Earthy hues, classic cabinetry and a painted island unit create a family hub in this spacious kitchen
Houzz UK contributor. Freelance interiors journalist with over 20 years’ experience… More
It’s so important to get the location of the kitchen spot on, especially when it’s a room that’s going to serve as the main family gathering point in the home.
“The kitchen was originally downstairs in a basement,” explains Peter Humphrey, design director and founder of Humphrey Munson, the handmade kitchen company that created the new design. “The owners moved it upstairs to make the kitchen feel part of the entire living space for the whole family to enjoy, and downstairs became a cinema room.”
Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here A professional couple with three children
Location Hackney, east London
Dimensions 6m x 6.7m. Part of a converted old schoolhouse with 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms
Designer Peter Humphrey of Humphrey Munson
Photos by Greg Bartley
When the owners of this converted schoolhouse needed a new kitchen, they turned to Peter Humphrey, who had just completed a friend’s renovation. “They wanted a relaxed family feel for the space, with room for the children to enjoy it, too,” says Humphrey. “The original kitchen was a modern design with gloss cabinetry, which didn’t suit the space very well.”
The new kitchen was relocated from the basement into a more family-friendly central space at the front of the house, which used to be a sitting room. It was designed using simple, Shaker-style Maldon doors in painted tulipwood for classic appeal.
A large island unit incorporating an expanse of storage underneath was a special request by the owners. “This prep table/island unit is the workhorse of the kitchen and life tends to revolve around it,” says Humphrey. “The bold colour anchors the whole design and grounds the space.”
With a natural oak worktop, the island is painted in a dark greeny-grey tone to contrast with the pale wall units.
There are three large drawers either side for storage and a huge open slatted area below for stacking kitchen equipment as needed. “The owners love to have open shelving, so it was the perfect choice for them.”
Island painted in Black Thorn; units painted in Half Windsor, both Humphrey Munson.
The natural oak worktop is sealed with a protective lacquer for extra durability. “The island is a bespoke piece and designed for the space, so it’s perfectly in proportion,” says the designer. “It’s the heart of the kitchen.”
Travertine flooring, with its mix of earthy tones, enhances the relaxed atmosphere of the kitchen. “It works perfectly with the Maldon design,” Humphrey adds.
The kitchen leads out to a walled garden.
Attica tumbled travertine flooring, Humphrey Munson.
Exposed original brickwork and a stainless-steel range cooker, splashback and extractor give this kitchen a cool and contemporary industrial feel.
“We installed simple ceiling spotlights on dimmers, which are so important for creating different moods, especially as the owners love to have dinner with friends after the kids are in bed,” Humphrey says. “Task lighting is inset into shelving and in the cooker hood.”
The kitchen has a relaxed, homely ambience that suits all the family. “Soft painted cabinetry and knobs, along with the natural stone floor, help to balance the industrial feeling,” Humphrey says.
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Simple artisan shelves are used in place of wall cupboards, and are painted in the same colour as the island for a strong yet harmonious accent.
The plastered walls offer a crisp contrast to the rustic bare brick.
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The white Anticato quartz worktops ensure this classic kitchen retains its clean lines.
Worktops, Diresco. Sink, Villeroy & Boch. Tap, Perrin & Rowe.
One of the biggest challenges was ducting out the extraction.
“The fabric of the building caused lots of problems, because it’s an old schoolhouse,” Humphrey says. “In the end, we had to build the wall out and put the ducting behind.”
What do you think of this classic, Shaker-style family kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.