Kitchen Tour: An Opened-up Layout Creates a Calm, Airy Space
Clever structural work and a fresh, cool palette have resulted in a versatile kitchen-diner for a young family
She and her sister, Ellie, got to work, rethinking the area with a view to how the owners live. “We were looking at creating flow and a social space that was also calm, so they had somewhere to retreat to away from busy London life,” she says. “They love it now, so much so that we’re currently working on the upstairs for them.”
Who lives here? A professional couple with a toddler and a baby on the way
Location South London
Property A 1930s terraced house
Kitchen dimensions 5.8m x 4.3m
Designers Sisters Jessica and Ellie Pile of House of Norica
Photos by Michael Barrow
The kitchen now sits in what had originally been a separate dining room. “We knocked through to make one big space and installed large double doors out to the garden,” Jessica says. “The kitchen before was tiny and they simply wanted more storage and somewhere to sit and eat.”
Jessica and Ellie planned in an island for informal seating and additional storage at the heart of the space. “The owners didn’t specify an island, but we suggested one,” she says.
The original galley kitchen was bigger than this current seating area, but Jessica and Ellie borrowed some of the floor space to create a cloakroom, accessed from the entrance hall. They also made the window bigger to let in more light.
“Our original design had bench seating on one side and chairs on the other, but the owners opted for benches all the way around,” Jessica says.
The duo picked sliding doors to maximise space either side. “If you want double doors, you have to factor in how far they will swing into the room,” Jessica says. “We could have installed pocket doors, but went for sliding doors instead and made a feature of them.”
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The owners chose pale blue for the cabinets, then Jessica and Ellie worked in black on the knobs, flooring, tap, radiator and lights. “It gives the kitchen a more contemporary vibe,” Jessica says. “If we’d stuck to just blue, it might have felt quite farmhouse-y, whereas this feels more modern.”
Tap, Appliance House. Pendant lights, Pooky.
The splashback is tiled with handmade glazed terracotta zellige tiles in a grey-toned off-white. They have an uneven surface that reflects the light beautifully.
Kitchen units, Magnet. Zellige tiles, Porcelain Superstore.
The black and white floor tiles add a bold geometric pattern. “The house was built in the 1930s and the floor is a nod to that period,” she says.
There was always a door into the garden here, but Jessica and Ellie made it much bigger to improve access and bring in extra light.
“The kitchen faces east,” Jessica says, “so the light pours in during the morning and, if the sliding doors into the living room are open, it can flow right through to the front of the house.”
The door directly opposite is to the newly created cloakroom.
What do you like about this bright, opened-up kitchen-diner? Share your thoughts in the Comments.