We love designing classic English kitchens for modern family living and the Longford kitchen project in Blackheath is a perfect example of this unique balancing act. The Longford furniture design is really traditional English cabinetry at its finest – it’s all handmade using the best materials by talented cabinetmakers but we’ve updated the design for modern family living with a contemporary colour palette creating a strikingly smart family kitchen.
The clients bought the three storey Edwardian property about five years ago after falling in love with the high ceilings and substantial proportions of the rooms. They lived in the house for several years before embarking on the refurbishment to make it into a “forever” family home to share with their young children.
It was fairly large scale project incorporating a loft extension, a new master bedroom suite, new plastering and window frames throughout, restoration of original features… and, as if that wasn’t enough, they also built a ground floor extension to the rear of the property. One of their major bugbears was the kitchen, which was small and dark, not helped by a false ceiling which made the room feel even more oppressive. By removing the odd ceiling and adding the extension, they were able to create a much larger and lighter space for the kitchen, with French doors leading directly out on to the garden.
From a design point of view, Peter’s key priority was ensuring that the layout worked well – here, the dining area leads on to the kitchen and the garden beyond, with an easy sense of flow. The ideal way to bridge the gap between the sitting room and kitchen.
The AGA is without a doubt the focal point of the kitchen. Traditionally associated with country houses, it is lovely to see one in a London family home. The canopy was designed especially for this room: it catches the eye and conceals the extractor.
Painted in the same bold Bowler Black as the island, it helps anchor the entire design. Emma chose the antiqued mirror splash back, which has a softer feel than plain mirror, but still accentuates the light feel of the room.
The clients loved that the HM furniture design is simple, classic and beautifully proportioned and apart from specifying an AGA for its homely comfort, they left the design of the layout entirely to our Design Director, Peter Humphrey.
The light grey colour scheme (Half Windsor by HM) is perfectly balanced with accents of black (Bowler Black by HM) – the grey has a really cool, soothing feel with the black gives the space it’s contemporary edge. We love how the colour palette balances with the use of the HM Westminster smoked oak used for the island worktop, integrated trays, dining table and cabinetry interiors and the antique brass hardware used throughout the kitchen.
The island “bridges” the tall cabinets on two sides of the room, which contain two pantry cupboards as well as the integrated column fridge and freezer with crockery cupboards ether side. Integrating appliances into a kitchen design like this really helps to ensure that the space remains as calm and uncluttered as possible and maximises storage for a busy family.
Directly across from the integrated fridge freezer run is a built-in pantry. Another fantastic space saving storage solution. The natural oak interiors are warm against the cool colour of HM Half Windsor, the pull out drawers make storing large open packets and jars easily accessible along with the open shelving for larger items and an oak worktop for a coffee machine.
We use symmetry to create a balanced look, while the detailing is simple to add to the contemporary feel. Drawers are flat-fronted with a quirk bead, while there is a subtle ogee moulding on the door panels. The cabinetry is made using traditional joinery techniques and hand painted on site, and it is that combination of honest craftsmanship with linear design and a modern colour palette that gives it a timeless feel.
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