Let me tell you something: banquette seating is so-hot-right-now. You can still get that social island setting, but in a more cosy and intimate environment. And this incredible kitchen, with its striking blue cabinetry and country-style vibes, has got the banquette seating of dreams. (And such a cute doggie!)
The kitchen, designed by Davonport, belongs to Michala and Kelly Bateman. The property, an old Victorian vicarage, had been empty for a decade and was pretty uninhabitable. But the large proportions and period features sold it to them. (And who can blame them?)
“There was such scope to create a wonderful home, we didn’t hesitate,” Michala tells KBB writer Alison Davidson, although they admit they didn’t know it’d be such a challenge.
The now super-spacious kitchen is made up of the original service quarters – a former small kitchen, a maid’s and a gardener’s room and tool shed, boiler room, and a small pantry, which were in a single-storey structure at the side. All of these were knocked together to make one large space.
“I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted for a kitchen while the rest of the renovation was carried out,” remembers Michala. “I knew it had to be sympathetic to the vicarage’s age, but I didn’t want a museum piece or a farmhouse style – so I collected lots of pictures of designs I saw on the internet, in magazines and from showrooms, and created an album of styles and interesting details.” (A good tip for those of you who are about to embark on their own project!)
The one idea she wanted to take from their previous home was a large table that seated 10, which was the hub of the old kitchen so they knew they wanted something the same size.
“I saw some lovely banquette seating in a bar in Edinburgh and thought it was perfect. So I drew up a rough design with an L in the middle, which were the table and seating, and took it to Serena and the team at West End Interiors, who had designed the kitchen in our last house.”
The company had a Davonport kitchen on display in their showroom which Michala liked, as it worked with the house’s Arts & Crafts touches, but with the option for a modern colour.
With the smaller rooms knocked into one large space ready for the new scheme, the couple spent time deciding on the best design and layout.
The room covers the whole of the side of the vicarage and has a pitched roof to one side, so the it had to cleverly make the most of this quirk, plus the cabinetry needed to suit the room’s proportions.
“The units had to be tall and quite grand,” says Michala. “I wanted an overmantel, which I think suits the style of the house. And it’s perfect for my range cooker.”
Serena designed the rest of the kitchen around this and the idea of the banquette seating, while Michala chose Hague Blue from Farrow & Ball for the units. “I always wanted a strong blue, so I think this tone bridges the gap between the traditional house and modern living,” says Michala.
She admits that Kelly was pretty easy going about the whole project but he did insist on a bar. “He knew exactly where he wanted it: next to the doors leading into the garden,” she laughs.
Storage wasn’t a primary concern, as there’s a large pantry and utility just off the kitchen, but tall cabinets either side of the fridge-freezer house a breakfast station and a steam oven and cupboards.
Now that the space is complete, Michala and Kelly love it. “The kitchen is perfect for entertaining as it opens straight into the garden. Our friends call it the party kitchen and I think it suits the house perfectly,” says Michala.