Bespoke kitchen cabinets in New Forest - Grand Designs magazine
ledbury studio kitchen in zinc and walnut with bespoke storage

Mixed materials star in this kitchen remodel

Walnut veneer, zinc panels and quartz combine to create a contemporary aesthetic

By Victoria Purcell |

Country kitchens and Shaker-style cabinets go hand in hand, but Carrie Goodman, the owner of an Edwardian villa in the New Forest, was looking for something much more contemporary. It’s not all about aesthetics, though, the space needs to work hard as the hub of the home. Bespoke kitchen cabinets and a sizeable kitchen island were high on the priority list.

Having recently moved into the property, she enlisted Charlie Smallbone – the founder of iconic brand Smallbone of Devizes who recently launched a new high-end venture, Ledbury Studio – to transform the kitchen.

large kitchen with walnut veneer and zinc panels on the large kitchen island

Pairing timber and metal is a signature feature of the Metallics Collection from Ledbury Studio

Bespoke kitchen cabinets

‘Carrie knew she’d be spending most of her time in her new kitchen, as it was roomy enough for both a large island with breakfast bar, a separate dining area, and plenty of tall cupboards for storage,’ said Charlie.

To bring a contemporary aesthetic to the space, which measures approximately 5m wide by 8m long, Charlie designed furniture that combined beautiful book-matched walnut veneer with hand-patinated zinc panels. The panels are edged in the same walnut and the cupboards feature aged-brass handles. Mixing materials like this is a great way to add character to a kitchen.

large kitchen with walnut veneer and zinc panels on the large kitchen island

The sizeable kitchen island is topped with an Ambre quartz worktop

Reinventing the housekeeper’s cupboard

The sizeable kitchen island – topped with an Ambre quartz worktop ­– is an obvious focal point, but you could argue that the impressive housekeeper’s cupboard behind it is the star of this project. Charlie designed this bespoke kitchen cabinet as a contemporary version of the traditional wooden storage cupboards found in Victorian and Edwardian homes.

Inside, it has space inside for the microwave and a breakfast station, with deep pan drawers below and fluted-glass cupboards on either side lit from within to create an ambient display.

bespoke kitchen cabinets with integrated lighting, breakfast station and display cabinets

This bespoke kitchen cabinet is a contemporary version of the traditional housekeeper’s cupboard found in Victorian and Edwardian homes

Completing the set

There is also a matching tall larder cupboard next to the fridge with pull-out freezer drawers, as well as sufficient cupboards and drawers throughout the kitchen to keep it clutter-free without the need for any wall cabinets. Instead, white-washed walls and open shelving contribute to the bright, airy feel.

To complete the space, Charlie designed a bespoke kitchen table made from a single piece of walnut embellished with aged brass. Alongside sits a banquette seat made from wood and upholstered in leather, which is durable enough for Carrie’s Dalmatian to lounge on.

bespoke kitchen cabinet hiding the fridge freezer with zinc panels and walnut veneer

Bespoke kitchen cabinets also hide the fridge, freezer and additional storage

Terrazzo flooring

Bringing the whole design together is the terrazzo floor. Traditionally a flooring choice with a rich history (it was developed centuries ago in Italy as a budget product made using waste chips from the marble industry), terrazzo has had a renaissance of late, favoured for its distinctive look. Here, not only is it a great, hardwearing choice for a dog owner, the flecks of grey complement the tones of the zine panels in the bespoke kitchen cabinets.

Note: Carrie Goodman is not the client’s real name