Charmed by the Georgian style of this five-storey listed house, Paula set her sights on creating a kitchen that would be full of character
'A room is never complete in my opinion; it evolves over time and should reflect where you have been and what you love,’ explains Paula Foulser, marketing manager at Petersham Nurseries, as she considers how she feels about her new home. She instantly fell head over heels in love with this Georgian house, which is set within a hidden terrace in Bath. Along with her husband Steve, she spent a lot of time viewing various properties, some of which weren’t in their desired location. It just took a little extra perseverance for them to find the right home. ‘Although the previous owners had been there for 40 years, it was obvious that the house had been looked after and loved. Georgian houses were so well thought through and the layout just worked for us.’
Before they moved in with daughters, Ella, 22, Pia, 21, Darcey, 19, and dog Pandora, they stripped the house back to its basic features. At the end of phase one we were left with a shell of a house that was bare and unhomely. We began to question what we’d let ourselves in for.’ Theirs is the only house in the terrace to not have been turned into flats, so Paula considers herself very lucky. ‘The ceilings are beautiful; there is no other house here with plaster work like ours. Under the carpet were original floorboards but they had been nailed, stained and chopped over the years. I initially wanted to cover them with encaustic tiles, but this would have been massively expensive given the size and regulations on the listed building wouldn’t allow it anyway.’ So, in the end she chose to have the boards sanded and restored which lets the natural colour of the wood come through and keeps the kitchen-living space feeling light.
Working with what was a blank canvas, with the whole house decorated in neutral paint shades from Farrow & Ball, Paula had the chance to make the space her own. ‘Having lived in Milan for nearly five years where we rented several apartments, and then stayed in rented accommodation for a year when we moved back to England, I was desperate to have a kitchen that was designed and worked for me. I heard about Sustainable Kitchens in passing and looked them up online.’ To fulfil her brief, designer Charlie Flemons set about creating bespoke furniture that would feel more like it was part of a whole living space than a formal, fitted kitchen. Paula mostly wanted somewhere that would be elegant and understated but also practical and usable too. ‘I love it all’, she smiles. ‘It’s very compact and everything is within easy reach,’ she says, ‘It’s a space that now even lends itself to our supper clubs which are fun and lively experiences.'
Kitchens from Sustainable Kitchens start at £25,000.
Photos by: Paul Craig
Article by: Emma Foale