Judges recognise the beauty of bespoke: our Stroud kitchen wins the Designer British Design & Manufacturing Award
It was another proud day for the team at Ledbury Studio when our Stroud kitchen won the British Design & Manufacturing accolade at the Designer Awards 2022. The judges noted that it was ‘a masterful approach to materials that set the winning project apart from a strong field’ in the category for British-made schemes.
Designer is the UK’s leading design magazine, which each month shares inspiring and creative ideas in the fields of design, architecture, furniture and the workplace. Now their 20th year, the Designer Awards, celebrate design excellence across the industry – which was why we were so delighted to win!
A custom kitchen for a unique home
It’s fitting that the winner of the British Design & Manufacturing Award should be a kitchen designed for a home steeped in British history. The house in which we created the kitchen dates back to the 16th century and is full of the quirks that you might expect from an Elizabethan property. However, the challenge of designing a kitchen for this space also created some of the great strengths of the finished result.
Working with a challenging kitchen layout
None of the walls in the property were straight and we had to account for a host of original features, such as deep windows, low doors and the huge fireplace. A standard fitted kitchen clearly wouldn’t cut it, but this is the beauty of bespoke: we could make everything to fit the space perfectly. In this case, we created what are effectively large pieces of freestanding furniture – the oven housing, larder cupboard and monumental island.
The owners wanted a contemporary look for the kitchen – but one that would also be in sympathy with the age of the house. We achieved this by combining traditional materials and techniques. For example, we used our distinctive patinated copper – a material the original occupants of the house would have been familiar with – for the cabinets. This finish has a strong presence across the kitchen: it’s used for the pan storage under the ovens, on the fridge-freezer and larder cupboard, and as a highlight on the end panels of the island.
Another of our signature finishes is Choppy Water, which has been used for the island doors and for the drinks area. We are so proud of this finish, which is created by hand-carving stained oak to form a textured surface. Choppy Water and the copper panels are made using traditional techniques, very much as this house would have been, which is why they work so well here.
Details of note
It’s the small details that we love most about this kitchen. For the worktops, we selected Ambra quartz from Stone Italiana. This man-made material gives the appearance of a natural stone so is sympathetic to the period of the house and also highly durable. We’ve given it an additional flourish with a brass edge around the island worktop. Finally, the aged brass and oak screen that sits beside the stairs to the utility room is possibly our favourite feature of all.. It’s for safety, but who says it can’t be a sculptural piece at the same time?
A kitchen for all times
The original owners of this house would be astonished if they saw how their kitchen has been transformed for the 21st century kitchen. But we think there is also much that they would recognise in terms of craftsmanship and natural materials used with respect. We’re proud that the judges of the Designer Awards recognised the care with which we designed the Stroud kitchen to make a very contemporary statement in this ancient setting.
© Ledbury Studio 2023.
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