Case study: The wow factor with a sympathetic touch

Kitchens Etc explains how it designed and crafted this eye-catching kitchen in a Grade 1 listed townhouse with the emphasis on entertaining.

The challenge for us was to bring cutting-edge design, style and glamour to this Grade I listed townhouse’s kitchen, while remaining sympathetic to the age and style of the property. We had to bring the very large space, formerly a kitchen and separate dining room, together as one functional, sociable living kitchen with a modern contemporary twist.

For this, we combined bespoke cabinetry in a mix of modern handleless flat panel and traditional quarter bead on butt hinges, finished in a silk spray painted finish of black and soft light grey, coupled with specialist metallic hammered pewter paint. A colour pop of jade green was used on display furniture backboards; colour matched to the fabric of the island soft seating banquette.

The most crucial, challenging part of the design was the enormous island, bringing the former two spaces together as one. Father and daughter design duo Mick and Natalie decided this needed to be a piece of art – like a sculpture. Curves and angles help to soften the enormous piece, create drama with the sculpture at the heart of the design. A soft seating dining banquette at one end is close to the bespoke bifold gin cupboard and housekeepers cupboard, which features a small appliance garage, separate drinks fridge with ice maker and coffee station. 

A ‘piano bar’ in the middle provides a stunning focal point, sculpted from black and white quartz, complementing the rest of the white quartz worktops which provide durability, elegance and uniformity.

Cooking zone one on the island houses an induction hob and downdraft extractor at the head of the island, sociably facing the seating areas and into the room, with a built-under microwave below. A prep sink is nearby along with a ‘trough’ sink in the centre of the island, which has dual use as a herb garden, turning into a champagne ice trough when entertaining, plus a Kaelo wine chiller.

The statement gin cupboard/drinks station features bifold doors, as does the small appliance garage, giving full flexibility to open up or conceal as desired. A wine cooler is incorporated along with a curved serving peninsula and mirrored splashbacks.

Although most of the building’s period features were concealed in line with the client’s wishes, we encouraged them to keep some original features, such as exposed beams on the walls of the former dining room. The L-shape wall run and cooking zone two, features a mock mantle concealing the protected original fire surround. 

Space was maximised by clever hidden storage such as the pull-out spice racks in the bespoke mantle and drawers under the banquette. The original larder was used by adding automatic lighting and stunning quartz cold shelving throughout.

The key to the design was to create a statement from all angles and a gasp of ‘wow’ and intrigue as you explore the kitchen from its many different angles.

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