A RECENTLY COMPLETED PROJECT required us to redesign (in collaboration with our client) build and install a traditional farmhouse kitchen. This included traditional oak beams, an inglenook with a large oak lintel over the AGA, 60 square metres of flagstone flooring, a brick larder from reclaimed bricks and slate shelves, not to mention the kitchen furniture.

Design Brief

Our client’s main design brief was that the units should have lots of drawers. In addition we had to reuse some old slate flagstones, which had been on the farm for some time and utilise an elm tree, which had recently been felled on the property.

By the time we had finished we had fitted the slate flagstones in the new larder as shelves/work surfaces, had the elm tree kiln dried and the best of it utilised in the dresser and island unit, managed to integrate a total of 17 traditionally constructed dovetailed with solid bottomed drawer of numerous shaped and sizes into their kitchen furniture.

The Process

We organised everything from the delivery and laying of the flagstones, to the electrical and extraction system installation. We selected the oak and elm trees for the furniture and beams and arranged to have it sliced in accordance with our specifications and kiln dried.

The drying process took a little over 3 months during which time we finalised the designs for the kitchen furniture. When the moisture content was down to approximately 10% (the necessary level for a centrally heated house) we collected the rough sawn planks and returned them to our workshop for the next stage of processing.

It’s at this stage that the best quarter sawn cuts are selected for doors with the not so figured pieces utilized for the framework. All the timber was then converted into planed and square edged boards in accordance with our requirements.

Over the next 8 weeks or so, the kitchen furniture and worktops were carefully constructed and fitted. Our clients made frequent visits to the workshop during this time to discuss various design changes, which seemed appropriate at the time or just to see how things were coming along. We finished all the woodwork with Danish oil including the 2” oak work surfaces.

When we finished we presented our clients with 10 oak and 10 elm tree saplings for planting on their grounds in accordance with our environmental policy. We estimated that we used approx. 2 oak and 2 elm trees to complete the project. By returning 20 saplings we expect a 50% success rate thereby returning at least twice what we used.