Stuart Barr
Barr Kitchens
Barr Joinery

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18th Jul 2016

Kitchen first please, we've got living to do...

Unlike most renovations, this project, on the Oxfordshire-Buckinghamshire border, started with the kitchen. The clients were a couple with three young children who had bought an old farmhouse that they had hoped would become their long-term family home, with space around it to expand. Unfortunately, the farmhouse turned out to be structurally beyond repair. The family was faced with starting from scratch and settled on creating a new-build home that would retain the spirit of the old farm. 

One of the first pieces of the puzzle was making sure the house had a kitchen that would be equipped to handle normal family life, as well as entertaining, while the rest of the build was in full swing. The kitchen project was commissioned and designed a year before the manufacture and fit actually took place. The clients came to us with lots of ideas and had significant input into the overall design. As with most BarrKitchens, client and designer work hand in hand to create a space that truly meets the client’s aesthetics and functional needs, hence each project is completely different from the next. For this kitchen, the clients requested that the space have simple clean lines, with a contemporary feel. They requested double of everything (appliances, storage and work surface space etc) to ensure that the space was functional for large scale entertaining as well as everyday use.’

The need to build from scratch came in handy when we started to design the layout, as there were no restrictions beyond what was practical – and striking. The new space lent itself to linear runs because of its elongated shape allowing for a clean, pared-back contemporary feel. The real standout feature is the sheer scale of the space. The kitchen has a 4.4m-long island and floating units behind are flanked by impressive floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, giving the impression that the kitchen goes on forever.’

As well as professional specification appliances from Gaggenau, including flush-fit induction and gas hobs, a trio of ovens and a wall of cooling appliances, ideal for catering for a crowd, the kitchen has other hi-tech features. Integrated air-con, an AV system and integral cabinetry lighting, as well as LED strip ambient lighting above the tall cabinets, along plinths and under the floating cabinets to name but a few.  In order to keep the look of the kitchen sleek, there are other "hidden'elements, such as the controls for a gas domino hob, pop-up power sockets and handleless dishwashers, which open with a knock on the front. All the kitchen doors are flat with push-to-open Blum ‘Tip-on’ mechanisms, which allows the subtle metallic spray finish to shine. 

"The kitchen is everything we wanted it to be" says the owner 'it makes entertaining easy”.  “If anything I would just like it to be bigger!” she laughs.

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