A new kitchen given huge character thanks to the beauty of reclaimed wood

Irene Gunter's design for this lovely kitchen in the Cotswolds integrated beautiful old timbers despite being newly installed. Rachel Leedham takes a look.

Irene Gunter studied at the Inchbald School of Design, then worked with renowned interior designers before founding her own practice five years ago.

A recent commission was the refurbishment of this 17th-century Grade II-listed cottage in the Cotswolds, once two adjoining dwellings. Designer and owner visited nearby places for inspiration, such as The Wild Rabbit inn at Kingham, which, with its undulating plaster walls and pared-back aesthetic, proved useful. ‘We were keen to adopt a natural approach, but to avoid a classic country style,’ Irene notes.

This galley kitchen sits at the heart of the home and is flanked by the snug and the living room, with the dining room-cum-hall opposite. Cupboards were made from distressed timber and oak boards reclaimed from elsewhere in the cottage. Mesh-fronted drawers store vegetables from the garden; leather handles complement the wood.

To avoid uniformity, the wooden worktop was paired with a second top in Belgian blue stone and wall cabinets with metal frames have reeded-glass fronts. When flagstones with the desired ‘pillowed’ effect couldn’t be found, the client took a slab from a local quarry and honed it himself, asking that each piece be finished by hand to match.

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The decorative touches include a window seat covered in a stripe by de Le Cuona and wall lights from Bert Frank.

The walls are painted in Tom’s Bakery by Earthborn, a homely hue: ‘It’s a warm colour that celebrates the organic quality of the lime plaster.’

Gunter & Co – 020–7993 8583; www.gunterandco.com