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  • Writer's pictureDarren Cross

Mr and Mr's Norris

Updated: Mar 9, 2020

When Graeme & Marysa purchased their traditional Suffolk cottage in 2011 the small kitchen was full of old world charm but very little else – with no practical storage or work space. Read about how we transformed the work space into a kitchen that met all their needs and more…

The Norris’ traditional Suffolk country cottage

Graeme & Marysa wanted to maintain a traditional feel but create a light and practical working area for their busy lives. So the first design necessity was to create more working space.

After initial discussions it was decided to remove a non load bearing wall to create a larger working area; throughout the project we worked closely with the building contractor commissioned by Graeme & Marysa. Due to the lack of practical space to fit radiators, an under floor wet heating system was installed through most of the downstairs space avoiding design compromises from use of wall space to accommodate radiators.

The kitchen windows were small so the colour scheme needed to be light in order to help reflect light from other windows of the house into the kitchen, so Graeme & Marysa decided on Farrow and Ball New White as the colour for their new kitchen furniture after viewing a previous customer’s kitchen with similar lighting issues.

Marysa is a keen cook and wanted a modern efficient cooker. So the original, very old, Rayburn range cooker was replaced with a built-in oven at a more workable height making it easier to lift in and out heavy pots and pans. Marysa chose a NEFF oven, above which was installed a NEFF microwave oven.

This ‘before’ and ‘after’ photo shows the extent of the transformation

Marysa chose a NEFF gas on glass style hob which looks very stylish. The glass hob was fitted flush into the granite work surface and sealed with a special sealant which is impervious to heat and mould, which could otherwise appear over time from cooking spills, but with the glass being flush with the granite cleaning up after cooking is also much easier.

A Best down-draught hood was also fitted flushed with the granite work surface, this type of extraction is ideal for this application where overhead extraction can not be practically used.

With the down-draught extractor most of the cooking fumes are extracted down

and out through an external wall. The mechanized device glides silently up out of the worktop at the touch of a button; it has different extraction speeds which are selected by a row of top mounted buttons and lighting is also built in to the device.

Granite worktop, flush fit hob and extractor in the up position .

There are numerous worktop options available now; natural materials such as granite, marble, slate and wood, or composites such as Corian, Silestone and recycled glass, and even stainless steel. River-washed, leathered and honed granites, which have become popular in recent years, give a softer and more organic look over the highly polished finishes, however some finishes are more easily maintained than others.Graeme & Marysa opted for a stunning high quality dense black granite with a river washed textured finish. Once installed this granite is very strong and easy to maintain, tending not to show finger marks like polished and honed finishes can. Matching granite was used to replace the old window board which makes for a nice feature and a practical solution.A 600mm wide Butler sink with a 90mm basket strainer waste was sited directly under the small kitchen window where the old Rayburn once stood, and wall mounted Perrin and Rowe taps were fitted instead of deck mounted to make cleaning the work surface easier.Despite the creation of a larger working area the space available was still not large enough for a workable island unit; however by removing the wall a larger window was incorporated into the kitchen area which was ideal for siting a peninsular, forming the main work area making best use of the natural light. Within the peninsular unit, a high quality corner optimizer was installed into the corner void for ease of access.A secondary Kohler prep sink was also incorporated here with a Perrin and Rowe filtered tap. A high quality pull out bin system was fitted within the peninsular, the system has an integrated lid and houses two 35litre pull out waste bins.

The frame mechanism is mounted to the back of the cupboard door and glides out with the door allowing food prep waste from the shaped end grain maple chopping board above to be pushed easily into the appropriate bin.

A 900mm Fisher and Paykel cool drawer was fitted near the food preparation area to store everyday refrigerated essentials close to hand, with its separate temperature zones the cool drawer is useful for keeping perishables like vegetables and herbs fresh. The decision to install a larger Bosch fridge freezer in the utility, just off the kitchen, was made as the only real compromise to the design as trying to incorporate a larger fridge in the kitchen could have overwhelmed the space.The sit on dresser cupboard housed a pair of oak spice racks to the reverse of the doors; the racks were made to accommodate specific sized spice jars, of which Mrs. Norris had many. The tall freestanding larder store cupboard was given an individual look by being designed and specially made to house a row of clear glass drawers in which Mrs. Norris had kept various spices, these were reclaimed from her old London kitchen.LED back lighting to these drawers was independently switched to add another feature. These kinds of design feature make the kitchen individual and bespoke to the customers requirements. A large pull out bespoke basket was also fitted to the lower section of the larder which Mrs. Norris used to store various dried food goods and the cupboard has internal lighting which switches on and off as the doors are opened and closed.

The new bespoke winerack takes pride of place in the dining room

Graeme & Marysa decided to complement their kitchen with a single piece of freestanding furniture for their dining room, a wine rack, which was finished in a different colour to the kitchen furniture and topped with a fumed oak top.

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