Heritage farmhouse transformation

Nestled in the Essex village of Bromley, not far from Colchester, Hilliards Farmhouse stands as a testament to centuries of change, shaped both by its custodians and its rich heritage. Like any cherished home, its heart lies in the kitchen. However, recognising the evolving rhythms of modern life, the owners sought to rejuvenate this culinary space, preserving its historic charm while enhancing its functionality to better complement contemporary lifestyles.

Creating connectivity  

A crucial aspect of this transformation involved merging two distinct rooms into a seamless and unified space. On one side stood the practical kitchen, characterised by its low ceilings and historic elements, such as the original oak beams and the remnants of a fireplace mantle. On the opposite side, an expansive area boasted vaulted ceilings and exposed rafters, creating an impressive setting for daily family activities or casual gatherings. However, the challenge lay in harmoning these initially separate spaces into a cohesive design narrative, ensuring fluidity and continuity throughout.

Our Nicholas Anthony Signature Collection proved to be the ideal choice for this endeavour, characterised by impeccable craftsmanship and a deep appreciation for luxurious materials. Drawing inspiration from the property’s inherent charm, the surrounding natural landscape, and the intimate bonds within the family, along with their envisioned usage of the space, we embarked on crafting a design that seamlessly blended the comfort of a countryside getaway with the elegance of a captivating entertainment hub.

The difference is the detail

At the heart of the project’s success lay meticulous attention to detail. This included incorporating a modern twist on the historic oak beams, evident in the unique features of the island and kitchen peninsula. For example, we crafted bespoke pull-out chopping boards and an end-grain breakfast bar. Additionally, significant effort was devoted to harmonising the irregular ancient walls with the sleek lines of 21st-century appliances. Through the use of intricate, handcrafted joinery, we achieved seamless integration, creating an environment where every element felt naturally at home.

A natural stone floor set the tone for a stylish softness and organic feel to the space, which was perfectly offset by a fusion of basalt blue and light French grey finishes across the cabinetry. Continuing the theme for iconic stonework, polished quartz worktops reminiscent of Calacatta marble added a contemporary, luxury edge, whilst offering the durability of a surface destined for family life.

Personal passion

A home is ultimately about the people who live within it, so it’s fitting that the entertainment portion of the space should echo the homeowner’s passion. An impressive display of collectable liquors and wines sits pride of place at one end, encased in high tech wine fridges and custom storage. The sense of open arms hospitality is deliciously undercut by the opposite end of the space, where the lower ceilings and perfectly placed window create an almost nook-like feel. It’s a perfect setting for savouring a glass of cognac on a winter’s evening or losing oneself in a book whilst bathed in the gentle sunlight of spring.

The outcome is a culinary space that is simultaneously inclusive and versatile, crafted to encapsulate and elevate the diverse characters and functionalities of this genuinely dynamic family home. One can easily envision vibrant Christmases brimming with laughter and merriment, while it also feels perfectly suited to cosy evenings and moments of quiet, soulful reflection.

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