Written by Jo Messenger

Modern country-style kitchen makeover

Sarah Buckle, a retired community staff nurse and her husband Adrian, an emergency response manager in the nuclear industry were renovating their home and were able to create their dream, modern country-style kitchen in the process. The brief for the project was to knock two rooms into one in order to make a large, light-filled, modern country-style kitchen. They wanted the room to have access to the garden as part of the wider home renovation project.

Good Homes chatted to the couple to find out the details of the kitchen project…

Modern country style kitchen with island, built-in sink and range cooker

Photo: Paul Craig, 1909 Kitchens

How did your kitchen project begin?

The house we bought needed a complete renovation and I knew the kitchen would be a major part of it – that was part of the attraction. This is our first house in over 30 years of marriage where we have been able to design and install something to our own specifications. We’ve waited so long, we wanted to get it right! We were shown around the 1909 Kitchens head office design studio in Newton Aycliffe and chose the Ovolo range in Charcoal and Dove Grey.

What big ideas did you have for the space?

We removed the dividing wall between the existing kitchen and pantry to create space for a more open-plan kitchen, with a large island as the central point. We also wanted to bring in more light and install French doors out to the garden. Our design included using the area above the room to create a vaulted ceiling, to provide more height and a greater sense of space. It was exciting to expose the old oak roof beams, and they add real character. We used local traders for the building work, but Adrian also removed around seven tons of stone himself! 

Wooden beams in centre of modern country style kitchen

Photo: Paul Craig, 1909 Kitchens

Did you have any other must-have features? 

The range cooker situated in the old fireplace was an important part of the design concept, as I was keen to use the space effectively and aesthetically. We also decided to stretch the budget and install electric underfloor heating. It works really well with the slate floor, and is a real pleasure to walk on during the colder months. 

Were you able to stick to your original budget?

The kitchen work was part of our renovation plans for the whole house, so our provisional outlay was £25,000. But we soon realised that we would need to spend another £10,000 on the glazing and fitting costs that would help us achieve the vision we were looking for and make best use of an unusual space. 

Was the cost more than expected?

I really wanted to upgrade to an induction hob. Adrian took some persuading, but he now agrees it was the right choice. I was also keen to have integrated blinds within the sealed glass units of the French doors and the window. They were an indulgent purchase, but in keeping with the rest of the kitchen design. They work brilliantly and I’m glad
we were able to stretch our funds for them

Modern country style kitchen with sink and shelf of houseplants

Photo: Paul Craig, 1909 Kitchens

What have you learned?

The knowledge we have taken from this is that a big project needs time to bring everything together, to ensure the end result is exactly what you want. A good example is the worktop, which took four visits to the stonemasons’ workshop to find the right one. They were very patient with us and we did get there in the end!

How do you feel now it’s all finished?

We’re just thrilled with our new kitchen. It has all the space we need and is easy to work in. The colour of the units works so well with the oak beams and white worktops. After all these years, I finally have a kitchen to be proud of.

Kitchen island and ceiling lighting

Photo: Paul Craig, 1909 Kitchens

Project costs

  • Cabinetry £18,000
  • Worktops & splashback £3,700
  • Appliances £4,693
  • Flooring £3,500
  • Radiators £730
  • Sinks & taps £1,115
  • Lights £225
  • Furniture £230
  • Accessories £90

Total spend: £32,283

Are you inspired by this modern country style kitchen makeover?  Share your makeovers with us by tweeting @goodhomesmag, posting a comment on our Facebook page or posting a pic on Instagram using the hashtag #ThisGoodHome for your chance to be featured on our page.

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