Beautiful mixed materials for a barn conversion kitchen by Roundhouse


Paul Welburn has been part of the Roundhouse design team for over 15 years and is currently a senior designer at the Fulham showroom in London. Here, he talks us through the design concepts of this stunning barn conversion kitchen for a family of three…

Q: What where your client’s main priorities for this kitchen project?

Our client’s priorities were very clear and distinctive, they were seeking a kitchen that would be highly practical for the daily needs of a family of three. It also needed to transform into a showstopper for hosting large gatherings, with particular emphasis on a statement island as the focal point.

To enhance these capabilities we incorporated a discreet commercial kitchen for use during events, and the island design also includes a spacious extending table, ensuring flexibility for family breakfasts and larger dinner occasions. Our clients paid meticulous attention to detail, conducting extensive research on hardware and furniture, resulting in a cohesive theme that harmonises with both the house and local heritage.

Q: How did you answer that brief?

We had to create a kitchen with showstopping qualities whilst seamlessly integrating with the  subtlety of the room and the overall character of the barn. Our critical strategy involved meticulous selection of materials, ensuring alignment with the history of the barn, including recycled wood and natural stone and extending to patinated silver finishes and a bespoke oak display cabinet. For our clients, sustainability was a priority, hence their choices of recycled and natural materials chosen to minimise toxins. The backdrop oak display cabinet, a personal touch for the client, required careful problem-solving to achieve a sleek fit against the rugged wall, and underscores our commitment to thoughtful design. Notably, the kitchen is crafted with enduring materials, emphasising value for money, complemented by the addition of a functional commercial Studio kitchen at the back.

Q: What were your reasons for the choices of cabinetry and surfaces?

The choice of cabinetry and work surfaces aimed to honour the space’s inherent character, notably the exposed brick wall and oak details. The table features Nero Assoluto Honed, while the worktops are Nero Assoluto Leathered. Notably, Roundhouse’s own patinated silver finish was chosen for the fronts of the island. The cohesive palette was selected to complement the existing elements and create a harmonious visual appeal.

Q: What design elements do you think make the scheme so successful?

The scheme’s success lies in the harmonious blend of all the different design elements. The combination of timber beams and the exposed brick wall, complemented by the distinctive patinated silver fronts, creates an intriguing and visually appealing space. The thoughtful integration of these materials enhances the overall aesthetic, contributing to the success of the design.

Q: Now the project is finished, what aspects do you think are the most successful?

As the designer, I am particularly pleased with the project’s functionality and beauty. The space seamlessly combines practicality with aesthetics, catering to the daily needs of the family while also being well-suited for hosting larger gatherings. The versatility and usability of the finished kitchen bring immense satisfaction to both me and the client.

Q: What is your best advice for someone who is planning a new kitchen project?

My top recommendation is to research the latest appliances. The market is brimming with innovative features that can significantly elevate the cooking experience and enhance the overall functionality of the kitchen. Taking the time to explore these possibilities ensures that the new kitchen not only meets your own aesthetic preferences but also caters to you and the family’s practical needs, making it a space where both style and functionality seamlessly coexist.

Q: Do you have a secret ‘style signature’ or feature that appears often  your kitchen projects?

For my distinct style signature, I always pay special attention to the internal configuration, with a special emphasis on bespoke larders. I find joy in tailoring these larders to be unique for each client, ensuring they align perfectly with individual needs and preferences. Additionally, one of my favourite design features that consistently graces my projects is the use of natural stone. Its timeless elegance and versatility allow me to create kitchens that seamlessly blend sophistication with functionality.

Q: Are you seeing more large-scale projects such as this, including extra spaces, not simply a kitchen?

Absolutely. There’s a growing trend where clients are seeking not just a kitchen but what could be termed a ‘showstopper’ space. The concept of the ‘back kitchen’, which may include a utility area, a walk-in pantry, or even a combination of all three, is gaining significant popularity. Clients are embracing the idea of a multifunctional and visually stunning kitchen that goes beyond mere practicality to become a focal point of the home.

Q: Do you have any trend predictions going forward into next year?

 In terms of cabinetry finishes, there’s a surge in innovative options that I find particularly exciting. The world of metallics, especially those with added texture, is evolving in intriguing ways. We’re witnessing a delightful influx of bold and vibrant colour choices that inject a fresh dynamism into designs. Additionally, the natural stone trends continue to captivate, with stones sourced directly from the earth becoming more diverse, exciting, and nuanced. The interplay of these elements is shaping up to define the aesthetics of the future.

We Love: The glorious mix of materials and subtle, warm and natural colours, and in particular, the bespoke glazed oak cupboard.

Kitchen project by Roundhouse. 60mm and 200mm Nero Assoluto Honed on table, 60mm and 200mm Nero Assoluto Leathered for work surfaces and Roundhouse’s Patinated Silver for the front finish to the island. Roundhouse Fulham, 857 Fulham Road, London SW6 5HJ, 020 7736 7362, E: Instagram: roundhouse_design

Bespoke chairs, benches and footstool, Axoman Design

Light fittings, Creative Cables

Metal windows, Cotswold Casements

Oak windows, PM Large Joinery

Window fittings, From the Anvil

Switches and sockets, Buster+Punch

Floors, poured concrete in Cream Satin finish, Lazenby

Appliances, Miele, fridge-freezer, Fisher & Paykel

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About Linda Parker

Interiors & Lifestyle Writer and Content Provider, who is currently extremely keen on rationalising storage spaces and decluttering her home to accomodate the ever-expanding collection of house plants...

  Email:  Linda Parker


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