The view was always going to be a hard act to follow in this barn conversion in the Cotswolds, so the kitchen needed to be a stunning piece of design in its own right. Jonny Morris, director of Roundhouse Cheltenham, worked with the owners to make the most of the new space being created.

‘This was an old barn but the conversion was very contemporary, with lots of glass and exposed materials,’ Jonny explains. ‘So, I continued that modern feel in the kitchen design, with our Urbo handleless cabinetry painted to match the dark grey of the aluminium window frames, and driftwood veneer introducing some texture along the island and on the wall units.’

The generous proportions of the open-plan space removed the need for full-height furniture, allowing for low-level cabinetry that meant the windows could continue right through the kitchen, the view uninterrupted. The flush design keeps things unfussy whilst the washed wood façade brings a gentle contrast to the dark grey and complements the other natural products like stone and steel.

Deep, wide drawers provide plenty of storage and easier access than cupboards. The main fridge-freezer is in the utility room and an under counter pull-out fridge provides everything needed for cups of tea and a quick lunch.

The range cooker with its stainless steel splashback and bespoke extractor fan is flanked by two driftwood wall cabinets against a stunning exposed Cotswold stone wall. When not gazing out of the window, your eye is drawn up to the open pitched roof of the barn, an architectural web of beams and structural metal ties, with pendant lighting strung between. With so many eye-catching features this space could be overwhelming, yet remains calm, with each element gently and beautifully complementing the other.

Q&A with Jonny Morris, director of Roundhouse Cheltenham

What was the brief for the space?
It was important that the kitchen would sit elegantly within the barn’s open-plan interior and not dominate. The client didn’t want what they called a ‘traditional kitchen’. They wanted to shy away from shiny appliances on display or too much furniture and keep things simple, allowing the barn and the landscape to take centre stage.

What influenced your design choices?
In terms of layout, the fact that the windows wrapped around the room meant furniture needed to sit beneath them, and the exposed brick of the Cotswold stone wall deserved to be seen rather than hidden behind tall furniture. With the more ungainly and imposing elements of a kitchen like the large fridge-freezer tucked away in the utility room, we were able to keep the design low-level, apart from two wall cabinets, which provide easy storage but also hide the motor for the bespoke extractor.

How did you decide on materials for the kitchen?
The view was obviously an integral part of this kitchen design and the client wanted to reflect the landscape in their choice of colours and materials. They opted for furniture painted in a dark grey matte lacquer that matched the aluminium frames of the windows, and mixed it with a soft driftwood on the island and wall cabinets. The driftwood is a painted and lime-washed oak veneer, with a slight texture that gives it a worn, rustic look and ties in well with the other natural elements of the beautiful old Cotswold barn.

Kitchen profile
A contemporary mix of driftwood and dark grey handleless cabinetry gives warmth and texture to this subtle, pared-back kitchen. Low-level units and a large island offer plenty of storage and workspace without crowding the room or detracting from the views over the hills, whilst simple industrial-style lighting draws the eye up to take in the full splendor of this converted barn.

12 Montpellier Arcade, Cheltenham, GL50 1SU.
Tel 012 4252 1900.
Kitchen prices from £35,000.

Article by: Rebecca Morris