A Masterclass in Simplicity

09 Sep 20

The renovation of a Victorian brick-built cottage in East Sussex provides a masterclass in architectural restraint.  The client, who trained as an architect and works in project development, has an exceptional eye for space and his brief to Martin Moore designer John Davies was that he wanted everything streamlined. Two other notable stipulations were a large multi-purpose island and no top cupboards anywhere.

Broken down into its component parts, this kitchen consists of, simply, a large break-fronted cupboard, the central island and a long run of cupboards and drawers along the back wall, comprising both the cooking and wet zones.  Martin Moore’s hallmark chimney breast is the final element, housing an ultra-quiet extraction system and defining the cooking zone. 

Space for the new kitchen and dining room was achieved by building out from the back of the original house, creating a new room with a soaring apex roof in the kitchen area.  A wall of Crittall windows and doors fronts the entire extension, opening onto the terrace and garden beyond.  The owner’s choice of a bespoke Martin Moore kitchen reflects his love of classic English craftsmanship and authentic natural materials. 

The backdrop throughout is a warm-toned Martin Moore limestone floor.  Against this, the hand-painted cream and rich blue cabinetry introduces another layer of visual warmth.  In counterpoint, cooler notes are introduced with the glossy black enamelled Aga, which is framed by black granite, whilst the central island features a lively white granite slab, its polished finish echoing glossy wall tiles within the cooking zone alcove. 

In the pursuit of streamlining, much of the function of this kitchen is hidden.  The island holds both the bins and a bank of capacious storage drawers, whilst the dishwasher is concealed in the wet zone.  The entire batterie de cuisine is beautifully organised under the cooking zone in dedicated drawers.

The break-fronted section of the tall cupboard is a fully fitted-out pantry cupboard, holding everything from wine, sauces and spices to glassware and cookery books.  Marble shelves provide a cool space when needed. The pantry section of the cupboard is flanked left and right by a concealed fridge and freezer. 

Additional elements of the kitchen, from the pendant lighting to the bar stools share the same, pared-down decorative aesthetic, drawing the eye to their elegant forms.  The final essential components in this kitchen’s remarkable design are space and light, both employed with all the subtle understanding of an architect’s eye.  

Paint Colours: 
Bespoke cabinetry from Martin Moore’s English Kitchen Collection painted in ‘Pale Grey’ and ‘Prussian Blue’ 

Cooking Run - Steel Grey Granite 
Island - Bianco Eclipsia Granite

Aged Bernac limestone floor from Martin Moore Stone