Amber & Her Farmhouse Kitchen Renovation

An old farmhouse set in the charming South Suffolk countryside is home to Amber and her young family with their new stone kitchen floor. The house is perfectly located on the edge of their village, overlooking fields, whilst only being a 10-minute drive away from the next main town. Bought in 2017, Amber knew “within the first five minutes of entering the house that it was the one. It had the bones of a perfect family home, but just needed a bit of love and care.”

The kitchen itself had a tired appearance and “as a family wanted to put our own stamp on it”. Work began in 2020, with the electricity mains into the building having to be entirely moved, alongside levelling the floor between the kitchen and now open-plan dining room, “there was a step the whole way along the kitchen, which was higher at one end than the other which really impacted the layout”.

During the renovation the most difficult part for the family was not having a kitchen, “with two young children it’s surprising how often you need things that are in the kitchen. We made a temporary kitchen in the dining room, moved our fridge but only had a camping stove and slow cooker! Takeaways became very boring the first week and we did lots of cooking on the BBQ in the freezing cold!”.

Now, the newly renovated kitchen is complete and has a lovely modern farmhouse style with all the functionality and room for a young family. Much of the original kitchen cabinetry was kept and painted in Farrow & Ball ‘Railings’, “I really like the modern farmhouse style and I like the use of dark colours – my kitchen is the fourth room we have used dark paints!”. A few components of the kitchen were adjusted for additional storage and space, employing the work of a local carpenter to create more pan drawers, move the island and extend it to have an overhang for a breakfast bar.

When it came to choosing the flooring, Amber knew they wanted a natural stone that would be suitable for underfloor heating and offer a hardwearing, durable tile, “we really like the look of natural stone flooring – no two floor tiles are the same!”. After a previous disaster with another supplier and hours of looking on the internet, they found Quorn Stone and took a trip to the Hertfordshire showroom, “my husband visited the showroom in Hertfordshire and chose the Clermont Gris limestone. Quorn Stone from start to finish were brilliant… as soon as the tiler had started to lay the floor, I knew we had made the right decision. The floor was gorgeous and the exact thing I’d hoped for.”

Two years on from the renovation, Amber’s favourite thing to do is to entertain. Once a tired kitchen broken up by two floor levels and a place they would rarely host, is now a bright and light space with enough room for the whole family. “Previously we couldn’t fit a big table in, now we can comfortable seat 10 – I’m looking forward to all the memories we will create with the whole family gathered round the same table.”

Q&A with Amber

What is your must have gadget in the kitchen?

My favourite gadget is my dishwasher! As a family with two young children, there is a constant need to put things in the dishwasher! The main reason I love it is for the on-the-floor countdown – it projects the time left onto the floor, and I find this invaluable when you’re waiting for the girl’s favourite drink cups!

What was the best bargain find?

The best bargain I found was the mirror splash back. It was something I really wanted but my husband (initially) wasn’t sold on the idea. Having searched the internet most mirror splashbacks were coming in around the £1000 mark. Eventually I found a supplier that could offer what we wanted for £250. My husband had to drive 2 hours to collect it, which didn’t help the doubt, but once it was up on the wall he was sold on the look and now really likes it!

What is your favourite interior piece and why?

My AGA! It was something I’d always dreamed of having and an AGA leant itself perfectly to the space! I still wanted to have the conventional cooking that a normal range gives you, so we selected an AGA with an electric oven and gas top, meaning I could use it all the time. It looks the part and is still very functional.

What about your home could you not live without?

The entire kitchen! I spend most of my time in there and really love that the space is so light and bright. Now we have finished renovating it, the kitchen is my favourite room.

Are you planning any future projects?

Yes, the next big project with be the hall stairs and landing. This house is still a working progress, and the hall is in desperate need of a paint and new flooring!