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Holkham | Timeless country kitchen

Set in the quaint little village north-west of Colchester, the unassuming 4-bedroom country cottage dating back to the late 1800s sits proudly in a gravelled driveway. Once home to the local wood merchant and his family, aside from electricity, the property had been untouched retaining many of its original period features. “The hallway was fitted with solid oak wainscot panelling and the intricate gold leaf mouldings on the sitting room ceiling were beautiful but stained with tobacco smoke from where the merchant would sit to smoke his pipe.” Says Mrs Edwards. An Aga range dating back to the period was also in a smaller room at the back of the house which would have been the original kitchen.

Over 20 years ago, Mr & Mrs Edwards set to work in modernising the house for family living. With a keen interest and natural flair for interiors, Mrs Edwards wanted to inject their personality into the house, yet also maintain the integrity of the building. Therefore, each update was planned meticulously with sympathy to its Victorian heritage. They have extended the living areas in the cottage with the addition of a conservatory and rear extension. However, the kitchen remained in the smaller room, where the original Aga range oven resided – known in its time as ‘the scullery’.

Last year the couple decided that it was finally time to give their home the kitchen that it deserved. They contacted their trusted architect and began planning a rear extension to create a kitchen-dining area that would benefit from views of their beautifully landscaped garden and fields beyond. The couple wanted a classic, high-quality hand painted kitchen which would suit the style of the house. Their builder recommended they try Davonport in their nearest town, so they arranged a design consultation to discuss their plans. Impressed with the quality of the service and portfolio in the Davonport showroom, they began planning their dream room  with the help of one of our expert designers.

Davonport Holkham shaker-style cabinetry with exposed butt hinges was chosen for a classic look and its smaller proportions. Hand painted in a beautiful light stone (Slate 11 – from Paint & Paper Library) and heritage green (Farrow & Ball’s studio green), the colour scheme provides the perfect canvas for the antique-effect brushed brass accessories. A traditional style white porcelain butler sink with brass taps is positioned in front of the large sash window, providing a stylish focal point when you enter the room. Then at the heart of the kitchen is a freestanding-style island (topped with the same white quartz worktop as the rest of the room). Designed with plenty of storage in the way of cupboards and drawers (as well as breakfast bar seating for 2), it acts as a prep table that is positioned in easy reach of the professional quality Miele induction hob and ovens. These elements help nod to the heritage of the classic country kitchen that would have originally been found in the property.

Out of the main cooking zone, but in close proximity to seating on the island, a breakfast cupboard/drinks cabinet houses all of Mr Edward’s coffee gadgets at worktop level. Above, several shelves finished with opulent mirrored glass and back-lit lights showcase the couples’ selection of fine cut glassware. This creates a real wow feature in the evening and can be seen from the couples’ large round walnut dining table which is positioned with views of the English-country garden. The overall style of the kitchen is classic, with a very welcoming and homely feel. It incorporates pieces of charming antique furniture with the clean lines of the hand painted Davonport cabinets marrying the old and the new. “We are delighted with our new kitchen!” Says Mrs Edwards. “It gets used every day and we are looking forward to entertaining in it now that Covid-19 restrictions are being lifted.” Exclaims Mr Edwards.

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