CAMPO CHIC - Projects and Interior Design
Sarah de Graaff-Hunter


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An olive miller’s cottage was rebuilt and designed by Sarah to keep the original character, using existing oak beams for the ceiling and doors and window lintels. The green and white diamond pattern tiling above the work surface is very typical of old Spanish kitchens as are the diagonally laid terracotta floor tiles, but modern comfort is provided by a central heating radiator under the work top. A collection of antique pottery bowls and jars is displayed on the wall shelving and open shelves below the work surfaces hold the kitchen pots and utensils, but the fridge and food storage are in an adjoining larder.
This kitchen was created from a village carpenter’s work shop and uses glazed blue and white tiles laid diagonally on masonry units, to create a checkerboard effect on the work surface and splashback, but incorporates the existing wooden shelves above them which now display plates and dishes. The open shelves below give easy access to the cooking pots and utensils, but the cupboard under the sink was closed in with painted lattice work wooden doors. The stock panelled and shuttered windows from the local builder’s merchant are painted for protection against the harsh effects of sun and rain.
Set off the main living space of a country ’Cortijo’ this compact kitchen was designed and built recently by Sarah using local materials, and although small is a very easy and ergonomic space to work and cook in. The breakfast bar/serving counter, dividing the kitchen from the dining area of the main living room , is of limestone with a massive supporting double oak beam above it. The three-legged bar stools were copied from an old Spanish country design by an English carpenter and were made of local chestnut. The green splashback tiles were fired and glazed by a woman’s tile co-operative and the open moulded shelving above them, with concealed lighting, is a practical and attractive way of displaying and storing everyday and decorative china and pottery. The huge china fireclay sink, originally for a laundryroom, takes the largest dishes and pans with ease and the limewashed moulded cooker hood hides an extractor fan above the large kitchen range. A ceiling fan keeps the kitchen cool in summer.
This kitchen off the dining/living area is part of a private home project designed by Sarah above an existing working olive mill. The niched and moulded masonry open shelving, with concealed lighting above, holds glassware, china, cookbooks and assorted Spanish pottery artefacts. The green glass genuine French Art Nouveau ceiling light was found by Sarah in an antique shop in Tangiers and hangs above a solid chestnut planked work table designed by her and made up locally. The china butle’s sink was shipped specially from England, as were the brass wall taps from France and the glass painting above the sink is of a Moroccan egg seller. The walls and ceiling beams are limewash, tinted with ochre powders from Roussillon in France.
An old mule stable was knocked down and rebuilt and designed by Sarah to create a small but comfortable 2 bedroomed/2 bathroom house with large sitting/dining/kitchen area on the first floor leading onto a large terrace. The budget was tight, and finishes were kept simple but keeping to the local vernacular therefore the open shelving and cooker hood design were inspired by an old house in the same village and although small, it is a very workeable and practical kitchen.