Crafted of oak and incorporating dramatic purple cabinetry, this kitchen is an antidote to all the white and gray designs around. “I like color and enjoy putting some into my kitchens,” says Stephen Graver, who designed this striking room. “There are a lot of gray kitchens out there!”
The vivid cabinetry adds a theatrical touch to the kitchen of a 1960s bungalow in the English county of Wiltshire. Graver and his team extensively modernized the property, moving the kitchen to the heart of the home before they began designing it.
When it came to creating the room’s look, the owners began by selecting a large professional range. Graver then worked with them to design a kitchen around the range that’s modern and a bit surprising.
Photos by Marc Wilson Photography
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: A young professional couple
Location: Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England
Size: 25 feet (7.6 meters) wide and 18 feet (5.4 meters) at its deepest point; the kitchen and dining room form a squat L
Designer: Stephen Graver
Graver and his building team had already made major alterations to other parts of the house. “The kitchen was the final job,” he says. It sits in what was once the living room; the original kitchen became a pantry and utility room. “The idea was to bring the kitchen into the center of the home,” Graver says.
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The owners decided on the professional-style range early on, having seen one at Graver’s studio. Its substantial size dictated the kitchen design to some degree. “It’s not a huge room, but it did have the benefit of having a utility area off it with a pantry, which took some pressure off,” Graver says. “We ended up blocking up a window where the range is now. We were running out of wall space, but luckily there was already enough light coming in.”
Range: ICBDF486C, Wolf
The cabinets have solid oak frames with panels of beautifully patterned cluster oak. “Cluster oak is like a halfway house between regular oak and burr oak,” Graver says. “There are burr elements in it.”
Graver made a prototype door and frame to help the owners visualize the design. “It’s quite a contemporary style with a simple framework,” he says. Stainless steel handles finish the doors, mirroring the sleek steel of the range.
The door on the right leads into the living room.
At first, the owners didn’t really have a plan for the style of kitchen they wanted. “So we just started talking, and I asked some questions: ‘What do you like? Do you like color?’” Graver says. “A lot of people don’t like color or are afraid of it. Then I asked, ‘What’s your favorite color?’ This bright pinkish-purple shade came forward. Does it go with the oak? Yes, it does. Does it work with the granite [countertop]? That has purple tones running through it, so yes. We just pieced it all together.”
The bold shade is a custom paint color. The double cabinet of pantry storage has a glass-fronted cabinet with glass shelves on one side. “It’s painted inside and lit,” Graver says. “The owners wanted somewhere to store glasses and to have some display space too.”
These bold lights bring a slightly industrial feel to the space, which ties in well with the range. “I recommended that the owners look for something unusual,” Graver says. “These lights were from Restoration Hardware. They look as if they could be salvaged, but they’re actually new and really different.”
An appliance garage with a stainless steel tambour door houses a KitchenAid mixer when it’s not in use, and contains outlets. It adds another professional touch to the space. “It goes with the range, handles and lights,” Graver says. “The space all hangs together.”
Coromandel granite countertop: Windsmere Stone & Granite
The sink area has a concealed trash bin on one side and a dishwasher on the other. The door to the left leads to the pantry, utility and study area. Drawers comprise much of the storage. On one side of the peninsula, they hold cutlery, cookware and pans, while on the other side, they contain everything needed for dining, such as placemats and napkins.
A simple granite backsplash is topped with clear glass panels by the range and sink. The engineered oak flooring complements the oak cabinetry.
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