Langstaff-Ellis Case Study – The Old Chapel, Oxfordshire


Historic buildings can be amongst our most challenging projects, however with an imaginative client open to new ideas for their building we were able to create a light, open, beautiful yet functional kitchen and living space at their converted Chapel in Oxfordshire.


Our client had been living in the building for some time when they came to renovate so had some strong ideas on what they wanted. However the redesign of the kitchen space had proved challenging, with three other designers unable to offer the design inspiration they were looking for.

Langstaff-Ellis were recommended by a number of previous clients as a team that would listen to their needs but also offer innovative design thinking to fully realise the potential of the space.

The existing kitchen occupied a small part of a larger, under-utilised, poorly lit downstairs space, including a spiral staircase and an ugly glass-brick wall.

At the same time the clients had a specific list of what they wanted in the kitchen but were conflicted between modern and shaker styles.

Edward Birks MD of Langstaff-Ellis comments;

“This is just the sort of challenge we enjoy facing as it gives us the opportunity to shape not just a kitchen but to use our creative experience of working with interior-designers and architects to reimagine larger spaces. In this case it was something that we really embraced to create a much more liveable room in this historic space.”

Design Consultation

In discussion with the client we understood that what they were actually looking for was much more than just a kitchen, in fact a boot room and dining area were also important.

Knowing this gave us the freedom to completely remodel the whole space with something more radical. Our ethos though is to design rooms that people will love, so using fully rendered 3D designs we showed our client exactly how the design would look in their home before they signed it off.

After a couple of tweaks, (the most important being to keep a space for the dog’s chair!) we were able to commence building a fully realised vision for a beautiful cooking, eating and living space.

Design Elements

  • Removing the glass-brick wall enabled us to fully open-up the room, and by moving the kitchen further into the room we created space to put-in full height tower cupboards, while freeing-up zones that could be used for dining, living and boot rooms.
  • The boot room is separated by slim, industrial inspired sliding doors that allow light into the kitchen but gives a discreet, comfortable area with extensive cupboard space and bench seats for storing coats and shoes.
  • The kitchen itself is a shaker inspired design with a stylish slim modern profile, the cupboards finished in Dash of Soot by the Little Green Paint Co to enhance the light in the room.
  • An island finished in Dolphin also by Little Green Paint Co, is topped with a CRL Verona Quartz worktop and a state-of-the-art Bora hob, which means there is no need for unsightly, noisy overhead extraction.
  • Cupboards above and below the basin are completed in a distressed oak veneer to give an industrial feel, complemented by Buster + Punch door hardware throughout. The long letterbox style overhead cupboards are fitted with discreet motorised lift mechanisms.
  • The basin is fitted with a Quooker boiling water tap and mirrored splash back to emphasise the light and space in the room.
  • Space has been created for the client’s own dining and lounge furniture though we have built a space-saving bench seat for the dining table, while the spiral stairs are now a beautiful signature feature.
  • By finishing the whole space in off-white and by using the sliding doors we have allowed the natural light that was previously blocked to flood all of the room, making it a bright comfortable contemporary living area.

For reasons of privacy our client wishes to remain anonymous but was happy to share these thoughts;

“We knew it was going to be a challenge creating a kitchen and living area that made the best use of our unusual space. After a few false starts we were lucky to be recommended to Langstaff-Ellis who worked with us to understand exactly what we wanted to achieve and who have made a wonderful job of remodelling the space to give us far more than we ever expected.”

For more information about designing a perfect kitchen or re-imaging your living spaces please contact Langstaff-Ellis using the details below.

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