The ingenious techniques that can let you have brand-new kitchen which looks like it’s been cherished for decades

Rupert Bevan’s experience as a furniture restorer helped him dream up an Arts-and-Crafts-style kitchen for this London riverside home, as Arabella Youens explains.

Having started out as a gilder and restorer, Rupert Bevan moved into interiors, employing his deep understanding of materials, surfaces and finishes to create a wide range of highly distinctive projects. Working alongside a team of craftsmen based in London and Shropshire, he designs, makes and finishes pieces for a broad spectrum of projects and clients.

This kitchen forms part of a project being overseen by designer Susie Atkinson that involved the internal reorganisation and decoration of a cottage on the river in Chiswick, west London.

‘The client wanted a country kitchen that was practical and functional, but aesthetically attractive, too,’ explains Rupert. ‘He was keen for a design that had a bit of patination and character; something that would be perfectly imperfect.’

An island takes centre stage. Rupert used solid oak that was washed and coloured to open up the grain of the oak and bashed to soften the edges, thus imitating the look of a well-used kitchen.

Classical elements, such as the turned columns and pilasters, belie the fact that it features ventilated cabinetry for fitted appliances. It’s topped in Carrara marble, with an extractor fan sitting within the upstand.

A trio of vintage-oak bar stools from Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson (each feature a carved mouse) stand at the breakfast bar and echo Arts-and-Crafts touches throughout the house.

The rear walls are covered in the client’s collection of Dutch 17th-century Delft-ware and timber shelves were added to display a further collection of English plates. Stonework arches either side of the chimneybreast were added for interest. ‘The design of the kitchen is deliberately loose and open—in the manner of an old Italian farmhouse kitchen.’

Find out more about Rupert Bevan’s work at