In a huge red barn kitchen, crimson acts as a siren call to cook and gather around the big island.
A red barn kitchen, in a huge extension to an English country home, looks like a new addition to an old house — which it is. Until you see the exterior view it’s hard to understand that the kitchen and dining space take up a majority of the “barn,” which also includes a family room and mudroom.
The kitchen has views of manicured grounds from French doors that open onto a stone patio.
With massive beams dominating the room, the rich barn-red color of the u-shape island warms up the otherwise neutral space. The island has a different function at each end defined by two different wood surfaces set into the black granite counter. In the main prep space, an end grain butcher block is poised above a pull out garbage bin. There’s a handy under-mounted stainless steel prep sink nearby. On the opposite end, a large stretch of maple is inset to serve as a buffet or landing zone behind the dining table.
The principal range is a big black Aga cooker which, in the typically English manor, is built into a tiled niche. An understated chimney mantel provides a decorative ledge. The cooker is flanked by a pair of drawers and narrow cabinets with wrought iron hardware. A Neff combi oven in the corner offers additional firepower. Beyond the kitchen, in a passageway, a wall of cupboards repeats the crimson cabinet color of the island.
The long side of the island has a secondary cooking zone with an induction cooktop installed over a wall oven. Opposite there is seating for three on the island.
Across the aisle, the kitchen’s main sink sports double bowls, an iconic Barber Wilsons bridge faucet, and runnels on one side. A pair of paneled Fisher & Paykel dish drawers are concealed behind cabinet panels while a built in Neff espresso machine sits on the border between the cooking and dining areas. Beige perimeter cabinets blend into the pale walls. There are storage cupboards but no upper cabinets in the space as those would interfere with the lines of the beams.
A pair of tall cupboards serves the dining area with storage and a counter just a few steps from the dishwasher.
This barn space is memorable for what it does as well as what it doesn’t do. It might easily have been conceived as a great room with the kitchen pushed against the side or confined to the end. Instead, both the cooking and dining space sprawl and, during good weather, with the French doors open, this red barn kitchen can take on the quality of an open air pavilion. Oh, to be in England.
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