A Kitchen Fit for an Emperor

Brasted, Kent


Grade 1 Listed Country House

In a Nutshell

A truly unique project for esteemed designer, Ashton Taylor-Smith in his new home. The apartment is a section of the Robert Adam-designed country house which was built in 1780 and was once home to George III’s physician, John Turton, as well as the exiled Emperor Napoleon III.

The Brief

Our brief was to repurpose the 18th Century period grand salon for the 21st Century and design a kitchen to fit an entirely new location at the rear of the property, with southerly views out through the Tunbridge Wells sandstone Palladian portico to the rolling parkland beyond.

Not only is the space blessed with beautiful proportions and natural light but 4.5 metre high ceilings, allowing us to design a striking run of Georgian-inspired cabinetry along one wall of the room with a majestic broken pediment crowning the top of the central cupboard.

At the opposite end of the room nestles an architectural gem: a Neo-Classical Robert Adam marble fireplace, which sits as the focal point of the reception area in the open plan space.

John and Ashton talk through the design process

Project Details

View Kitchen Inspiration

To remain in tune with the flow of the room, we designed a kitchen island which combines functionality and style with a Bora hob and extractor, as well as ovens by Fisher & Paykel on the working side of the kitchen space. Out of respect to the property’s historical and architectural importance, we incorporated a raised plinth into our island design which allowed us to add additional lighting for the cooking area, as well as conceal the presence of appliances from the rest of the room, so preserving the feel of an elegant living space designed primarily for leisure as opposed to functionality.

The kitchen island incorporates a run of glazed cabinets, the interiors of which we hand painted in the eye-catching Bisque by Farrow & Ball to contrast with the dark Farrow & Ball Studio Green exterior. We added understated lighting to the interior of these cupboards to complement the horizontal fluted glass fronts accentuated by the elegant, fluted detail of the Hendel & Hendel polished nickel handles and back plates.

For a final flourish we added a striking high marble splashback and sink by Lusso Stone, so contrasting beautifully with the stunning Zardi & Zardi wallpaper with an 18th Century Chinoserie panorama, drawing all of the elements of the room together to create a truly bespoke and breath-taking design.

“It’s always a pleasure getting a phone call from Ashton with another exciting project to collaborate on and this kitchen was our most enjoyable and rewarding yet. Our greatest challenge was making the broken pediment and many hours were spent deliberating over tiny details, poring over books about Georgian architecture and in the workshop perfecting the design and build. To see all of the different elements come together in such a striking and elegant way has been wonderful and it has been a true honour to be a part of creating this truly bespoke kitchen.” John Stephens, Managing Director

“This was, as always with Rencraft, a joyous collaboration. I now have 6 kitchens under my belt which we have designed in collaboration and the experience is always something to relish and enjoy. The attention to detail is exceptional, especially when considering the architectural challenges I set which were quite considerable. I worked closely with John and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the end result. I think anybody in years to come would be fooled into thinking that this could well be the great Robert Adam’s own work.” Ashton Taylor-Smith

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