Interiors Case Study: Secret Drawer
Secret Drawer, Yorkshire
An Interiors Case Study
A look at how stockbroker Rupert Fenton and his wife Emma commissioned The Secret Drawer to transform their home in Rathmell, North Yorkshire.
The project brief was to re-work the couple’s existing kitchen and dining room into an open-plan living space. It would retain a traditional feel in keeping with their 19th century property, whilst offering the advantages of a contemporary layout and hi-tech appliances.
The Secret Drawer: “Reconditioned”
The first task for his team was to remove the dividing wall between the old kitchen and dining room. This was a two-foot thick load-bearing wall. Richard instructed a structural engineer to produce a report confirming the exact specifications for the work. After this Richard successfully propped the ceiling, removed the wall and made the new room structurally safe. The greatest challenge of the whole project was then to ensure that in such a large space as the removal of the wall created, the key elements of the kitchen – cooker, fridge and sink – were not too far away from each other.
Unusually then, Richard created not one but two work-space islands in pippy oak with honed African granite worktops. This was to make the best use of the new space and make it an easy room to cook and live in.
This also divided the area and provided room to prepare food. One provides breakfast bar seating while the other features a curved butcher’s block in sycamore. A newly reconditioned 4-oven Aga that the Fentons had bought was to provide a focal point for their new living space.
Backed with Fired Earth tiles, Richard designed a new chimney breast feature to frame the Aga. It is an exact copy of the original coving, blending in seamlessly. It gives the impression that the new range is fitted within an original fireplace feature.
There are ‘all mod cons’ hidden behind the deceptively traditional kitchen appearance. Included is a Miele coffee machine, dishwasher and a warming drawer. The double bowl pot sink by Franke is complemented by a Phoenician mixer tap by Perrin & Rowe. The sense of space in the room is highlighted by Jerusalem Gold Grey limestone floor tiles from Lapacida.
A bespoke dining table was handcrafted by a Secret Drawer cabinetmaker from distinctive pippy oak. It is carved with each family member’s signature and a favourite quotation to create a unique heirloom for the future.
The table design can be extended to seat up to 12 guests. It makes the room perfect for formal entertaining or everyday family meals. New windows are then installed by The Secret Drawer joinery team. They faithfully matched and copied the design of the existing sash windows with the added benefit of double glazing. The main Georgian window shutters are restored and an oak window seat created overlooking the garden.
Bespoke coving is highlighted by Lutron lighting from Secret Drawer partner Oldfield Electrical while a subtle Farrow & Ball paint shade, Lamp Room Grey, lifts the natural light in the new room, providing elegance for formal dining and cool tones for everyday living. The new space incorporates and complements the Fenton’s existing dresser, oak corner cabinet and dining chairs.
The whereabouts of the secret drawer remains, of course, known only to the cabinetmaker who created it. And – now that they have found it themselves – the Fentons.