Kitchen of the Week: A Character Study in Rural Wales

The sink became the starting point for Hayley, who wanted to conjure “a sense of history without necessarily being historically accurate.”

“I’m a sucker for sanitary ware,” Hayley says. “I’ve always been really nerdy about it.” She found this cream stoneware sink with legs on eBay: “I’m up against the antique dealers who buy them and then triple the price,” she says. “This was a rogue one that slipped through the net.”

The unit around the sink has been pieced together from secondhand finds: a Victorian draining board; a wooden cupboard bought from a local auction house, and some sanded and waxed wooden floorboards, all for a total cost of £150. “I just wanted it to feel like it had been there forever,” says Hayley.

In the centre of the room is a wide farmhouse table on wheels, another auction find. “We’re really lucky in Wales because antiques are less expensive here than they might be in other areas,” says Hayley. “Plus, pieces like this aren’t practical for many kitchens, but it really works here because it’s on wheels, so it can be moved around and it has two really massive drawers.”

the kitchen is separated from the hallway by an antique piece of embroidered li 16
Above: The kitchen is separated from the hallway by an antique piece of embroidered linen. “I was told it was Welsh, but I can’t verify that,” says Hayley. “It doesn’t reach the floor, but I’ve convinced myself that that doesn’t matter. It’s not meant to be a draft excluder; it’s simply a piece that needed to be seen.”

To the left of the entrance are two pieces of wooden furniture: a wall-mounted shelf and a pine wash stand, both auction-house finds. “I tend to try and keep it local because otherwise shipping costs get a little bit out of control,” says Hayley, who paired these two pieces as a way to display glasses and crockery: “I’m not a big fan of kind of everything shut away in kitchen.”

that said, the fridge freezer and dishwasher are hidden behind under counter li 17
Above: That said, the fridge-freezer and dishwasher are hidden behind under-counter linen curtains made from fabric from Bailey’s Home Store, a local homeware shop. These hang from a simple wooden framework that also surrounds the oven. Above is an open shelf that continues around the corner. “I’m not a big fan of top cupboards, mainly because I’m not that tall and I can never reach them,” says Hayley. “I’ve always loved functional open shelving for displaying nice cookware or more artistic pieces. And they take up less space and they cost less money.”