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Kitchen Tour: A Small but Perfectly Formed Kitchen and Utility Room

Elegant design and space-smart solutions have transformed an awkward room into a beautiful galley kitchen

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

During a major refurbishment of this central London terraced property, kitchen designer Emily Rumble of deVOL Kitchens was called in to plan a practical galley kitchen and utility room. With great attention to detail, she set about creating two rooms that feel spacious and calm, and that pack in plenty of space-saving elements.

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Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here A family with children
Location Pimlico, London
Property A terraced apartment over two floors
Size Kitchen 6.6m x 3m; utility room 3.5m x 1.8m
Designer Emily Rumble of DeVOL Kitchens

“Our starting point is usually appliances. Once we know the client’s requirements, we can work from there,” explains kitchen designer Emily Rumble. “So in this case, the double oven came first.”

The clients were initially keen to have a range cooker, but they changed their minds in favour of two undermounted ovens. They liked the functionality of modern ovens and also wanted to maximise the workspace. The hob takes up less room than a range cooker, but still houses a generous number of burners. “It’s perfect for such a small space,” says Emily.

The integrated extractor is protected by a wooden case, which sits flush to the cupboards and hides away the wires and motor.

Competence built-in electrical single ovens (BP7304021M – no longer available – and BP5014321M steam oven), AEG. Gas hob (92cm, T29S96N1), Neff.

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Rumble’s original kitchen design featured a lot of drawers either side of the ovens, but the clients decided they didn’t need so many drawers and preferred the look of cupboards. So two, extra-wide single drawers now flank the ovens and contain all the utensils the owners need while cooking.

“Wide drawers are very practical,” says Rumble. “You can store a lot more in them than in two smaller ones.”

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The worktop is custom-made from prime oak and treated with a Danish oil that gives a natural finish and doesn’t change the look of the wood.

LED downlights are fitted beneath the wall cupboards to provide practical task lighting, while the elegant pendant lights above add character to the space.

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The high ceiling allowed for tall wall cupboards, which the designer divided into two. “If I’d made the cupboards with one single door each, there would have been too much movement when they were opened,” she explains. “They would also have looked too stretched.”

By separating the upper and lower sections, the cupboards appear well-proportioned. The top cupboards are perfect for objects that aren’t used often, while the lower ones are easy to access and ideal for everyday items.

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The cupboards on each side of the galley are deliberately designed not to reach the ceiling. “It’s nice to have a gap above,” explains Rumble. “It gives the room a feeling of space, and shows the units off as a piece of furniture.”

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The unit on the right contains a fridge with a freezer compartment; the clients realised they didn’t need a large freezer and that an ice box would be fine for them. To the left of this is a classic pantry, with drawers, a shelf rack and a practical, non-porous marble shelf inside.

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The farmhouse sink fits between an integrated dishwasher and a bin cupboard of equal sizes. The 80cm double sink was the perfect size to fit the space and helps to create symmetry. In fact, each element of the kitchen is symmetrical, including the larder and fridge units, as well as the oven area.

“We use this symmetrical design idea in most kitchens, but it works particularly well in a small space,” Rumble says. “The room could have felt crammed and busy, but by keeping the design balanced and simple, it looks less confusing.”

Farmhouse double bowl 80 sink, Villeroy & Boch.

Find farmhouse sink ideas for every kind of cook

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Behind the sink is a marble tap insert. “With wooden worktops, we always recommend a tap insert,” says the designer. “You often don’t see what’s happening underneath the taps until it’s too late. If there’s leakage, the marble stops the water seeping through and ruining the wooden surface.”

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Originally, this side of the kitchen had open shelving going right across, but the clients liked the idea of glass-fronted cupboards to display items without dust collecting. Rumble left a section of open shelves above the sink, so it didn’t feel claustrophobic.

Unlike the wall units opposite, she decided these glass-fronted cupboards would work well without being split into two.

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The client had already chosen the coral colour scheme in the dining room and wanted something lighter in the kitchen. The units, painted in a bespoke pale green, complement the coral beautifully and contrast well with the warm oak kitchen worktop.

Oak leaf chandelier, Charles Saunders.

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The kitchen leads into the breakfast room, which has a large glass door opening onto a balcony. The room was designed as a relaxing space in which to soak up the sunlight.

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A glazed partition separates the breakfast room from the utility room.

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“I had great fun designing the utility room, particularly the built-in wall units, as they contain plenty of clever storage solutions,” says Rumble.

From left to right, the cupboards house a stacked washing machine and tumble drier, a rail with a heater underneath to dry clothes, another hanging rail, an umbrella stand and some practical coat hooks. The cut-out dots aerate the cupboard to prevent laundry and coats from becoming musty.

Opposite is a handmade fitted bench with cubbyholes beneath for shoe storage.

TELL US…
What do you think of this kitchen and utility room design? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.
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