Kitchen Confidential. Part 3: The Devil is in the Detail

IMG_3029 1So, you’ve got the big picture. Get the overall layout right first. That’s a given as they say. For me however there is a more to achieving a memorable kitchen that just that. The devil is, as they say, in the detail. To begin with I have a lot of stuff. From the usual plates, dishes, glasses, saucepans, cutlery, baking stuff to a silly amount of vases, tablecloths, coffee cups, chopping boards, ramekins, candles etc . Then there is food, serving platters, large bowls, medium bowls, more food, you get the picture, Goldilocks would be right at home in my house. I so made lists. I sketched out the plan. Over and over, (with my better half, though he definitely has less say in this part of the house)

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By the time we moved in, it was a simple case of unpacking everything and putting it in its allocated space.

MATERIALS

The materials used in the room were carefully chosen. Although the walls are painted white and the kitchen units are white, colour is introduced in a variety of ways. Open shelving is painted in an accent colour with items on the shelves adding a variety of colour. More colour is added with flowers, candles, tablecloths, cushions and some artwork by Leah Beggs.

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We chose timber floor and wall finishes to add both warmth and colour.

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A wide plank douglas fir floor is washed with a lye and one double height wall is lined with limed oak. There is more timber in the wishbone chairs and the John Kelly table which we have had for a long time.

Other materials used are the Carrera marble on the island.

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This was chosen after a visit to the stone suppliers. The length of the island was determined not just by the space in the room but also by the maximum length of marble available. island 1

This type of worktop can, I think, go with both a contemporary and traditional kitchen. The stainless steel sink is big enough to soak pans and baking trays.

STORAGE

Storage was critical and is provided in a variety of ways.

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Functional storage is provided in wide drawers under the kitchen units and in the island. These have drawers within a drawer.

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Everyday crockery and cutlery is located adjacent to the dishwasher, allegedly to make it easier to empty the dishwasher (which unfortunately does not empty itself).

A few distinct areas were created using shelving.

Two different walk in larders were created behind streamlined doors to blend in with the kitchen units. One is for food stuff and one is for large dishes, mixers, bowls, baking trays etc.

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Whilst this shelving is hidden behind doors there is also open shelving above the main kitchen worktop to display jars and store the most used cooking stuff.  IMG_0339 1

This also breaks up the run of wall units and provides display space.

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Cook books have their own shelving unit painted dark to tie in with the shelving over the worktop and there is more open shelving in the dining area providing a home for collections of crockery, glassware, serving platters as well as overflow cookery magazines, candles and books. No space is wasted with a cupboard for tablecloths and napkins located behind the open shelving.

LIGHTING

As with any room thoughtfully worked out lighting is essential.

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Task lighting is provided via recessed down lighters in the ceiling above the working area of the kitchen as well as under the shelving over the worktop.

An important decision was what type of light fitting to put in the double height space over the dining table. This is a focal point in the room but it is also viewed from the entrance hall above. The chosen fitting had to be big enough to make an impact in a large space and good enough to be viewed both from above and below. Any kind of a shade was thus out of the question as you would be looking at a dusty top from the first floor.

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We eventually decided on the Zoom Pedant light from Serien which I purchased from Light 11. The circular form is made from a concertina-like folding grille that can be either opened out or closed together to create a multitude of different lighting effects. Here we have used it fully open with a 1.3 metre diameter. When fully closed, it has a diameter of 20 cm.

For atmosphere nothing beats candle light and this is complemented by a some table lamps on a long low unit parallel to the table.

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So all in all the room is all about balance: floor finishes, wall finishes, lighting, hidden shelving, open shelving, artwork, books, ,jars, blackboards, timber, food, all in all  incorporating work-ability with storage. I have tried to create a modern and versatile room that can adapt to changing trends quite easily in the future.

 Light fitting from www.serien11.eu