A stylish oven for a fashionable couple
A stylish oven
We had an enquiry in May 2019 from the PA of a top British fashion designer and her Art gallery owner husband who were looking for a domestic wood-fired oven for their beautiful newly refurbished house and garden near London’s fashionable Ladbroke Grove and Portobello road.
After a discussion about available space and the base construction, the clients chose our Four Grand-Mere ‘Gourmet’ F950 chamotte oven that would sit on a reclaimed yellow London stock brick and cast concrete base built by the builders, Loveday Construction, renovating the house. On that basis, we developed a cgi of the installation showing the layout.
Fast forward several months trying to schedule the delivery and installation date that would suit the busy couple, we finally got going mid August just as the rain started!
The first challenge was getting the oven sections down some outside steps and through the house at basement level to the garden without causing any damage to newly painted walls and woodwork. With the aid of our trusty dolly truck and a series of wooden ramps, the oven was safety transported to the garden and unloaded ready for installation.
The install scheduled while the couple were back home between holiday breaks went smoothly and after a brief discussion about colour, we went ahead and applied a white cement based render to give an off white finish to the dome as a contrast to the ochre tones of the walls and pointing and grey of the cast concrete worktops.
What makes a stylish oven? Restrained use of colour and simple classic shape look superb against the backdrop of reclaimed brick, old York stone pavers and abundant evergreen foliage craned in over the top of the house to give the garden a mature mediterranean feel. Too many online photos show oven builds that are just over the top complicated- Fancy ‘artisan’ brickwork that just looks kitsch, over patterned stone worktops and too much stainless steel in otherwise rustic builds are all common mistakes.
Style flows naturally from good design so if you’re designing your own layout, keep it simple with one or two materials, keep lines uncomplicated and unfussy and pay attention to line and level so your eye flows smoothly. Architects and designers often use the phrase ‘Line through’ so different aspects of a build have a common height or detail so the eye isn’t bouncing around too much.
The husband Max is a keen cook and although he hasn’t used a wood-fired oven before, is impatient to get outside and start using it if the weather permits! With a bit of instruction from us and dry firewood from his place in the country I’m sure he’ll be fine and get the hang of doing the sunday roast in no time.
A stylish oven- Dome height?
One of his worries when we first set up the oven was the dome height as even though he had looked at our raised oven option he didn’t think any more about it until the oven was ordered and delivered. Our ovens are low-domed compared with the Italian alternatives. Please make sure that our standard height of 248mm is high enough for the largest thing you’re going to cook, otherwise we offer a raised option that is 75mm higher.
A stylish oven- A note on the base construction for this project
We initially costed this job with polished cast concrete worktops made offsite in a workshop but after the client refused to have a 50mm thick casting with a 100mm downstand ( giving the appearance of a 100mm slab) we had to alter the plan as the worktop would have been too heavy to carry through the house. In this case the main contractors on site cast the worktop in situ over the brick piers beefed up to carry the extra weight.
The 950 chamotte oven was chosen over the original 800 so the base had also to be enlarged from 1200mm to 1400mm to accommodate it. For an approximate calculation of the minimum size of base you need for our ovens, use the following formula ID x 2 – 1/2 ID = BS
where ID Internal diameter BS Base size ( minimum)
A stylish oven We had an enquiry in May 2019 from the PA of a top British fashion designer and her Art gallery owner husband who were looking for a domestic wood-fired oven for their beautiful newly refurbished house and garden near London’s fashionable Ladbroke Grove and Portobello road. After a discussion about available space […]