Kitchen symbiosis between old and new

Kitchen symbiosis between old and new

Roland Kohler produces exquisite pieces of furniture in his carpentry workshop according to the motto “nothing off the shelf”. It therefore goes without saying that the kitchen that he and his wife Julia installed in their farm (inherited from his grandmother) is also one of a kind.

Saved from the wrecking ball

The farm, located in the Baden-Wuerttemberg village of Taisersdorf, near Lake Constance, has a long history. It was first documented in a purchase agreement back in 1752, when it was passed on to Roland’s ancestors. Today, over 270 years later, it’s Roland and Julia’s home.

When the couple took over the farm from Roland’s grandmother, they saved it from being demolished. This was out of the question for them. “We always planned to refurbish it as our own home”, explains Julia. “At the same time, we wanted to preserve the old farmhouse’s character.”

So they carefully renovated the living quarters. “We felt it was important to use materials that we had already come across during the dismantling stage”, she recounts. The walls were therefore coated with clay plaster, the ancient floorboards were transformed into kitchen furniture and the farm was given back its former name: ‘Liebhof’ – inspired by Roland’s grandmother’s maiden name.

The kitchen, the new heart of ‘Liebhof’

The Kohlers changed very little aside from knocking down a couple of walls. Now, the living room, dining room and kitchen are all joined together in one room which takes up the whole of the ground floor. The kitchen, which was designed and built by the twosome, stands right in the middle as the new heart of the home.

There certainly aren’t any conventional kitchen units here; instead open work tables are lined up next to one another. The kitchen ensemble also features some old, random objects that were discovered by chance – such as a workbench and a sink – and a BORA Professional 2.0 with gas cooktop, which blends in perfectly with the overall picture thanks to its timeless design.

“We wanted to create a place where cooking is celebrated as a craft and where we simply like being together, and we succeeded on both accounts”, agree Julia and Roland. To prove it, whenever guests come round they all gather in the kitchen. “It just happens naturally”, they add.

Paying tribute to the farm’s history

“We also wanted to remember Liebhof’s history with a few details”, continues Julia. They therefore covered the substructure of the kitchen island with old floorboards taken from the parlour. The tin boxes that Roland’s grandmother once kept flour and sugar in are now used as a muesli station.

“We fitted the large wall unit with wooden frame doors with mesh inserts. These remind us of Grandma’s old meat safes where she used to keep perishable food, back in the days when there was no fridge”, explain Roland and Julia Kohler.

When asked about their favourite spots in the kitchen, Julia answers: “I always lean on the workbench and Roland leans against the sink, that way we chat across the BORA Professional 2.0.” This wouldn’t be possible if they had a conventional extractor hood blocking the view, but thankfully the Kohlers opted for an integrated downdraft cooktop extractor. As such, they can focus on the essential, i.e. fascinating conversations and good food.