The creator of this beautiful kitchen makeover, Kate Priestman, has some excellent advice: Design for the way you live. I couldn’t agree more, and yet I know how easy it is to suffer passively in your home environment. It’s easy to fall into patterns, and our lives at home are no exception. But I love seeing projects like this where someone actively questions and considers how they want to use their home to its fullest. Kate and her family realized that even though it would require significant work, they wanted to move the kitchen — what they consider the heart of their home — to the room with the best light and spatial flow, which was previously the formal living room. The new kitchen is stunning; I love the dramatic lighting and the layers of subtle white and earthy tones. It’s great to see such a thoughtful consideration of the space, and I imagine many happy family hours are spent in this calming, elegant kitchen. Nicely done, Kate! — Kate
See more of this kitchen makeover after the jump . . .
Basic Steps: We were creating a kitchen opposite of where it had originally been conceived when the house was built in 1747, so the first and most significant step was plumbing for water, gas and drainage to the room. Given that the property is set into a hillside and has walls so thick that Wi-Fi cannot penetrate, this was no small feat! We then carefully took off features like the wall paneling and deep skirting so we could replace them later.
We then laid the wood floor (see supplier details below), having first connected and marked where the wiring for the floating cook’s table would be; the cabling for this needed to come up through the floor.
Next was the fireplace, which involved re-lining the chimney breast and increasing the airflow to ensure a good draw for what is a huge fireplace space — we needed to ensure smoke wouldn’t blow back into the room.
The kitchen was fitted with just a primer and undercoat, so we painted it in situ, then did the walls and woodwork using the same colour for both for a softer, more organic feel.
My advice: Design the space for the way you live, and don’t listen to anyone else; we knew that this was the most magnificent room in the house and looked out over the garden; therefore, logically we wanted it to be our family kitchen and living space. Some of our builders and older relatives were shocked that we would put a kitchen in what had been a stately formal living room, but it was right for us, and we spend most of our waking hours in the room.
Work out where you want to spend your budget and prioritise just a few things — you’ll never have quite enough for everything! We knew we wanted a beautiful wood floor and statement lighting, but we’re happy to live indefinitely without window coverings and the various expensive kitchen gadgets and appliances we were tempted by originally. — Kate
Paint: Walls and woodwork in “Shaded White” estate emulsion by Farrow & Ball, units and Lloyd Loom barstools in “Clunch,” also by Farrow & Ball
Pendant Lighting: Original BTC (available internationally)
Range cooker: Lacanche
Wood floor: Kahrs and their Artisan Oak Linen engineered wood wide-plank floor