Kitchen of the Week: A Brightly Colored (and Cost Conscious) London Kitchen
Like many people, Alexandra Evans and her husband, Tom, were always careful about color: “We had to think about the resale value, so we painted everything white,” she says. Then the couple bought a 1914 townhouse in Richmond Park, south-west London, for themselves and their three children aged 4, 9 and 13. Feeling as if they had found their ‘home’, they decided it was time to welcome in the bright and the daring.
Working with a carpenter and a trusted team, they embarked on the remodeling while still keeping their day job: he is a lawyer and she is the policy director of the British Board of Film Classification. And for the most delicate room in the house, the kitchen, they turned to the regular English branch of British Standard, which offers “reasonable ready-made cupboards at reasonable prices for people of good taste but modest means ”. The kitchen count? £ 12,500 (approx. $ 16,000), plus carpentry and installation costs of £ 5,000 ($ 6,367), many gallons of blue paint included.
Photograph courtesy of British Standard.
Above: The design was inspired by the couple’s love for mid-century furniture and Alexandra’s grandmother’s kitchen: “I always try to capture the style and joy of the house. from my grandmother. ” It occupies the imprint of the previous kitchen, which had not been touched for decades. When Tom settled on the Little Greene Paint Company’s Deep Space Blue, it became the defining feature of the room. “Paired with a strip of white, blue brings everything together and works great as a touch of return,” explains Alexandra.
Above: A new window wall with French doors connects the space to the garden. “Our motto is, if it makes us smile, then it’s good,” explains Alexandra, explaining the red Smeg fridge and the overall homemade look.
Above: The biggest remodeling challenge? “It’s not a huge room and we couldn’t figure out how to create the large communal dining space that was so important to us,” says Alexandra. The solution was to ditch the old L-shaped countertop plan to make room for a booth-style seating area. It is made up of a mid-century table and antique church pews. The family are regulars at flea markets and use the open shelves and glass cabinets to display their finds.
Above: The Belfast Sink is a Villeroy & Boch bought on eBay and fitted with a brass deck valve from architectural salvage company Cox’s Yard. The counters are in iroko, a tropical hardwood, which Alexandra and Tom have spent many evenings finishing with a clear Danish oil to bring out the grain. Note the practical cupboard under the sink.
Above: The pot and pan drawers feature vintage hanging knobs sourced from Silbury Antiques.
Above: “We love the community feel of bringing as many people as possible to the table,” says Alexandra. “Our record is 12 at a birthday slumber party.”
Above: The floor of the tumbler block is gray Illusion Feature ceramic tiles by Tons of Tiles; £ 3 ($ 3.79) per tile. The flush, marine style handles work well here as they avoid knocks on the buttons.
Above: The design continues into a utility room which Alexandra describes as a “mini version of our kitchen”. The enamel hanging lamp is from Labor & Wait and traveled with the family from their old home.
Here are four other models that use British Standard cabinets: