Two to One

cover_sidebarThe Manley’s replaced two existing and tatty 1970s kitchens with one in a classic country design from Arrden Vale Kitchens.

This kitchen was featured in IPC Media’s “25 Beautiful Kitchens Magazine”.


With its sunny yellow walls and cheerful green units, Amanda Manley’s kitchen is a very pleasant place to cook in. But this certainly wasn’t the case when she and her husband brian, who runs a digital imaging studio, moved into their classic Suffolk longhouse in 2002.

The couple discovered that the house actually had two kitchens – one at the front and one at the back. “The previous owner had lived in one part of the house while his son lived in the other,’ says Amanda. ‘So while we did up the back kitchen we used the front one”.

Dating back to the 16th century, the Manley’s home is a pretty half-timbered building complete with beamed ceilings. Amanda wanted a traditional style kitchen that would be in keeping with the rest of the house.

The existing back kitchen was a typical 1970’s disaster – with far too much beige & brown, and nasty cork tiles on the floor. “They were a nightmare to remove,” remembers Amanda. “A local chap came in to do the job and he spent two whole days chipping them off.”

Amanda’s wish list included a character Belfast sink. “I also wanted simple Shaker-style units and a large free-standing American fridge freezer.” The rest was up to designer Darren Cross of Arrden Vale Kitchens.

Work surfaces – Verdi Maratika granite. £364 per linear m. European Oak, £218 per linear m. Flooring – Arpa Natura Noce porcelain stoneware floor tiles. £32 per sq m. Appliances – Traditions 1092 stainless-steel and brass kitchen range, £3193. Super Extract Hood, £1084, both Falcon; integrated dishwasher, K3965 American side-by-side fridge freezer, £1806, both Neff. Sink and tap – Double-bowl farmhouse sink. £339, Villeroy & Boch. Ionian mixer in nickel, £252, Perrin & Rowe
£ Price Guide – Arrden Vale Kitchens start from around £15,000.
[Prices Correct at Date of Publication]


With three windows taking up much of the wall space, Darren had to be inventive. Fortunately the Manley’s have a utility room for the washer and dryer. This left space in the kitchen for a dresser, along with wine and plate racks and a full set of appliances.

The furniture is painted in moss green and, to echo the oak in the rest of the house, Amanda chose the same wood for the worktops, and granite with a greeny fleck around the sink area. As a keen cook, Amanda needed an efficient modern cooker. The one she chose, from the new Falcon all-electric range, has a double oven and smart stainless-steel finish.

At the other end of the room stands a Neff fridge freezer. Even though the model originally only came in white, Darren cleverly had it wrapped in stainless-steel cladding so that it perfectly complimented the cooker and didn’t stand out from the rest of the room.

The Manley’s kitchen shows just how successfully old and new can be combined. A distressed table sits next to contemporary appliances without looking out of place. It all works together – beautifully. 

© IPC Media 25 Beautiful Kitchens Magazine