Real home: an Arts and Crafts-style kitchen with on-trend copper touches

Karla and Adam's tactile oak kitchen extension required industrious sourcing – and a few compromises

A kitchen with oak wall cupboards and dark grey sprayed units

What inspires you? Whether you get your decorating ideas from Scandi Instagram accounts or emulate Mid-century masterpieces with Eames chairs and teak furniture, everyone leans towards a certain style when it comes to their home – even if that style is ‘mix and match’. 

For Karla and Adam, the Arts and Crafts movement that dominated design at the turn of the 19th century was the driving force behind renovating their bungalow and creating their new kitchen. Natural wood units and exposed oak beams lend the space its cosy, comforting feel, while copper accents add a contemporary edge. Read on to find out how they did it… then check out all our real home transformations. Find out how to design the kitchen of your dreams with our ultimate guide, too.

A kitchen with the doors of the drawers and units sprayed a dark grey to contrast with the oak wall cupboards

Bespoke kitchen units, Chordal Green. Ceiling, walls and woodwork painted in Dusted Moss 1, 2 and 3, Dulux

(Image: © James French)
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The owners Karla Bradstock, a client relationship manager for a pension administration specialist, lives with her husband Adam, a builder and landscape designer, and their daughters Freya, 10, and Florrie, eight.
The property A 1940s semi-detached home in Farnham, Surrey.
Project cost £44,000 for extension and fitting out the space.

‘We were in the throes of a bungalow-to-house conversion when we tackled our kitchen,’ Karla says. ‘Adam prepared drawings and submitted the planning application for the project. When permission came through, we moved into our neighbours’ home – they were abroad for three months – and Adam worked flat out
to complete all the structural work.

‘We decided we’d extend by three metres to create room for a dining area and a door into a new utility room, and Adam wanted exposed beams in the double-height space. The house is clad in oak and designed with a nod to the Arts and Crafts era so the oak beams tie in well, and we like the fusion between old and new.’

A kitchen with oak wall cupboards and dark grey sprayed units

For a similar tap, try Abode’s Pronteau from Tapstore. For a similar sink, try Sinks.co.uk

(Image: © James French)

‘We planned the kitchen layout around the original Aga to avoid any additional costs that might have come with removing and relocating the chimney. We didn’t want to be completely open-plan to the living-dining room, so we put in a second doorway to improve the flow but keep the separation.' 

A close up of the kitchen units and cooking area, including a white range cooker and copper cooker hood

For a similar cooker hood, try the Elica Dolce copper cooker hood from Angel Appliances

(Image: © James French)
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'The design divides the main cooking area from the work station where I keep my baking equipment and where we make toast and sandwiches as a family. Making the space functional was important – the curve at the end of the peninsula was scaled back to allow room for the pull-out cupboards and fridge-freezer doors.

‘The build took an intense three months, after that we moved back into a shell of a house. Adam worked his way through the rooms for the next few years, but the kitchen was a priority.

‘At first, we investigated copper cabinets, which is how I came across furniture makers Chordal Green as they’d designed something similar for a bar. They produced an initial design, but we decided the copper looked too “blingy” and would be impractical with a young family. We changed tack and decided to make copper a feature instead of the main event. 

‘I struggled to find a tap and cooker hood in a contemporary copper style that was still within our budget, so Chordal Green suggested copper plating ordinary steel products.’

A kitchen extension with exposed beams and oak units

Copper sockets, Sockets & Switches. Windows, Trade Window Supplies

(Image: © James French)

‘Chordal Green went on to plan the layout, and they made the kitchen in their workshop. Natural limestone really appealed to us for the floor and worktop, even though the porous surface isn’t usually recommended in kitchens.

‘We settled on an unpolished finish to help disguise any marks, but there ended up being a mistake in our order that resulted in polished limestone. Acidic spills like lemon or wine do dull the polish, but we wouldn’t choose anything different now – we love the fossil detail and we can always repolish the surfaces.’

The dining area with exposed beams, an oak dining table and traditional French dresser

Sliding doors, Trade Window Supplies. Copper light, Not on the High Street. For a similar dining set, try the Corona by Home & Haus at Wayfair

(Image: © James French)

‘Adam, a builder and garden designer, has always liked copper within a garden scheme because of the patina that naturally forms, but our modest budget had to work hard to fulfil our design ambitions. Copper doesn’t seem so original now, but at the time it was a real challenge for me to find all the products at prices we could afford.

‘Now our house is completely finished, we can truly appreciate how our kitchen works within it. The kitchen is the only room in the house that’s come in on budget. The layout really suits us – we sit and eat in here every day, and one of us is always hovering by the Aga in winter. We love the oak beams, the oak cupboards and drawers, and the copper works really well with the wood.’

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