Inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, this stone new-build property in Cheshire is unlike any other Artichoke has previously contributed to. We were invited to remodel the kitchen and the adjacent living room – both substantial spaces – to create a unique bespoke Art Deco kitchen. To succeed, the kitchen needed to match the remarkable stature of the house.
With its corner turret, steeply pitched roofs, large overhanging eaves, and parapet gables the house resembles a castle. It is well built and a lovely design for a modern house. The clients moved into the 17,000 sq. ft mansion nearly 10 years ago. They are gradually making it their own whilst being sensitive to the striking style of the property.
The brief was to establish the bespoke kitchen and living room as the heart of the home; a space where everyone comes together. Comfort and practicality were priorities. With direct access to the extensive grounds, fresh produce comes in straight from the garden ready for prepping and cooking. The brief therefore invited an element of down to earth family living to be considered in the scheme.
Our design challenge was to find a bridge between the super stylised interior of this Cheshire house and the client’s desire to express an earthier side to their family, all without compromising the sleek spirit of the building. Our solution was to take inspiration from the exterior. We borrowed from the Victorian Arts and Crafts period but introduced more stylised Art Deco principles to make the kitchen more elegant and refined.
The original layout and positioning of the doors and windows in the room meant it lacked symmetry and a sense of order. We corrected this by removing the existing floating plaster ceiling and introducing a coffered ceiling in the kitchen to artfully blend with the top of the cabinets. It is designed to create a feeling of three different zones; washing up, cooking and dining. The new beams running across the coffered ceiling also hide the extraction route.
Numerous polished surfaces including the floor, high gloss sliding door, extractor, glass and oven create rippling areas of reflected light. We used Belgian Blue limestone for the floor – the pattern is cut precisely, and the effect is deliberately crisp, not rustic. A careful balance was achieved using natural materials to bring charm and atmosphere, albeit deployed in a way that retains an elegant Art Deco feel.
The scope of our work on this project extended to the interior design. Our team specified every element of the scheme for both rooms – colours, furniture, fabric, carpets. So, although distinct spaces, the careful design approach holds them together allowing them to flow seamlessly with each other.
Whilst retaining the exaggerated scale and drama of the exterior, our aim was to connect with a more hand-crafted look. We made choices which would lend a lived-in feel and chose a colour and material palette which is tactile and warm. We used natural and handmade materials – leather, thrown tiles, brass, and copper.
Artichoke’s team of specialist finishers put character into the timber elements in the Art Deco kitchen to give it depth and personality. It was important it did not feel either fresh out of our workshop nor hundreds of years old, which would have been incongruous in a modern building. The timber finish had to be practical – something that could be used and not just for show.
Our aim on this project was to help the client express who they are through their home. While they chose this fabulous Cheshire mansion because it reflected their taste, there was an earthy side to themselves which they felt needed further expression.
Our design had to fit with the immaculate precision of the rest of the house. We introduced stylised shapes and forms and a warm palette of materials which unite – bringing warmth and charm to make the Art Deco kitchen and living room the heart of the home.