Kitchen Tour: A Small Extension Adds a Utility and Boot Room
A thoughtful design retains the character of this Victorian home while adding space and great functionality
Keen to bring in era-appropriate character, the owners found John Place of PlaceDesign Kitchens and Interiors on Houzz, liked his style – particularly his use of deep green in several projects – and asked him to make the most of their new space.
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Who lives here? A family of four with two late primary/early secondary school children
Location Walthamstow, north-east London
Property A Victorian terrace
Dimensions Kitchen, around 8.3m x 3.8m; utility/boot room, around 5m x 2m
Project year 2022
Designer John Place of PlaceDesign Kitchens and Interiors
The owners asked John to review their side-return extension plans, as they weren’t sure of a couple of architectural details and wanted a bit of advice before the build got underway – where the kitchen was going to go, the size of utility and cloakroom, and so on.
“They didn’t want to do it half-heartedly,” he says. “They wanted to make it something that would be for life.”
The table, which is made from scaffolding boards, has a cosy, rustic look. There’s also a fireplace to the right of the table, and John says the owners are aiming to slot a couple of armchairs into the space to the left.
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“I suggested pairing it with brass handles,” he adds. “These are gorgeous handmade ones. They weren’t cheap, but they really make the kitchen. It’s things like that where you say to the client, ‘We could have cheap brass knobs, but it won’t have the impact.’ The owners recognised it was worth spending a bit more, because once you do it right, it will really stand out and pull the whole thing together.”
Cabinets designed by John and made by Davonport; painted in Obsidian Green, Little Greene. Handles, Armac Martin.
“I designed a larder at either end and no wall units in between,” he says. “[The owners] really liked that the storage was zoned and it kept everything really light and airy, as well as making a bit more of a feature of the splashback.”
The left-hand tall cupboard on the sink run is a pantry for food, with reduced-depth shelves to accommodate spice racks on the doors. “This also holds appliances such as the toaster,” John says, which keeps the worktops free.
The cupboard to the right (seen in the first photo) just has shelves and is designed for crockery.
The cornice style of the unit tops works nicely with the age of the property.
There’s a door into the boot room from the garden and, because there’s still a pathway down the side of the house, a second door near the cloakroom that can be accessed from the front of the house.
The front of the house (not shown on this plan) protrudes as much as the extension, leaving a little courtyard space, seen bottom left, where the family can store their bikes. It also allowed them to keep the original window at the back of the living room, as well as the one towards the back of the kitchen seen in the previous photo.
The shelf works nicely, as the owners like their plants and art. “There are some really nice pieces of art throughout the house, so they can lean pictures on this and create a changing display,” John says.
Aged brass tap, Perrin & Rowe. Matt Dekton Aura 15 worktops and splashback, Cosentino.
John included a built-in wine rack and slim wine fridge in the island. “We came upon this idea a bit later in the design, thinking about how [the owners] would use the island, and I wanted to get some texture in there, so it didn’t just look like a big block of green,” he says. “I said, ‘You’re going to have oak on the floor, so why don’t we have an oak accent?’”
The pendant lights above the island tie in with the brass handles and vintage feel of the cabinets.
“They’re an outdoorsy family and have a nice big garden, which they use a lot, so they really needed it to be practical for the kids and dog,” John says.
The walls and ceiling are a rose pink, along with everything in the cloakroom (not shown). “[The owners] have a good eye for colour and they’re not scared of having something bold,” John says.
Units in Stone Grey, Schuller. Matt Dekton Aura 15 worktop, Cosentino.
It’s safe to conclude John’s design has been a hit. As he says, “Every time I’ve been back, they’ve said, ‘We love it so much.’”
Tongue-and-groove panel, Schuller.
What do you like about John’s design of this kitchen and utility/boot room? Share your thoughts in the Comments.