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Kitchen Tour: A Light, Scandinavian-style Galley Kitchen

Every inch of this bright, white kitchen has been cleverly thought out to maximise space and functionality

Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance journalist with more than 13 years’ experience… More

The design and fit of this beautiful white kitchen came at the end of a full renovation project, with Sola Kitchens designer Rhiannon Phenis being called in to create a light and practical space. The owners, a Swedish woman and her British husband, have very different tastes, but the end result combines his preference for modern features with her love of Scandinavian minimalism.

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Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A couple who’ve been in the house for about 10 years
Location Surrey
Size The kitchen is 6.2m x 3.2m
Designer Rhiannon Phenis of Sola Kitchens

Photos by Mia Lind and Lindy Cumings

This large, light-filled space previously consisted of two rooms. “We opened it up and took out a chimney breast,” says designer Rhiannon Phenis. “The brief was to transform it from a dark kitchen into a bright and functional space. It’s now much larger than it was originally.

“The main challenge,” she continues, “was its long, narrow shape, which had no room for an island or a peninsular. Despite this, we didn’t want it to look like a standard galley kitchen.”

The doors that lead from the dining room were already in place, and the diamond-shaped detail has been replicated in the glazed sections of the wall units.

Floor-to-ceiling Shaker-style units line the right-hand wall. “The client was used to good-quality Swedish carpentry,” Phenis says, “so everything in this kitchen is solid wood.”

Frillen kitchen cabinets, Sola Kitchens. Cabinets painted in Old White, Eicó.

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An oiled oak floor divides the separate areas of the kitchen. Three different worktop materials have been used throughout the space. There’s natural granite to the right of the range cooker. “It’s very durable and has a brushed finish, which gives it a softer, textured feel that doesn’t jar with the rest of the room,” says Phenis.

Around the sink at the far end of the room is a stainless-steel surface that’s incredibly hard-wearing, while on the left is a wooden surface. “We used a softer material for the seating area,” says Phenis. “It also ties in with the floor and dining area.”

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The owners wanted a range cooker that would provide a focal point in the room, but they had limited places to put it. Large windows line the exterior wall and let plenty of natural light into the space, and a huge integrated fridge-freezer takes up space on the opposite wall. Phenis managed to tuck the cooker between two windows, with a fan ideally placed to extract to the outside. “We went for a coloured finish rather than stainless steel,” she says. “It’s soft and toned down, as well as being easy to clean.”

A cabinet at the far end sits on the worktop. The team considered lifting it off, but finally decided to leave it in place, as there was enough work surface and they thought it would be useful as bonus storage.

Range cooker, Falcon.

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A cupboard beneath the sink houses the water filter and cleaning products, while further units hide the dishwasher and bins.

To the left of the cooker is a pull-out spice and oil cupboard, while drawers to the right provide space for pots, pans and plates. A cabinet in the middle of these drawers has been designed to store chopping boards and trays.

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The quartered interior of this cupboard is simple and effective. The adjustable sections keep chopping boards, trays and baking trays neatly stacked and easy to pull in and out.

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The custom-made spice cupboard contains solid-wood drawers on soft-close runners. A tall drawer at the bottom stores bottles of oil, vinegar and sauces. It’s been designed with dividers to stop the bottles falling on top of each other.

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The Swedish wallpaper behind the work surface ties in with the diamond detailing on the dining room doors.

Along the wall are upstands in stainless steel and granite to match the worktops. To the sides of the windows, the upstands have a sheet of glass above them to protect the wallpaper.

Behind the cooker is a glass splashback, painted in pale grey.

Wallpaper, Sandberg.

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The designer chose clear Perspex plug sockets to allow the wallpaper’s pattern to show through.

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The breakfast bar allows the couple to enjoy the kitchen together. “They can eat breakfast and dinner together, or one person can sit while the other cooks,” explains Phenis.

Behind the tongue-and-groove panelling is an old chimney breast, which means the base cabinets are fairly shallow.

The breakfast bar has an attractive curved edge. “We could have had a straight surface all the way across,” says Phenis, “but the curved design adds much more interest and allows people to face each other while they’re sitting at the breakfast bar. It also ties in with the shape of the bay window in the dining area.”

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Phenis installed interior lights in the glazed top sections of the wall cabinets. They pick up the wooden detail inside, which contrasts with the exterior. LED lights have also been fitted under the shelving to illuminate the breakfast bar.

The lower half of these tall units contains drawers, which are super-easy to access.

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The top half consists of wall-mounted cupboards that sit directly on top of the work surface. Inside this unit is a practical space containing the couple’s small appliances plugged in and ready to use. “The clients wanted to have a clean space,” explains Phenis. “The doors fold completely out of the way when the work surface is in use, but can be closed up afterwards to hide the chaos.”

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On the far right of the seating area is a huge integrated fridge-freezer. The wide freezer drawers are heavy to pull out, so Phenis chose strong bar handles, rather than the cup handles that feature elsewhere.

The wine fridge on the other side has a cabinet above it in order to use as much space as possible. Next to it there’s a utility cabinet containing sections for everything from the ironing board to the broom.

Fridge-freezer, Liebherr.

What do you think of this Scandi-style kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
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