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TILLINGHAM | Bespoke Barn Conversion

Over 2 decades ago Janette and Duncan fell in love with a 16th century timber-frame barn and cottage set in the Essex countryside. Both buildings ‘were in a state of collapse following the great storm of 1987’ explains Janette. The spacious barn became home to Duncan’s workshop where he repaired classic traction engines and the cottage, the family home.

Early on, Janette realised that the timber-frame barn attached to the cottage was in fact, the best room in the house! Boasting stunning 180-degree views of the countryside, with the sea beyond and large barn doors that opened the space up to the garden, it had all the right elements to create a stunning kitchen-diner.

20 years later, after convincing Duncan to move their family kitchen into the barn, the couple approached bespoke, handmade kitchen company, Davonport to help create their dream kitchen in the unique space.

Falling in love with Davonport’s Tillingham shaker-style furniture, Janette wanted to incorporate the original Aga from the cottage into the new design. Also, on her wish-list was an integrated coffee machine and a plate drawer.

“Working out where the kitchen was going to go was our greatest challenge as it all depended on how we adjusted the internal structure of the barn. says owner and designer, Richard Davonport.” Janette and Duncan wanted to make the most of the sea view at the gable end by fully glazing it and, by sealing one of the two large barn doors, it then created the perfect blank L-shaped corner for the kitchen to go, easily accessible from where the barn joins the main house.

“With the 4.5m-high ceiling, getting the proportions of the furniture right was key. We used 3D renders of the room to help us decide how much we needed to increase the height of each element” explains Richard. By maintaining the features such as the old timber door from the gable; as the new door into the snug – it added character and charm to the scheme.

As well as incorporating the original Aga into the new Kitchen design, the couple also choose an Integrated Dynamic Cooling refridgerator, Pureline Microwave Combination oven, Contorline warming drawer and a built-in coffee machine all from Miele for everyday convenience.

For storing dried food goods and concealing a toaster and phone charging point, a statement pantry, come breakfast cupboard was incorporated into the design with bi-folding doors that when opened up reveal a glamorous mirrored backdrop, reflecting the stunning fully-glazed gable wall at the opposite side of the room.

The end result is a statement shaker-style kitchen in Davonport’s Tillingham beaded cabinetry with grand proportions, topped with white fantasy granite and internal oak drawers tempered by paired back detailing. The pollarded burr oak bar and burnished brass accessories are a nod to the barn and surroundings brought together with a classic colour palette of handpainted navy and grey – exuding a coastal theme (for similar colours try Pointing and Hague Blue both Farrow & Ball).

When asked what they think of their new Davonport kitchen Janette explains: ‘This is our forever home so we didn’t want to skimp and we are so pleased with how beautiful it all is’.

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