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Kitchen Tour: A Classic-Meets-Contemporary Extension

Exposed brickwork and Crittall doors bring industrial chic to a Shaker kitchen

Houzz UK contributor. Freelance interiors journalist with over 20 years’ experience… More

When the owners of this large Victorian terrace in London decided to plan a new kitchen extension, they wanted it to be contemporary and timeless. “The owners were keen to create a space that had an industrial-style, contemporary feel, but it also needed to work within the traditional framework of the building,” explains Tim Higham, founder and head designer at Higham Furniture, who designed and made the kitchen.

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Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A professional couple
Location Wandsworth, London
Property A Victorian terrace
Size of kitchen 41 sq m
Designer Tim Higham, founder and head designer, Higham Furniture

Victorian terraces can be notoriously dark, so when the owners of this London property decided to revamp their downstairs with a new open-plan kitchen/dining space they extended into the side return and to the back, and added an L-shaped glass roof and steel-framed Crittall doors that lead out to the garden. The result? A space flooded with light.

“The architect’s proposed layout worked well,” says Higham. “However, there were some minor constraints that needed to be overcome. For instance, the clients initially wanted the fridge-freezer and a larder to be where the dresser is but the space wasn’t big enough.” The dresser is super practical. Inside there are storage racks on the doors and, as Higham points out, “There’s power inside for small appliances.”

Fridge-freezer, Liebherr.

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For the Shaker-style units, the clients wanted handleless doors and drawers as they felt these would add a modern touch. Instead of handles, the doors and drawers have a finger groove in the Shaker panel rebate.

A large island was another request. Not only does it pack in loads of storage, but it also houses the sink, dishwasher and bins. “As the client wanted a considerably large island, we had an issue with the worktop material as most natural materials need a join when the run is over three metres long, which doesn’t look very good,” says Higham. “So we decided that Corian would be the perfect fit. It can be made seamless and also helps portray a contemporary feel, which the clients wanted.”

Run of units painted in French Grey and island unit painted in Lead Colour, both Little Greene. Glacier White 50mm thick worktop, Corian.

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“There is a lot of natural light from the glass roof and steel-framed doors that lead into the garden, so the rest of the lighting is minimal,” says Higham. “There are spots throughout and three large glass pendants floating above the island.” The owners loved these pendants because they have both a period and modern feel.

Bell blown glass pendants, Holloways of Ludlow.

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Exposed brickwork and a vintage black pillar bring an industrial look to the kitchen. “The exposed brickwork isn’t original – we used reclaimed London stock to create it,” says Higham. “A pillar was required for structural purposes, and the clients chose a reclaimed one for aesthetics – it brings additional interest to the space.” The pillar also ties in with the Crittall doors.

The sink is positioned to one side of the island to provide a generous run of worktop space for prepping and cooking on the other side.

Peak undermount stainless-steel sink and Minerva Irena 3-in-1 boiling water tap, both Franke.

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The muted paint colours contrast beautifully with the exposed brickwork and tie in well with the limestone flooring.

Montpellier Gris limestone floor, Pietra.

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The Crittall doors were the perfect choice for achieving an industrial-style look. And the eclectic mix of dining chairs and the wood and metal table also add to the room’s utilitarian feel. “The church chairs, the client has had for years, the two black Bentwood chairs are from John Lewis and the two cane carvers are from Cox & Cox,” says Higham.

Deben table, Salvation Furniture.

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The extended kitchen leads to the living room at the front of the house.

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One of the clients’ favourite features is small, but it certainly makes an impact – it’s how the spotlights wash light over the exposed brickwork.

What do you think of this classic kitchen with an industrial twist? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
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