Old meets new: How do you ensure a traditional kitchen in a unique manor house suits modern living? With a well planned island that makes a statement
THE BRIEF: Get the balance right in a unique manor kitchen
There is something instantly comforting about stepping into the kitchen at Ballyrane House. It might be the welcome sight of the Aga, or the charming antique gems dotted around the room. Or maybe it is the modern addition of an island, where people instinctively gather around and feel at home.
Enhancing the cosy atmosphere was an integral part of the design brief for this recent renovation. This period property in Co Wexford was lovingly restored during lockdown by its American owners, with the help of Aodhain Scallan of Inside Design.
Her clients wanted to bring the house into the 21st century, whilst respecting the history of the house: “We had different swatches and moodboards, and what the client wanted was to merge her ideas with what would look right and correct in an old manor. We wanted to have a continuous flow throughout the rooms, so when making decisions for the kitchen we had to consider what would suit the house as a whole too,” Aodhain says.
“When they bought it, it was quite dated and very country in style. As a younger couple, they wanted to put in slightly modern touches and to introduce the modern comforts that we expect now.”
Retaining as much of the original features as possible was essential. The house has curved walls throughout, and Aodhain ensured that they kept the original Aga and the wooden beam above it. The Aga was a starting point for choosing the neutral wall colour, Fleetwood Vogue Collection Hoban White.
“When choosing our neutral colours, it was all about warmth. It is an east-facing kitchen, so we didn’t want any shades of yellow or cream coming through. The walls actually have a slight green undertone. The kitchen presses are then just two shades lighter than the wall colour – we wanted a slight contrast there, but we wanted it to be tonal rather than light and dark.”
The kitchen was designed by P&M in Ferns, who worked through difficult times with Covid to bring this project to completion. The curved walls meant installing every piece of cabinetry was a challenge.
To ensure the kitchen felt modern, Aodhain introduced integrated appliances within the traditional Shaker-style cabinetry. “We don’t have anything above the cabinets on the walls, so no shelving or wall units. Just having a few pictures and keeping that space clear ensures that we really focus on showing off the old sash windows,” Aodhain says. “That helps to keep the old character, but accounts for modern day living and kitchen design as well. Wall units are a thing of the past.”
It was very important to the clients to have a spacious island in the kitchen. While this house does have a formal dining room, and a large dining table in the kitchen, a kitchen island added a casual seating area as well as extra workspace and storage. “This couple wanted to get at least three people sitting at the island and a quartz countertop was very important as they are big into baking,” Aodhain says.
“Modern living is all about gathering around the kitchen island. Getting the size and position right is crucial, we actually had three different templates cut out and placed on the ground to try to ensure this significant-sized island would work in the kitchen.”
Introducing a strong green shade was a priority, and Aodhain and the client settled on Fleetwood Green Mantle CP1818: “Green was in the mix from the first brief. There is a historic tint to this paint, a shade like this would definitely have been used in old houses,” Aodhain says.
This shade of green also helps connect the room with the gardens that can be seen through the large sash windows. Ballyrane House is available for hire as self-catering accommodation, sleeping up to 10 people.
“It works for a special occasion, because you have lots of space for entertaining, this practical yet cosy kitchen, and there’s lots of beautiful accessories like napkins, candle holders and place mats to help set the scene.”
To find your nearest Fleetwood Prestige stockist, visit fleetwood.ie. Fleetwood Prestige is exclusive to the Vogue and Pantone Colour Collections, and any colour can be mixed into Fleetwood Prestige; fleetwood.ie