Classic Framed-Style Kitchen – Designed by Barnes of Ashburton


Debbie Bowden from Barnes of Ashburton

Debbie Bowden

The designer: Debbie Bowden from Barnes of Ashburton (01364 653613;

The story: Barnes of Ashburton have 35 years’ experience in designing, hand crafting and installing kitchens in a vast range of properties, from ancient farmhouses to modern seaside developments with Listed properties a specialty.

Furniture designer Patrick Gunning established the company and his commitment to traditional joinery techniques and cabinetmaking remain at the heart of all their kitchens, which are made in their Devon workshop.

Classic Framed-Style Kitchen 2 - Designed by Barnes of Ashburton

Designer Q&A:

Q) What was your brief from the client?
Jenny and Paul’s existing kitchen was dark and small for the size of the property so their extension plans involved creating a large, bright, open plan kitchen/dining/living area in which to entertain their family and friends. Jenny and Paul had already purchased their large four oven Aga, which was to be the main feature of the design and the kitchen was to be classic with a contemporary twist.

Classic Framed-Style Kitchen 3 - Designed by Barnes of Ashburton

Q) How did you answer that brief?
This U-shaped kitchen is bathed in natural light harnessed by a feature window. It was a beautiful room to design and as well as framing the Aga with a made-to-order mantle surround, we were able to maximise the impact of the pitched widow by keeping the base and wall cabinets balanced with a large curved island to connect the layout. Care was taken to create an area where the cook has an abundance of workspace along with a handy prep sink at an ideal distance from the Aga. An entertaining area was then created on the opposite side of the room where refrigeration, wine, glass and crockery storage was located. A curved seating area on the back of the island provides a sociable spot for guests to perch whilst keeping them away from the main working areas.

Classic Framed-Style Kitchen 4 - Designed by Barnes of Ashburton

Q) Which products did you use and why?

For the appliances, we chose a Miele built-in wine cooler and fully integrated dishwasher with Franke undermounted sinks and mixer taps. The clients wanted to invest in functional appliances that would stand the test of time and create a contemporary feel within the kitchen. Shiny granite worktops in Glam White were chosen to reflect natural light, creating a fresh, modern look.

Classic Framed-Style Kitchen 5 - Designed by Barnes of Ashburton

Q) Was there any building/renovation work involved?
Yes, a large-scale extension was created purely for the kitchen/dining area.

Classic Framed-Style Kitchen 6 - Designed by Barnes of Ashburton

Q) What elements do you think make the scheme so successful?
Certainly the cool, calm colour tones maximise the feeling of space. The glazed splashbacks and upstands were colour matched to create depth and further frame the stunning black Aga. The wall units are painted in the same shade as the walls (Skimming Stone from Farrow & Ball) so that they blend seamlessly. This clever optical illusion creates an uncluttered look and a harmonious contrast to the darker base units in Dove Tale.

Classic Framed-Style Kitchen 7 - Designed by Barnes of Ashburton

Q) Any advice for someone who may be planning a new kitchen?
If you choose a bespoke design, we recommend you give yourself at least four to eight weeks to fine tune the design details with your kitchen specialist before you place your order. It can be mind boggling to have to make so many decisions on cabinetry, appliances, worktops, flooring, etc so choose a specialist designer who is willing to spend time getting this right for you. I pride myself in listening to my clients’ every need so that they can be safe in the knowledge that their new kitchen will be their dream kitchen for many years to come. Before you meet with your designer, think carefully about how you use your current kitchen, what elements you need to improve, what works well currently. Bring magazine cuttings to illustrate what you like or create a board on Pinterest. It helps me create a picture of the client, their lifestyle, likes and dislikes.

Classic Framed-Style Kitchen 8 - Designed by Barnes of Ashburton

The details:

Appliances by Miele,
Sinks and taps by Franke,

Hayley lovesthe idea of an island facing a huge window with a stunning view

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About Hayley Gilbert

Hayley Gilbert is a freelance interiors journalist with 20 years’ experience in the industry. Specialising in all things kitchens, Hayley has contributed to a wide range of consumer titles such as Beautiful Kitchens, EKBB, KBB, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and Ideal Home, as well as national newspapers including The Sunday Times.... @HaylGilbert /

  Email:  Hayley Gilbert


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