At home with Rory

We knew we wanted a modern kitchen because we have one in our house in Scotland,” says Rory.

For some, the process of planning a new kitchen can be hampered by indecision or a quest for inspiration. But not so for comedian, impressionist and writer Rory Bremner and his sculptress wife Tessa Campbell Fraser, who found and had fitted their kitchen in just a matter of weeks.

The Bremners visited their local Nicholas Anthony showroom and loved the linear feel and recess feature of the Poggenpohl PlusModo kitchen. Its signature 130mm thick worksurfaces can be cantilevered over low base units for a floating effect. They contribute to the design’s strong horizontal lines and sit almost flush with the cabinetry fronts, giving a solid architectural presence. “We wanted to keep the lines very clean and the kitchen we went for reflects this,” says Rory.

In terms of function, the Bremners also had definite ideas. “We knew pretty much what we wanted: a big worktop/breakfast bar, boiling water tap, sink shredder and modern hob and built-in ovens,” says Rory. “Also we also wanted a woodburning stove; these days families spend their time in the kitchen and this gives it the right feel.” Their brief to Nicholas Anthony was for a sleek, light and modern aesthetic that was strong on function as well as looking the part.

Rory and Tessa share their Wiltshire home, a stone barn conversion, with daughters Ava, aged 13, and Lila, aged 10, as well as their two dogs, two ponies and a horse. “It was always the plan when we moved in to the property to add a kitchen extension at the back – it’s the heart of the home and we wanted a larger kitchen/dining/living space with plenty of light,” explains Rory. “The new room faces west and is bright and open with floor-to ceiling windows on two sides and sliding doors to a patio. You can look out over the fields at the most amazing sunsets.”

Nicholas Anthony organised the kitchen into zones to make it easy and efficient for the family to use. A wet/prep area with sink, dishwasher and bin enjoys views of the paddock. In the cooking zone by the induction hob, a bank of tall units houses the fridge, ovens and associated storage – such as food and pans. Lastly, a dining zone by the breakfast bar features shallow-depth tall cabinets that hold crockery, glassware and back-up storage.

As well as creating a layout that ensures smooth operation, Nicholas Anthony implemented design details that create a seamless finish and heighten the sense of luxury. These include: employing the black Caesarstone worktop material to clad the windowsills; using the same door fronts around the room with some concealing space-efficient drawers inside; and framing the tall units in an MDF surround that continues into the corner, blends in with the wall colour and echoes the thickness of the worktops.

Tessa selected a monochrome colour palette for the kitchen to fit with the rest of the house, which uses blacks, whites and greys. This is echoed in the dining and living areas, where Tessa designed a contemporary fireplace inspired by the kitchen, using niches in the wall and a 130mm thick Corian mantelpiece and Caesarstone hearth. “It was built around a Barbas woodburning stove – a glass cube – with space on either side to reflect the open style of the Poggenpohl PlusModo’s display trays,” explains Rory.

“We’re very pleased with the room,” says Rory, who although describing himself as a latecomer to cooking (“When I first started dating Tessa she found the instructions to my oven inside it, and I’d been living in the flat six months”) has since found a passion for culinary creation and enjoys following recipes from cookbooks, of which he now has quite a collection. “However, I can’t claim any credit,” he continues, “Tessa designed it with Nicholas Anthony to create a modern, light and airy space that works as a kitchen/dining/living area. We live in it all the time and it fulfils all three functions – cooking, eating and being a family room.”

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