Grand cook’s Kitchen
Early 20th Century Villa | Tuscany

Built by a Swiss emigré at the turn of the last century, the villa was run for decades as a hotel. Our clients saw the potential for a remarkable home.

They entertain often, cook exceptionally well and wanted an eclectic kitchen which looked as if it had been built up by previous owners over time.

Wolf range oven with bespoke aged extraction hood Wolf range oven with bespoke aged extraction hood

Space Planning & Architectural Challenges

However the Villa was in advanced state of disrepair. Together with the local Italian architect we drew up plans which moved the kitchen into the centre of the villa from where there was access to the different outside terraces.

Our next challenge was to research the local Tuscan architectural language and materials, and to forge relationships with local artisan stonemasons capable of achieving what we had in mind for the kitchen and rest of the Villa.

View into the kitchen pantry A view from the kitchen towards the main pantry
View through the kitchen towards the breakfast table

Technical & Functional Considerations

Our first task was to resolve the interior architecture of the space which included designing and setting out the groined vault ceiling.

Deploying this architectural trick allowed us to create drama and also gave us sufficient room within the newly created ceiling void to hide pipework and extraction.

The plastered brick islands are typical of local Tuscan rustic architecture. The arched doors are hand planed with bespoke wrought ironwork made by a blacksmith in Yorkshire

Notable Materials & Features

A variety of styles were deployed in the bespoke kitchen furniture to give the impression that the room had evolved through various owners over time.

The central islands were designed in brick and plaster, with hand planed and finished arched chestnut doors at the ends, hinged on bespoke wrought ironwork, all typical of the local Tuscan vernacular.

The oak dresser below features bespoke espagnolette ironmongery with rounded inside corners on the lay-on door frame to introduce a French element to the piece, while the furniture flanking the Wolf range oven is classical in feel.

Limestone plinths under the main island
Specialist ageing gives the oak character
French dresser The kitchen's French inspired dresser with rounded shoulders and espagnolette locks

Design Features

Artichoke’s design team designed all of the architectural moulding detail throughout the Villa, including the windows, skirting, architraves and the kitchen fireplace which we had made in Pietra Serena sandstone by local Italian stonemasons.

A wrought iron spit for roasting meats over the open fire was designed by Artichoke and made by an English blacksmith.

The open shelves to the left and right of the Wolf range are in limestone.

Pietra Serena fireplace Artichoke's bespoke fireplace
The overmantle was acid etched to age it Limestone shelves
Olivewood chopping blocks were designed and made for the plastered brick islands

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