Lower Beech Farm

A carefully considered extension and a timeless kitchen

Lower Beech Farm is a charming grade II listed Oxfordshire residence, in which, like many heritage properties the kitchen was built to stay cool. As a result, there was minimal natural light and not a great deal of space. In terms of layout, there was plenty of room for a cosy supper but not enough for a larger (post-Covid) gathering. The solution was to extend the garden-facing side of the kitchen by building out from an existing 1980s addition to the property (conveniently providing a joining point for the new structure whilst minimising any complicated listed buildings hurdles). The build and kitchen were designed in parallel, allowing the kitchen cabinetry to fit perfectly into the curved walls of the new space.

The design concept from Morgan Architectural Designs was inspired by an existing curved stone feature wall, which became the line guide for the extension. The curved corner talks to the softly rounded thatch of the main house, which was thought to be built in the early 1600s. The old plain-tiled roof of the later 18thC lean-to joins seamlessly into the new section, with matched tiles, brick plinth and plasterwork detailing. The new roofline breaks to reveal the first-floor windows above, mirroring the distinctive ‘broken hat’ style of the main thatch.

Inside the carefully considered extension, there is a surprising sense of space and light - in no small part due to the inclusion of casement French doors and half vaulted ceiling. The classic Barr Kitchens panelled style cabinetry is hand-painted, with ‘quarter-round bevelled detailing. Cabinetry set against the curved feature wall follows its arc-ed line and is complemented by a curved painted timber shelf above and shaped work surface with curved tile upstand.

The warm oak island top and windowsills balance the cool white Caesarstone worktop. Armac Martin polished chrome fixings align with a stainless steel range (clients own) and the Kohler ceramic undercounted sink is flanked by a simple Perrin and Rowe tap set. The old flagstone floor was carefully matched to the original, as was the rolled limestone plasterwork, making the transition from old to new almost imperceptible.

Everything about the new structure and inside space is quiet and uncluttered, allowing the architecture of the original farmhouse and its newly extended form to speak for itself.

Our client is delighted with the finished project and as a result, so are the Barr Group team.

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Lower Beech Farm