A modern kitchen perfectly framed by the exquisite ancient beams

Artichoke designed a discreet and timeless kitchen to complement a converted granary. Amelia Thorpe takes a look.

The owners of this 16th-century farmhouse in Hampshire wanted to create a larger kitchen to accommodate their growing family. Because planning restrictions prevented the removal of internal walls to increase the size of the existing kitchen, the couple decided to convert the granary that stood next door.

‘The granary had been subdivided into bedrooms in the 1980s, so our first step was to strip out the partitions and reveal the full character of the ancient beams,’ says Bruce Hodgson, founder and creative director of Artichoke. However, some of the supporting struts of the timber frame created obstacles by jutting into the room and its stone plinth created an extra element to overcome.

‘We used a scanning system to build a three-dimensional model of the space and worked very closely with the builders,’ he explains. ‘The cabinetry is quiet and unfussy — but this level of simplicity is only possible with very careful craftsmanship.’

Mr Hodgson took an equally considered approach to the extraction system above the electric AGA, concealing it in a custom-made canopy, constructed from old, locally sourced timber. ‘It is designed to look as if it has always been there,’ he notes.

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The cabinetry takes its design cue from timeless estate joinery, finished with an almost translucent off-white paint to reveal some of the natural figure of the wood grain and traditional brass drop handles.

A large prep table takes centre stage, made from solid oak with a pickled finish designed to add a patina of age.

‘This is a practical room with plenty of storage, hidden appliances and sociable seating — designed for modern family life,’ says Mr Hodgson. ‘It also has minimal visual noise, to allow the beauty of the beams to shine.’

Artichoke — 01934 745270; www.artichoke-ltd.com