Phil Shakespeare is an upholster and refinisher of vintage furniture by trade, so he knows a think or two about restoring old things to their former glory. When he moved into his 1930s London flat, it was in desperate need of an update. The previous tenant, a stage actor who had been living in the flat since the 1960s, had a particularly funky sense of style—charming in its own retro-chic kind of way, but not quite in line with Phil’s own sensibilities. The kitchen, a cramped alcove space, featured decidedly outdated avocado cabinets, faux stone floors, and a dearth of usable storage space. After rolling up his sleeves and getting to work, Phil was able to remodel his kitchen in a way that made it more functional, spacious, and beautiful. I’ll admit, a part of me was sad to see those kitsch-tastic cabinets go, but the final result’s awesome-ness outweighs the kitchen’s previous iteration by a long shot—with fabulous butcher block countertops, loads more storage space, and some truly ingenious object re-apropriations (a pendant light made from a photo enlarger lamp, anyone??), this teensie kitchen packs quite the punch. Check out the rest of the photos and Phil’s design notes after the jump! —Max
Above images: The kitchen before.
Above image: The kitchen after! “My dad and I did most of the work of stripping everything out and building all the units, tiling etc,” Phil writes. “The units and doors were from a big DIY store called B&Q and is their budget range. I ordered the Iroko counter tops and all the white goods online, which was a lot cheaper than going through B&Q.”
Above image: The wall shelves are left over pieces of countertop affixed to the wall with cast iron brackets.
Above image: “The teapots,” Phil says, “are all 60s pieces from a British brand (which no longer exists) called ‘Midwinter,’ which was based in Stoke-on-Trent, where I grew up (the city is known as ‘the Potteries’ as that is where Wedgewood, Doulton etc are from).”
Above image: The hanging light fixture is a rewired lamp from an old photo enlarger, purchased on eBay.