An independent source of kitchen design advice & ideas
This kitchen is in a lovely little end of terrace house, near Bethnal Green and, like many terraced houses, the kitchen was small and narrow. When I went to visit, the owners, Rehana and Joseph, were already in the process of having an extension added, onto the back of the house. The extension had glazed doors, to a wonderful little walled garden - and also had a very splendid, partially vaulted, angled roof with three roof lights, letting light stream into that end of the kitchen.
That description makes the extension sound huge but, in fact, it only extended about 1.6 metres into the garden, for the full width of the kitchen - about 2.7 metres. Nevertheless it made a huge difference to the look and feel of the room. I've included a couple of "before" pictures, taken whilst I was there, when the building work was almost completed. The original kitchen had traditional, handmade units but they were quite a dark wood - not good in such a narrow room.
The new kitchen is in a painted cream finish which, together with the extra light coming in through the extension, makes for a bright and airy looking room. Rehana didn't want any wall units, because of the restricted space ... the main ceiling height is quite low too ... so, to provide sufficient storage and to accomodate a large enough fridge and freezer, the design included a number of midi-height units, with rounded corner posts - and a couple of wall shelves.
The design had to incorporate an existing free standing dishwasher and washing machine, but they've been hidden behind base unit doors. It also needed to have a seating area for two or three stools, which has been provided by worktop, with a circular support, extending out into the room. It's so much more pleasant to sit facing into the room, than to stare at a wall - and the new seating area is down in the brightly lit extension. To make enough room for that seating area, the midi-height larders on the opposite wall are only quite shallow - about 350mm. The reduced depth was necessary, to make room for the seating area, but actually this sort of shallow larder is the most efficient way of storing most things, because you never lose stuff at the back, like you do with standard depth larders.
The initial idea was to use off-the-shelf, inset framed units ... like Second Nature's Milton ... but actually it was a lot easier (and not hugely more expensive) to get the furniture made specially. Steve DeVille of DeVille Interiors successfully quoted for the work and went down to London to install the kitchen. He also made a couple of china cabinets to go into the dining room (picture included below) ... always a good idea, if you don't have room for huge amounts of storage in the kitchen.
I think Rehana and Joseph are pleased with the end result. Here's an e-mail they sent me:
"We are very well and enjoying our lovely home and beautiful kitchen!
We have passed your details on to some of our friends. Everyone loves what you suggested for our house and are very impressed with Steve's workmanship too. We recommend you whenever we can and we hope that more work will come your way as a result.
You should let us know when you are in town, we would love to show you the finished project.
Thank you for all your help and good advice."
I'm afraid I haven't managed to visit the kitchen myself yet - but Steve took the "after" photos shown here, when he was last down in London and he let me have copies: