Sunday, December 28, 2014

Two Bespoke Kitchens

This Sunday we're touring two stunning bespoke kitchens.

Our tour starts in a "cook's kitchen" in Hampshire, England, and the workmanship is a shining example of "bespoke," which is an old English word for custom made or "tailor made." Inspired by unfitted vintage kitchens, bespoke pieces are as individual as thumbprints. The cabinets are often made of different materials, styled a bit differently, and can be painted or stained different colors.

This one of a kind room was designed by Artichoke Ltd., the space is new (and "transitional"), but it feels as if it were a gathering place for generations of British cooks. The work area is L-shaped, nice and roomy, with plenty of counter space and storage. For me, the focal point was the large English oak island. One side is covered in Italian black basalt stone, and the other has a wood surface--the best of both worlds (cold stone for rolling out pastry; a wooden surface for chopping). I wasn't familiar with basalt: apparently it's stunning but not for finicky cooks--the stone is porous and ever-changing.

Inspired by the homeowners' copper pot collection, a custom La Cornue range and hood creates another focal point. Open shelves hold pots and pans--and LED strip lighting has been added to each shelf. The subway tile backsplash is simple and classic, as are the white inset cabinetry.  

A closer look at the stunning island. Simple cup pulls echo the vintage feel.
And below--storage galore.

The cutlery drawer has two fabulous layers of storage.

A wonderful knife drawer for the serious cook.

* * *

In the second kitchen, Artichoke teamed up with designer Michael Smith to create a traditional space in a London home. The u-shape is my favorite--a sink in the island, Wolf range on the cupboard wall, storage beneath the windows, and a custom armoire, which houses the refrigerator and pantry. It was modeled after an antique Dutch piece. The cabinets aren't white but a gray green...yet the tones are different, adding a heaping dose of charm and "bespoken" individuality.

You won't see can lights in the old timbered ceiling. Fixtures were added to a pot rack, which is
amazingly clever. A zinc range hood makes a quiet statement. It goes without saying that a bespoke kitchen will have custom cabinets, and these remind me of fine, old china cabinets. Glass doors were the perfect choice.  The leaded glass windows are absolutely stunning.

Light pours through those gorgeous windows, the generous counter space, and open storage.

The zinc hood was handpainted, a detail that adds instant age.

Love how the wood floor and ceiling add warmth and color to this neutral space.

On the far wall, custom cabinets hold a wine cooler and beverage center. The glass-fronted doors echo the cabinets and windows--another touch of genius from Michael Smith.

This is a room that's practical, reflects the owners' personalities, has a unique design, 
and is flat-out gorgeous.

Elements of a Bespoke Kitchen:

*tailored to your needs 
*expresses your personality
*handmade--one of a kind pieces
*inspired by antique furniture
*open shelves
*inset doors
*judicious use of upper cabinets
*carefully mixed styles, woods, stones, colors

Thanks for spending time with me today. I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Artichoke Ltd.
Artichoke's Houzz Page
Cook's Kitchen in Hampshire, England--more photos at Houzz.
London Kitchen on Houzz

Shared at:


  1. Great kitchens and they look lived in compared to American kitchens. Of course a copper pot collection & a La Cornue range don't hurt either. I'm crazy about the plate storage in drawers and the wonderful double deep cutlery drawer. You've given me some new inspiration for designing our kitchen ML.

    Happy New Year.

    1. You're right--they _do_ look wonderfully "real" and classic. I keep going back to the dovetailing details. One of my friends is an editor at Atticmag, and her kitchen is classic--her cabinets were made in England and ended up in quarantine on their way back to the US! I'm so glad you found some ideas and can't wait to read about your kitchen. Happy New Year!

  2. Happy Christmas, Michael Lee! A little belatedly but still heartfelt.

    I loved touring these kitchens, and I really enjoyed seeing the double tiered flatware drawer. That makes SO much sense. I am going to have to make a mental note of that. Also interested in the plate drawer.

    Can you believe the copper stove? Wow! That is one serious stove!

    And I loved the windows in the other kitchen. I tend to like stainless appliances, too, but seeing the copper in the first kitchen and its warmth made me wonder if I really want stainless. Hmmm... I still think I would prefer stainless in my particular setting, particularly since there is going to be a bunch of colorful outsider art in the room next to it. But it really looked cold by comparison to the other.

    Hope you are having a wonderful holiday season and that the Lord richly blesses you and your family (human and canine) throughout the year to come!


    Sheila :-)

  3. Sheila,Happy New Year! I flat out love the oak island and the storage. The leaded windows will stay in my head for a long time--I can imagine light bouncing off the glass cabinets and the glass-fronted beverage center/wine cooler.

  4. Such gorgeous kitchens....hope you had a wonderful Christmas and my wishes for a very Happy New Year!

  5. Beautiful timeless looking! Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!

  6. love it all looks great and so organized
    come see us at

  7. Whoa, these are beautiful! I like the first one best.