Practicality, creativity and colour are the perfect ingredients for a cookspace that’s full of personality
Houzz UK Editorial Staff. I’m a freelance journalist with more than 13 years’ experience… More
The best kitchens are those that combine the designer’s know-how with the creative input of the owner, and in this family cookspace, the two elements are a perfect match. Alexa Jacobs of deVOL Kitchens worked with her clients to achieve a space that was as close to their vision as possible, highlighting their personality and style to create a practical kitchen with bundles of character.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A couple with their two sons (5 and 7) and pet dog, Fudge
Where Datchworth, Hertfordshire
Property A 5-bedroom detached house
Kitchen dimensions 5.8m x 5.5m
Budget Approximately £25k
Designer Alexa Jacobs of deVOL Kitchens
The owners of this unique kitchen had a clear view of what they wanted from their cookspace. “We always ask customers to send us a brief,” says designer Alexa Jacobs, “and theirs was particularly useful.”
The wish list consisted of a large island, a traditional Belfast sink, a range cooker and a false mantel above a tiled splashback. “They were also keen to have brass handles and taps,” Jacobs adds.
Engineered wood flooring, Howdens. Walls painted in Pure Brilliant White, Dulux. Cabinets painted in Lead; island painted in Trinity Blue, both deVOL. Cluny range cooker in stainless steel, Lacanche.
The owners have a wonderfully eclectic style, so it was important the kitchen reflected this. “They always knew they wanted a mixture of colours, but they hadn’t decided what these would be,” says Jacobs. “At first, we’d toyed with the idea of having a dusky pink island, but after much discussion, the couple decided against that.”
Instead, they opted for a combination of lead on the perimeter units and a turquoise island in the centre. The pink tone was added in subtly with these gorgeous patterned tiles on the cooker splashback.
The owners picked a range cooker in a neutral stainless steel so it would work with any colour combination, and their builders constructed a false mantel above for a traditional look.
Pink Pradena tiles, Bert & May.
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“The layout was fairly traditional, in the sense that we had a Belfast sink under the window and an L-shaped set-up with the range cooker on the chimney breast close to the outside wall,” says Jacobs.
“The shelves are a great way of using the alcove,” she adds. “They were supplied by the owners’ builder and the pieces are all part of their quirky collection.”
The aged-brass tap is a model that deVol have created with Perrin & Rowe, and works well with the brass handles on the cabinetry.
Farmhouse 80 sink, Villeroy & Boch. Ionian Aged Brass taps, deVOL at Perrin & Rowe.
The owners chose a white composite worktop. “They wanted something light, white and subtle,” says Jacobs, “so it was an easy canvas to work with.”
To the right of the range cooker are three wide pan drawers, while at the back of the island the designers built large open cabinets, where the owners can display more of their beautiful collection of bowls and other objects.
Carrara white worktop, Minerva. Larger Demijohn pendant lights in clear glass, Pooky.
On the front of the island are two double cupboards with ample storage. The designers were unsure at first whether they would line the end of the island up with the end of the sink run. “We came to the conclusion that this wasn’t important in an eclectic kitchen like this,” says Jacobs. Consequently, the owners were able to have the island at the size they wanted.
Two comfortable bar stools tuck in to the end of the island, which worked well in this space. “We could have put stools at the back, but that would have lost the open cabinet area and been too squashed,” says Jacobs. “The dining table behind has four chairs and a bench, so there’s plenty of room for family meals. The two bar stools are great for a sociable chat and coffee, or a quick bowl of cereal.”
Milk bar stools, Loaf.
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A pantry is positioned between an integrated fridge-freezer and the door to the hall. This hardworking piece of furniture has two drawers beneath it and a slate shelf inside for holding heavy items and small appliances. There are also shelves fixed to the doors, with plenty of room for spices.
To the right of the bin storage, dishwasher and under-sink cupboard are two open shelves for trays and chopping boards. “These work well for customers who like things on display,” says Jacobs.
As well as installing three pendants over the island, the owners also sourced two lights to illuminate the sink area. “We think they work really nicely,” says the designer.
“We usually suggest that worktops are fitted with an upstand,” says Jacobs, “and here, timber panels carry on up the wall.”
What do you particularly like about this eclectic family kitchen? Share your thoughts in the Comments section.