Creating a ‘statement island’ that defines a kitchen without overwhelming it

Elegant proportions and soft hues offset the dramatic scale of this kitchen in the Cotswolds. Amelia Thorpe takes a look.

Designed for a sociable family, this kitchen forms part of a new-build extension to a listed 17th-century manor house in the Cotswolds that replaces a structure added in the 1980s. Working with Fleming Architects, interior-design studio Sims Hilditch was called upon to make the most of the room, introducing elements to ensure the scale of the space feels comfortable.

At the centre of the kitchen, a large island is where friends and family gather. ‘It was important to get the proportions of the legs exactly right, as they needed to have sufficient strength and personality to enhance the presence of the island,’ explains creative founder Emma Sims-Hilditch.

The strong statement created by the island is countered by the gentle tones of the Neptune Henley cupboards painted in Flax Blue and the plank ceiling whitewashed in half emulsion, half water to reveal the texture of the wood grain.

Appliances include an impressive Sub-Zero fridge, a bank of built-in ovens and a coffee machine. In addition, there’s a substantial Aga cooker that takes pride of place in a purpose-built chimney breast, designed to lend traditional character to the new-build extension.

Recommended videos for you

An aged limestone floor also contributes to the timeless look.

Mrs Sims-Hilditch specified curtains in Pashmina linen by Lewis & Wood. ‘When the lights are dimmed in the evening, fabrics will add a layer of softness to the hard surfaces and help with the acoustics.’

Antique glass jars and ceramics and a Lucca wall sconce from Richard Taylor Designs complete the room. ‘The juxtaposition of the traditional and modern is at the heart of this design, creating a timeless feel that is equally at home in the town as it is in the country,’ she says.

Sims Hilditch (01249 783087;
Fleming Architects (01451 861044;