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Kitchen Tour: A Compact Country-style Kitchen in Dublin

A previously dark and cramped space has been transformed into a bright and welcoming first kitchen for a newly married couple

When a recently married couple bought their first home together, they were keen to make it their own. The décor was dated, and the couple decided to renovate from top to bottom before moving in. A key part to get right was the kitchen. It had previously been a cramped and drab-looking kitchen-diner, and was in desperate need of a makeover. They wanted something bright with a country feel that would make the best use of the limited space.

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Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A newly married couple
Location Dublin
Kitchen size 15.5 sq m
Designer Martin Lenehan of Neptune by Global Village

When the couple first bought the house, the kitchen was extremely small and rather unmemorable, with a dining area at one end. “If we’d tried to put in a dining area, it would have been neither one thing nor the other,” explains designer Martin Lenehan, “so we decided with the clients to have the dining area in the adjoining living room.”

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As it was the owners’ first home together, they didn’t have strong ideas about how the kitchen should look, but they did know they wanted a range cooker. The large oak canopy showcases the range and injects warmth and scale into the room.

Chichester kitchen, Neptune.

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All of the cabinets are in-frame and made from solid wood. They’re painted in Neptune’s Mist, with the walls painted in the darker Fog. ‘We wanted to create a contrast between the cabinets and walls, and the clients liked these two shades,’ explains Lenehan.

The Silestone worktop has drainage grooves carved into it next to the sink. An upstand runs around the work surface, but the owners chose not to have a full splashback to keep the space nice and open.

Silestone worktop, Cosentino. Cabinets painted in Mist; walls painted in Fog, both Neptune. Tap, Perrin & Rowe.

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The owners chose a double Belfast sink to continue the country feel. There’s a large plate rack above, which serves as storage and decoration. The two cabinets to either side of the plate rack have a scalloped end panel, adding a nice decorative touch to the unit.

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A large, full-height unit at the other end of the kitchen – where the dining table used to be – contains a fridge-freezer and a larder cabinet, which also houses the microwave. The lower shelves of the larder cabinet can be pulled out for ease of use.

Lenehan added in some open shelving to the left of the cabinet. It serves two purposes: it softens the larder cabinet, which juts out a little, gradually bringing you into the room, and it adds a bit of visual interest.

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The North American white oak canopy brings warmth to the room and makes the range a real focal point. “The clients really liked the size of it,” explains Lenehan. “Although the kitchen is quite small, it really brings a sense of scale to the room.”

Range cooker, Britannia.

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A curved cabinet on the end of the cooker run of units softens the scheme: upon entering the room from the back door, the eye is met with a smooth line, rather than a harsher corner. “It gives a nice, soft look to that end of the kitchen,” explains Lenehan.

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50 watt downlighters were replaced with 5 watt LED warm light fittings in the ceiling, as well as under the cabinets above the sink and the canopy above the cooker. LED strip lighting was also placed on top of the cabinets above the sink to give a nice wash of light in the evening.

The floor is engineered oak finished with a product called IsoGuard that gives it a nice, bright colour and is very easy to maintain. “You can just sand down the wood and reapply the IsoGuard,” explains Lenehan.

Marton engineered oak flooring; IsoGuard treatment oil in Natural Oak; both Neptune.

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