Sleek design features and rustic materials work together to complement the real showstopper in this contemporary kitchen – the panoramic views across the Welsh coastline
Perched at the top of a hill with sweeping views across the Gower Peninsula, the location of Jane and Michael Stevens’ home was always going to dictate the design of their kitchen – and indeed the rest of the house. ‘The outside space is critical to the house as a whole,’ explains Jane. ‘And the typical weather conditions of West Wales mean it’s often more comfortable to enjoy the landscape from inside the house, so bringing the outside in was essential.’ With a wall of glass looking out onto the UK’s first officially designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the dramatic countryside becomes the main feature, with everything about the design set up to complement and prioritise those incredible views.
‘My husband and I both enjoy cooking,’ says Jane. ‘So we wanted to feel that the kitchen was a place we could spend a lot of time in as well as enjoy some of the best views from the house.’ Their brief to designer Jason Shephard of Kitchen Architecture was clear: work with the surrounding outside space, while sticking to the contemporary style of the newly built home. ‘The old building was originally a cottage,’ explains Jane. ‘We felt the creation of a new 21st century home could only be successfully achieved by replacing the building with something contemporary which would allow the location to be properly exploited.’
Everything about the kitchen, from the location of the cabinetry to the materials, was chosen with the surrounding landscape in mind. ‘The island was specifically chosen and orientated to allow us to look out of the kitchen at the outside space while we’re working,’ says Jane. The rustic combination of finishes – concrete, stainless steel and walnut – all allow the scenery to speak for itself, blurring the boundary between the inside and outside space.
While the landscape and minimalist approach defined the design of the space, Jane and Michael knew they needed to ensure this was still a high functioning working kitchen, where they could live and entertain in comfort and style. This is achieved with the addition of two hidden rooms behind the kitchen. ‘Ultimately it means we can get messy here without compromising the minimalist look at ‘front of house’,’ laughs Jane. The result is a dramatic space worthy of the stunning scenery that surrounds it.
Bulthaup kitchens from Kitchen Architecture start from £50,000.
Photos by Paul Craig
Article by: Molly Forbes