Room Tour: Colour Confidence Revitalises a Family Kitchen-diner
Soft pink walls, green units and a daring yellow ceiling highlight this open-plan room’s traditional charm
Much of the property’s appeal for the owners was in the many traditional features that still remained. Deep skirting boards, ornate coving in the dining room, sash windows and picture rails were all present and added a wealth of character to the large, high-ceilinged rooms.
The layout of the kitchen and dining area worked really well, but a few tired appliances and fittings desperately needed replacing and the space lacked the “calm yet fun” feel the couple longed for. “My clients spent most of their free time chatting and cooking in this area and wanted a homely, colour-filled space they could relax in,” Karen says. A careful mix of colour and materials proved the answer.
Who lives here? A young couple and their daughter
Location Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Property A Victorian terrace with six bedrooms and two bathrooms
Dimensions Kitchen approx 3.6m x 4m; dining room approx 6m (into the bay) x 4.2m
Designer Karen Knox at Making Spaces
With its spacious layout and good-quality bespoke wooden units, the existing kitchen in this Victorian terrace was in pretty good shape, but there were a few areas that needed attention.
“The extractor was broken, the lighting didn’t work and the island’s wooden worktop was rotting around the sink,” Karen recalls. The range cooker needed replacing along with the uPVC back door.
The final missing touch was the coving. While the neighbouring dining area still had its ornate original design present, the kitchen featured a plain modern version – a far cry from what the 3.3m-high ceiling deserved.
“As this is an east/west-facing room, the light changes constantly throughout the day,” Karen says. “It was also important not just to find paint shades we liked, but that would look good on the right elevation, too.”
Replica decorative coving was commissioned and installed to match the original in the dining room.
Coving, CSJ Bespoke. Walls painted in Light Beauvais; cabinets and woodwork painted in Hopper, both Little Greene. Ceiling and cornice painted in Parasol, Paint & Paper Library.
When it came to choosing a surface, the owners had a definite idea. Copper sheeting adds warmth and works surprisingly well with the blend of colours. It’s developed a distinct patina over time and the couple love the individual character it brings to the room.
Black Crittall-style double doors, with glazed panels above, now lead out to the courtyard garden.
The top of the dresser deliberately lines up with similar units in the dining area for continuity.
Cabinet, Bare Joinery.
“With such a high ceiling, it was crucial to get ample task lighting down to the surfaces,” Karen says. Long flexes are perfect for this, as their length can easily be adjusted to suit the space, and they look smart, too.
The upholstery picks up on the warm colour of the ceiling to make sure the whole space feels cohesive.
Blinds fabric, GP & J Baker.
“My client also loves tactile touches, so we opted for the large, Capiz shell chandelier over the dining table, as it introduces textured layers without being over fussy,” Karen says. Fitted with an extra-long flex, it sits at a comfortable height above the table, helping to create an intimate mood.
Verpan Fun 11DM pendant light, available at Nordic Nest.
“[Fitting the mirrors] was a tricky and painstaking business,” Karen says. “The shelves have a front frame to them that couldn’t be removed, so we had to cut the mirror with this in mind. We managed to get the glass into place on the back wall, and have the joiner cleverly add a second wooden frame to conceal the gap and the mirror’s raw edges.”
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