2019-06-01 Country Homes & Interiors

(Joyce) #1


o and Pierre-Olivier Gaillard’s picturesque
farmhouse, in the heart of a quaint village, may
be quintessentially English on the outside. Step
inside, however, and the couple’s love of France

shines through. ‘We lived in the Paris-Versailles area for

several years. I loved the interiors of friends’ homes

  • the French are so good with their colours,’ enthuses

Jo. She vowed to recreate a chic French feel when they

relocated to the English countryside eight years ago.

Before she could start looking at paint palettes, Jo

had to tackle the issue of the farmhouse’s small, dark

kitchen. Fortunately, the property came with a rundown

barn adjacent that was ideal for expansion. ‘We knocked

through the wall and doubled the space, then went out

on the side of the kitchen and added bifolding doors

to allow for more light,’ she explains. While the new

space was a massive improvement, it created an

exceptionally long room that would take careful

planning to avoid a corridor effect. Happily, a friend

pointed her towards cabinetmakers Teddy Edwards.

With the help of kitchen designer Pierce Coyne, Jo

worked with the room’s exceptional length to make it a

feature. Central to this mission was a 4m-long island
that clearly defines the heart of the kitchen. ‘I’ve
encouraged the children to get involved in the
preparing and cooking of food (and clearing up!) since
they were tiny, so I wanted lots of surfaces where we
could all cook together,’ says Jo. The rest of the room’s
length is filled with an equally impressive dining table,
with ample space to seat two large families.
Finally in a position to follow the lead of her French
friends, Jo chose a soft grey paint – Pavilion Gray by
Farrow & Ball – for the kitchen cabinetry, and creamy
House White for the walls. Leaving some of the barn’s
original Cotswold stone exposed and introducing a
pretty patchwork-style splashback adds some of the
warmth and character typically found in a French gîte.
While Jo’s unerring eye for colour and texture makes
her kitchen a comfortable and inviting space all year
round, it really comes into its own in the summer.
‘The bifold doors are pulled right back, allowing the
courtyard to become an extension of the kitchen,’ she
says. ‘When the weather is really kind, it feels just like
family holidays in Provence!’

Curves at each end
of the island unit help
the space to flow

Teddy Edwards designed tall
cupboards near the back door
to hide away coats and bags
at the end of the day

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