Tour this Georgian-style Shaker kitchen

With the help of bespoke Georgian-style Shaker cabinetry, this kitchen makeover oozes historic charm. Fancy a tour? KBB journo Ben Webb shares how the homeowners have achieved this vibrant space…

With its beautiful red-brick façade, pleasing proportions, and lovely views, it is easy to see why homeowners Russ and Aniket fell in love with Link Hill House, in the pretty Kent village of Sandhurst. When the couple decided to revamp the kitchen, however, they also knew they had to use a bespoke solution to respect the space and make the most of its natural beauty.

Georgian shaker kitchen with blue cabinets and a herringbone tile on the floor.
The bespoke Shaker kitchen and bootroom cost £45,000 and took six weeks to complete. Photography: Chris Snook.

Designing the Shaker kitchen

“The kitchen is the heart of our home, both in the style and layout of the house, but also the ethos of our family life,” explains Russ. “We also knew it had to make an impact and be something we loved immediately because it’s the first main room you walk into when you enter the house.” 

The couple hired local kitchen makers Collins Bespoke to design the new scheme, which is in a wonderful room with high ceilings, reclaimed herringbone terracotta floor tiles by Ca’ Pietra and huge sash windows that allow light to flood in. The challenge was to create a look and layout that made the most of the room’s character but also considered the quirky positioning of doors and fireplaces.

“Our aesthetic leans to the classical, but with clean lines and limited frills,” says Russ. “Tom, the designer, hit this on the head with a Shaker design. We wanted the kitchen to appear freestanding, so it looked like Georgian cabinetry rather than a fitted kitchen.”

A view down the kitchen to the dining area. The kitchen has a large island with a sink on the opposite side.
Russ and Aniket went for Polinato Black Forest and Carrara marble for the worktops, both from StoneWright UK.

Zoning the kitchen

Tom decided to ignore the traditional design rule of a triangle between the hob, fridge and sink. Instead – and this is a growing trend in open-plan living – he separated the generous space into zones. This worked well because the room has three separate entrances that affect the traffic flow.

Similarly, all the furniture had to fit around and complement the old fireplace and unusual window positions. A bespoke dresser, for example, was designed to fit into one of the chimney recesses. On the opposite side of the room, there is a complementary, freestanding cupboard that naturally enhances the Georgian Shaker kitchen theme. 

Georgian shaker kitchen with a large kitchen island with open shelving and bar stools.
The worktop for the island is Indian leathered granite from Deccan – the home of Aniket’s family in Southern India.

A large island – a social space that connects the dining and cooking areas – was a must. It includes open shelves for a display of kitchenware. “Our style of cooking involves plenty of mess, enthusiasm and also focuses on sharing dishes,” says Russ with a smile, “so we needed space to showcase Ani’s collection of platters, bowls and ceramics.” 

The sink run is home to two integrated dishwashers, a farmhouse sink and large pan drawers. The double-oven housing is beside it, making oven-to-sink movements easy. A floating oak shelf matches the oak island opposite, where there is an ultra-modern Bora hob with integrated extraction. 

View of the sink run with a wood shelf above it for displaying cookbooks, bowls and glassware.
The open shelving allows Aniket to display his collection of cookery books and bowls.

Handmade cabinetry involved some subtle changes that make a real difference to everyday life in the kitchen for the couple. The countertops have been raised, for example, because Aniket and Russ are both rather tall. “Our fridge is a beautiful piece of bespoke cabinetry that is cleverly designed to look as un-fridgey as possible!” laughs Russ.

Choosing the colour palette and materials

The colour palette is simple but sophisticated and designed for the south-facing room. “Both of us love colour and knew the kitchen was never going to be plain,” says Russ. “Railings, by Farrow & Ball, worked perfectly on our cabinetry – it gives us the drama of a dark shade but still the magic of appearing blue and warm in the bright light. We love it!”

The dark paint also brings out the cabinetry against the light oak island and the light stone worktops and pale painted walls. 

Coffee bar with open shelving next to a kitchen island with bar stools.
The beautiful coffee bar has open shelving to display the couple’s favourite cups.

Aniket and Russ were also keen to use organic and natural elements where possible. The worktops are Carrara marble and Polinato Black Forest, but it is the leathered granite of the kitchen island that adds a sense of definition to the design. “The granite is from the Deccan region, in southern India, where Aniket’s family are from,” says Russ. “It is reminiscent of the work surface Aniket had in his family home and a nod to the shared heritage of our family.” 

The yellow bootroom

There is also a lovely surprise through one of the three doors – a bootroom, painted in rich India Yellow by Farrow & Ball, with its own cloakroom, a second sink and oodles more storage in the similar Georgian-style Shaker kitchen.

Home to the washing machine and tumble dryer, it also has the same reclaimed brick floor as the kitchen, so it feels like a seamless transition from the kitchen. The space is the perfect place to kick off and clean boots after a ramble and it has an amazing picture window with great views of the house’s walled garden. 

Yellow bootroom with a large window to the garden.
The herringbone reclaimed brick flooring from Ca’ Pietra runs through the kitchen and boot room to create a warm and cohesive feel. 
Seating area in the bootroom to take shoes off and hang coats.
The India Yellow paint by Farrow & Ball works beautifully with the brick flooring in the bootroom.
Steps leading from the boot room to the kitchen. The bootroom is yellow with contrasting blue worktops.
Georgian Shaker cabinetry by Collins Bespoke.
Georgian shaker boot room leading to a cloakroom at the back.
The bootroom has a cloakroom off to the side.

Today, the couple are so delighted with the overall result that it is hard to choose a favourite part of the design. “If we had to choose, it would be the pantry cupboard,” says Aniket. “We love the fact that it’s a beautiful yet wonderfully practical piece of furniture for a working kitchen. It was also Russ’s dream object to have in the kitchen, so it’s definitely a favourite.”

As originally told to: Ben Webb | Photography: Chris Snook

Enjoyed this post? Click here to tour this amazing 1930s house renovation

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