Christmas at the manor house

By Andy Vale

Christmas is coming, and with it the delicious smells of festive cuisine. Warm, comforting cinnamon, sharp spicy cranberries, inviting mulled wine, roasting goose. Whatever your Christmas traditions, here at Vale Designs, we understand that your kitchen is even more important than usual at this time of the year.

When I’m working with clients to design their kitchen, I pay attention to all the details because I appreciate that everyone has their own way of living and the kitchen is no exception.

Living in a Grade II listed 17th century manor house, our clients wanted a kitchen that was sensitive to the architecture and atmosphere of their property, while being intelligently designed and fit for purpose. We’re delighted to say that their kitchen was fitted and ready to go just weeks before Christmas, in time for all the celebrations, cooking and entertaining.

The proud owners of this beautiful kitchen take up the story:

“We’ve always felt that our kitchen is the centre of our home, both literally and metaphorically. It’s not an enormous space, but working in conjunction with Andy and his team, it’s been incredibly well thought out. We don’t have to walk for miles to get to the important appliances and everything is handily situated.”

As well as kitchens, we create bespoke furniture for other rooms too. In this case, the owners wanted a pantry, and this has proved to be a wonderful addition to their home:

“We love our pantry as we can store all the dirty dishes in there and shut the door! None of the guests can see the mess, and we can clean up later at our leisure.”

Handmade pantry

Despite of the fact that their house has a large dining room adjacent to their kitchen, the family and their guests always gravitated to the kitchen. When I designed the space I incorporated a central island, open shelves, plenty of counter tops and warm, ambient lighting. The design is perfect for family life and entertaining, as the owners explain:

“It feels so warm, welcoming and homely. It’s a really flexible space now. The kids do their homework on the island while we cook the dinner, or come to have a chat. It’s lovely for us to spend time together as a family. When friends come over, they hang out in the kitchen while we cook and we can all enjoy a few drinks together before our meal. I never thought an island would be so useful! Now, we can’t do without ours – it’s made such a difference to the kitchen.”

An island perfect for entertaining at Christmas

We hand-painted the kitchen units in soft Zoffany Double Empire Grey and added worktops in Silestone Yukon quartz engineered stone. The central island features a warm maple worktop plus a cleverly integrated wine fridge, ideal for parties.

This kitchen has transformed mealtimes for this family as the owners say:

“We are in love with our kitchen! The colour, the layout, the fantastic Lacanche range cooker and the beautiful details. In fact, we simply can’t wait to cook our Christmas meal in it!”

We are always delighted to hear a kitchen love story. To find out what we can do for you, please get in touch by ringing us on 01728 830581.