Kitchen Tour: A Nature-inspired Design Lifts a Tired Scheme
Soft colours and natural materials give this kitchen-diner a calm feel and a connection to the outside world
“[The owner] loves home decor and when we first met, she already had plenty of ideas in mind,” Sybille says, “but she needed guidance to make the right choices in terms of layout and the selection of fixtures and fittings.” Once she’d discovered the owner loves wallpaper, colour and Moroccan tiles, it was then up to Sybille to bring these elements together.
Who lives here? A young couple with two children
Location Fulham, south-west London
Property An Edwardian terraced house
Room dimensions Around 23 sq m
Designer Sybille Garnier Le Mené of Into interior design
Contractor Mon Concept Habitation
Photos by Veronica Rodriguez
One of the owners is a yoga teacher who often works from home. She wanted her kitchen-diner to be functional with plenty of storage, but also bright and cheerful with a relaxed atmosphere.
Due to budget constraints, the family weren’t planning to extend the room. “I had to work with the existing space without touching the structural walls, apart from a chimney breast [on the wall opposite the cabinets], which I convinced them to remove,” Sybille says.
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She reinforced this link to the outdoors inside. “I wanted to create a connection with the garden,” she says. “This naturally influenced the choice of green for the kitchen cabinets. The room is south-facing, and I thought it would be nice to use a dark tone.”
The hob is on the island, which means the cook can face family and friends in the dining area. It has an integrated downdraft extractor, which keeps the space open. “I tend to use these quite often, as they work well when it’s complicated to install a ceiling hood,” Sybille says. “With this renovation, I thought it would look nice to have pendants above the island.”
Kitchen, John Lewis of Hungerford; painted in Eucalyptus. Worktops, Carrara Misterio Unistone marble-effect quartz, Brachot. Pendant lights over island, Original BTC.
There are two ways to lay them: with a thin grout or without for a more authentic look. Sybille opted for the latter to add more texture to the room.
The shelves are made of solid oiled oak. The bottom one has an integrated LED strip to provide light on the worktop. “I always like to use open shelves to be able to display some lovely objects, a few plants and nice recipe books,” Sybille says. “They give more life to a kitchen and make the space feel airier.”
Zellige tiles, Mosaic Factory.
The nib wall remained in place, so the first base cabinet is shallower. Next to it is a bins cupboard, then a blind corner cabinet. A dishwasher sits to the left of the sink under the window.
The oven is in the island and there are also drawers for pans and cutlery, plus a reduced-depth cabinet on the dining side. The seating area is perfect for the children to sit at when the parents are cooking.
“Having an island was an absolute requirement for my client and she wanted it to have a small breakfast bar area,” Sybille says. “It was a bit tricky, as the island couldn’t be large, but we made it work.”
On the living room side of the window, Sybille designed a little desk area, so the natural light coming from the kitchen is a nice addition.
“I suggested using a wallpaper to define the space and to ‘invite the outdoors in’ on this side of the kitchen, too,” Sybille says of the palm tree mural chosen by the owner. “The wallpaper, rather than the high wall cabinets, is the first thing you notice.”
Sybille didn’t want to paint the cabinets and benches in the same colour as the kitchen units. “It would have been too much green in the room,” she says. “I chose a dark grey-blue shade instead to contrast and give personality to the area.
Amazon mural in Menthe, Isidore Leroy. Dining bench and wall cabinets painted in De Nimes, Farrow & Ball. Table, John Lewis & Partners. Chairs, already owned.
Sybille’s clients love their new kitchen, especially the female owner. “It reflects her cheerful personality,” she says. “She added a lot of her personal decorative objects and likes spending time in here. She wanted a happy space, and the cheerful outcome is clear to see in the room.”
What do you think of the way Sybille has managed to create a natural feel and pack in plenty of storage in this kitchen-diner redesign? Share your thoughts in the Comments.