30th Jul 2015
Artist Lucy Stopford lives in Long Crendon, Buckinghamshire with her husband, teenage children Alice and Tom, her beautiful black Labrador and her little Yorkshire terrier. Lucy is the Membership Secretary to the Oxford Art Society and runs weekly workshops at The Phoenix Art Centre in Towersey nr. Thame. She uses oils paints and thick brushes strokes to create wonderful abstract portraits. To see Lucy’s work visit: www.oxfordartsociety.co.uk.
Their medieval house, which is tucked away at the bottom of the village, was first renovated in Tudor times. Its enormous arched oak front door towers over petite Lucy giving the place an air of Alice in Wonderland as one steps onto the old flagstones of her beautiful rustic hallway.
Two years ago the kitchen was a dingy space with a low ceiling and a WC awkwardly squeezed into the corner, blocking the light. Now it is bright and airy, taking advantage of both morning and evening sun through deep stone window alcoves on either side of the room. Lucy wanted a fresh simple kitchen as the heart of her home and worked with designers at BarrKitchens to create an ‘old dairy’ feel. With white walls, understated cabinetry, grey slate flagstones and black AGA the no frill palette provides the perfect backdrop for this busy artistic family and their four legged friends. From the kitchen one’s eye is drawn through an old wooden door into the utility/boot room where the white washed stone walls, vintage butler sink and stable door brings a real feeling of another time.
StuartBarrCDR were contracted to take on the building work for Lucy’s kitchen renovation. They lowered the floor by two feet, revealing the original full height stonewalls and giving the room a feeling of light and space.
With the ceiling height restored, the BarrKitchens team had a wonderful canvas with which to work. Lucy sought out BarrKitchens, as she knew that only bespoke cabinetry made by skilled craftsmen could really work with sloping ceilings and uneven walls, which she wanted to feature rather than cover up. A simple shaker style design with added cockbead detailing nods to the age of the house, clever joinery sees the utility cupboards fit the sloping ceiling and a hand carved scribe fits the floor to ceiling larder cupboard into each and every groove of the adjacent stone wall. Discrete but powerful lighting means the kitchen retains its bright airy feel on even the dullest day.
The workstation stands high off the floor, leaving plenty of space for legroom to pull up a high stool close to the AGA. Cosy in the winter and cool in the summer, this kitchen strikes the perfect balance throughout the seasons. Lucy considers her kitchen with its bespoke detailing ‘a work of art’ and describes the hand carved panel designed to fit perfectly into the stonework beside it is ‘an extraordinary piece of workmanship’. Over a year on, Lucy continues to be delighted by her BarrKitchen and her beautifully renovated home.