Kitchen-diner with a classic style

Jackie and Reg Eldridge transformed a dark, dated kitchen-diner with a classic new look

TODO alt text

‘When we bought this house, the kitchen was gloomy, with dark wood units and pelmets,’ recalls Jackie. ‘It had brown carpet tiles, Artex on the ceiling, and white and tangerine wall tiles. Nothing was to our taste so, to give the space an elegant new look, we needed to take everything out and start afresh.’

‘As the kitchen is open-plan to the dining area, we needed the design to complement the existing modern-country interior scheme and also work with the rest of the house. We didn’t want it to be twee or cluttered, so simple Shaker-style cabinetry was ideal,’ says Jackie.

The couple called upon Seamans Building, a trusted team of local builders who had previously carried out the work on the rest of the house. They gutted the whole space, replaced the Artex ceiling and repaired areas of damaged floor.

The couple developed a good rapport with their designer, Lara Freeman at Neptune in Bury St Edmunds. After researching various cabinetry options, including modern high-gloss walnut units, the couple came across Neptune’s Chichester range: a classic Shaker style with traditional beading, handpainted a chalky limestone shade.

Fact file

The owners: Jackie Eldridge, a retired travel company manager, lives here with her husband Reg, a retired accountant

The property: A four-bedroom detached house, built in 1996

The location: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

What they spent: The couple’s kitchen project cost £29,654

‘We now have a space that works perfectly for us,’ – Jackie, homeowner


Since retiring two years ago, Jackie and Reg have made the modern red-brick property, in the pretty market town of Bury St Edmunds, their full-time home, but originally bought it as a weekend bolthole. They had already renovated other rooms in the house, but the new kitchen-diner was to be the crowning glory.


Jackie’s favourite spot is by the sink, overlooking the garden. Franke’s Venician swan-neck tap in chrome and blinds in English Rose fabric from Clarke & Clarke add a country look to the space. As well as traditional features, the new kitchen has modern appliances, such as a built-in combi-oven and coffee maker from Hotpoint, and Quooker boiling water tap.


A dual-fuel Aga Masterchef range cooker, offering instant control, is a focal point in the new space, which is fitted with Neptune’s Shaker-inspired Chichester units in Limestone. The look is complemented by Kashmir White granite worktops from Chiltern Marble and frosted glass pendant lights from Selco. For similar limestone floor tiles, try Floors of Stone.

Featured image: The structural pillar, clad to match the island, creates a divide between the kitchen and dining areas. Original BTC rise-and-fall lights from Heal’s hang above the John Lewis dining table. Jackie introduced personal touches to finish off the space, including patterned blinds, framed prints and family photos, plants, pieces collected on her travels, and colourful textiles. ‘I prefer a neutral scheme that I can add interest to,’ says Jackie.

• The full feature – including stockists and more images – appears in the December 2015 issue of Real Homes. For back issues, call 01527 834435. Subscribe today to take advantage of our money-saving subscription offers.