates a vintage feel, helps the kitchen blend into the space while drawing attention to the original architectural details, and adds a sense of drama. The worktable is painted in Drab SC231 by UK-based Paper & Paints, for subtle contrast.

Modern appliances are cleverly hidden, adding to the timeless feel: the dishwasher is disguised behind green cabinetry beside the sink, an extra refrigerator drawer is hidden on the other side of the sink, and a full refrigerator is tucked into the larder (out of frame here).

The centerpiece of the space: a vintage-style, oil-fueled Aga range in a cream color. (See Design Sleuth: Classic Aga Cookers.) In keeping with the homeowners&#8
Above: The centerpiece of the space: a vintage-style, oil-fueled Aga range in a cream color. (See Design Sleuth: Classic Aga Cookers.) In keeping with the homeowners’ request for a variety of materials, the main countertops are honed Arabescato marble with gray-green veining. Vintage copper pans hang above the stove. (Note how the deep green background throws artful kitchen tools into stark relief.)
The undermount copper sink by Plain English is fitted with vintage brass taps sourced on eBay. An antique clothes washboard, now repurposed for dishes, sits alongside.
Above: The undermount copper sink by Plain English is fitted with vintage brass taps sourced on eBay. An antique clothes washboard, now repurposed for dishes, sits alongside.
A stretch of countertop to the left of the sink is serene, thanks to a few tricks at work: Beneath the counter is (from left) a set of drawers, a cupboard for the trash bin, and the hidden dishwasher; the open shelving above is fitted with outlets for plugging in lighting and the owner&#8
Above: A stretch of countertop to the left of the sink is serene, thanks to a few tricks at work: Beneath the counter is (from left) a set of drawers, a cupboard for the trash bin, and the hidden dishwasher; the open shelving above is fitted with outlets for plugging in lighting and the owner’s vintage radio. The windows look out at the surrounding orchard.
As for the large, central worktop, the homeowners opted for a wood surface of oiled English pippy oak. &#8
Above: As for the large, central worktop, the homeowners opted for a wood surface of oiled English pippy oak. “Despite having young children, we decided against sealing the wooden top of the island so it will hopefully age beautifully with us,” they say. (See Remodeling 101: Butcher Block Countertops for more information on wooden worktops in the kitchen.)
Another feature that keeps the kitchen clutter-free, without installing heavy upper cabinets: a generous built-in larder. Plain English designed two doors—one fixed, one hinged—to add more usable space within the larder (since they could add shelving and a honed Carrara marble counter along the fixed door) and painted it in Drab SCdata-src=
Above: Another feature that keeps the kitchen clutter-free, without installing heavy upper cabinets: a generous built-in larder. Plain English designed two doors—one fixed, one hinged—to add more usable space within the larder (since they could add shelving and a honed Carrara marble counter along the fixed door) and painted it in Drab SC231 by Paper & Paints. The space keeps countertop appliances and kitchen tools, as well as the fridge, out of sight. The blue-colored door on the left leads to the orchard.
The canopy above the range conceals the vent hood and provides a subtle place for displaying art (the homeowner herself is an artist). The light shades are from Baileys in Ross-on-Wye. An oversize mortar and pestle makes a bold statement on the worktable.
Above: The canopy above the range conceals the vent hood and provides a subtle place for displaying art (the homeowner herself is an artist). The light shades are from Baileys in Ross-on-Wye. An oversize mortar and pestle makes a bold statement on the worktable.

More from Plain English:

Have a Question or Comment About This Post?

Join the conversation

v5.0