A fresh, bright kitchen created to fit in to a 17th century manor house

When reconfiguring a 17th-century manor house, Nicola Harding converted the drawing room into a bright, light-filled kitchen. Arabella Youens spoke to her about the project.

When the owners bought this historic house on the edge of a Northamptonshire village, it quickly became apparent that the layout of the ground floor didn’t suit their needs. ‘The kitchen was very dark with low ceilings and looked out over the drive where cars were parked,’ explains the interior designer Nicola Harding.

‘Instead, we moved the kitchen from the saddest part of the house to a space that not only has an abundance of natural light, but also overlooks the garden.’

‘We wanted to create an airy room where our clients would want to spend a lot of time,’ explains Mrs Harding.

At first glance, it appears to be painted entirely in white, but there are, in fact, a mix of different shades. ‘A single tone would look too stark and sterile and mixing them adds depth.’ The existing pine floor, previously a shade of “lurid ginger”, was painted in Slaked Lime-Mid by Little Greene.

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On the splashback behind the range cooker are silver-white zellige tiles from Habibi Interiors, which gleam at night when the lights are on.

All the cabinetry in the kitchen is designed by Plain English with a ‘work table’ at the centre. The run of worktops is in Bianco Eclipsia quartzite, which has a textured front edge. At the island is a pair of bar stools from Howe London, painted white.

There are no wall-hung cupboards, as there is plenty of additional storage in an adjoining butler’s pantry, allowing the couple to have discreet help when required.

Nicola Harding & Co — www.nicolaharding.com