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Kitchen Tour: A Dark Blue Shaker Kitchen With a Colourful Island

This uplifting space in a Georgian terrace mixes turquoise, pink and navy with white for a chic, modern effect

Houzz Contributor. I’m a London-based journalist with years of experience writing… More

When it comes to kitchens, Shaker cabinets are the gift that keeps on giving. “People see Shaker as a very classic kitchen look,” says Lindsay Anderson of Bristol’s Sustainable Kitchens. “But it’s a bit of a chameleon style: it can be traditional, contemporary, minimalist, colourful or industrial. It really depends on the colours you use and how you style it.”

This bold kitchen in a Georgian terrace demonstrates this to glorious effect. Elegant navy cabinets manage to look timeless, but also work brilliantly alongside modern dashes of colour. “The owners wanted a quality kitchen sympathetic to the era of the property that they could really put their stamp on,” Anderson says.

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Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A couple with a baby on the way
Location Bristol
Property A four-storey Georgian terrace with 4 bedrooms
Kitchen-diner dimensions 15 sq m
Designer Sustainable Kitchens

Photos by Charlie O’Beirne of Lukonic

This kitchen proves once and for all that you shouldn’t be afraid to play with colour – with the star of the show a cheerful turquoise island. Elsewhere, pink chairs, leafy houseplants and modern artworks lift a clean and simple backdrop of white-painted walls and floorboards.

“The colours in here really stand out against each other,” Lindsay Anderson says. “The owners are creatives who wanted to stamp their personalities on their house. They love colour and had lots of art and decorative accessories they wanted to display.”

The large under-stairs double cupboard on the left was already there. The owners had shelves installed and now use it as a pantry and general storage cupboard.

Base cabinets painted in Dock Blue; island painted in Green Verditer, both Little Greene.

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The navy base cabinets provide a striking dark contrast to the bright turquoise island. The wooden knobs are painted in turquoise to help tie the look together.

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When the owners bought the house, back in spring 2016, the kitchen and dining areas were gloomy spaces in urgent need of updating. “They were separate rooms that didn’t do justice to the Georgian splendour of the house,” says Anderson. “They were also the other way around, with the dining room at the front.”

The owners knocked through to create one light and airy open-plan space. Bifolding doors in the dining and lounging area were also added for a view of the garden.

A change in flooring helps to zone the space. The floor in the kitchen is the original boards painted white; the dining area was tiled, so the owners had new oak flooring fitted.

Discover more sensitive and creative period home extensions

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There were one or two challenges when it came to designing the kitchen, including the recess behind the sink, in the chimney breast. “Originally, there was a large fireplace here,” explains Anderson.

However, they were able to turn this to their advantage. As the owners wanted a double Belfast sink, there wasn’t much room for a drainer. “So we made the most of the recess by adding drainer grooves behind the sink,” she says.

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Vintage-look copper wire drainers look cooler than chrome ones, and warm up the white metro tiles that form a splashback in the recess.

Double Belfast sink, Shaws. Alzira Twin Lever Mono sink mixer with swivel spout, Clearwater, available from Tap Warehouse. For a copper dish drainer, try Habitat. Waitrose and Anthropologie sell porcelain bowls similar to these,

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The cabinet carcasses are made of birch plywood, the frames are solid oak, and the doors are oak with a birch plywood panel. “The combination of oak and birch plywood makes them very strong and rigid,” Anderson explains.

“We only use FSC- or PEFC-certified wood, recycle all our waste and use renewable energy to run our office and workshop. And we sponsor the planting of a tree for every kitchen we make through the Forest of Avon Trust,” Anderson says.

The white worktop is Arenastone, an engineered quartz that’s super-tough and practical, but looks modern and minimal.

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The bold blue island was designed to be a place to hang out, as well as cook. “The owners wanted a large island they could congregate around,” says Anderson.

The breakfast bar is situated on two sides, one facing the dining area and one the stairs.

For similar classic Eames-style Eiffel bar stools, try Dwell. CE1121S extractor fan, Caple.

Follow these expert tips for planning a kitchen island

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The wide chimney breast limits the amount of space available for wall cabinets, so the owners went for open shelving instead. “It’s a good spot for their accessories and cookbooks,” says Anderson.

As well as cupboard space and a bin cabinet, the base cabinets conceal a dishwasher (on the far left of this image). There’s also an American-style fridge-freezer to the right of the cabinets (not shown).

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Various factors influenced the final layout, including the fact that windows and a staircase (seen here) took up two walls. “The wall with the chimney breast was really the only option for the main run of cabinets,” says Anderson.

“The clients also wanted double ovens, which needed to sit side-by-side, and these dictated the overall size of the island.” Next to the ovens are drawers for cutlery and a deep pan drawer at the bottom.

The worktop on the island is solid oak, and matches the open shelves. “The worktop is oiled, while the shelves have been varnished,” says Anderson.
“The owners wanted a mix of materials to help soften the look and, due to the built-in drainer area behind the sink, it made sense to have the engineered quartz located there, as it’s a far more low-maintenance, less porous material than wood.”

B57CR22N0B Built-in Electric Single Oven; C17MR02N0B Built-in Electric Oven with Microwave; both Neff.

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Pink painted chairs add a dose of modern vintage candy colour in the dining area. For similar, hunt for old wooden chairs on eBay or in second-hand shops and upcycle.

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The owners love collecting bright artwork – this room is a lesson in how a simple white scheme can be lifted with hits of colour.

What do you think of this colourful Shaker kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.
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