This highly original space includes a kitchen, breakfast bar and generous seating area, all designed around a single, sinuous S shape
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“This was a very tricky project technically, but the owner had a really clear idea of how she wanted it to look,” says Maria Pennington, who designed this striking kitchen and seating space in an Edwardian home in Chiswick, west London.
The owner had drawn up sketches of a curving, S-shaped configuration, incorporating a kitchen, breakfast bar and generous sofa in one continuous, flowing design. Many kitchen companies she approached would not take on the design of the sofa, too, but Pennington, who runs her own design business, was happy to embrace the challenge and piece the design together. “I refined her drawings and had it all made to suit the space,” she says.
Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here A family with two children
Location Chiswick, west London
Size The kitchen is 3.8m x 3.5m; the whole room is 6.7m x 5.5m; part of a semi-detached Edwardian house
Designer Maria Pennington of Maria Pennington Design
Photos by Neil Speakman
“The owner wanted this to be a very sociable space, as she and her partner like to entertain,” says designer Maria Pennington. “So it had to be sociable, but without people getting in the way of her while she was cooking in the kitchen.”
The house was being gutted and renovated when Pennington was called in to rethink the kitchen. “When I first visited, the kitchen was bright yellow!” she says.
The owners were opening out the ground floor, with the exception of the living room at the front, and were adding an extension at the rear that leads onto the garden. “They needed a whole new design for this space,” Pennington adds.
The kitchen space itself is fairly compact, but is cleverly designed to make the most of all available room, so the owner can fit everything essential in it.
“I had to make sure there was enough space to work in, and that the cupboards can all open easily and you can move around comfortably,” says Pennington. “We didn’t fit curved cabinets, as that would have been prohibitively expensive. These are all flat-fronted designs.”
Tap, Quooker. Sink, Franke.
One of the owner’s key specifications was that the design looked seamless and uniform. “She didn’t want it to be: here’s a seating area, there’s a kitchen, there’s a breakfast bar,” explains Pennington. “So we had to use a material that unified the two spaces. I suggested Corian, as it can be made bespoke so it’s seamless.”
Now, a single piece of Corian forms the breakfast bar then sweeps around the back of the seating before becoming the windowsill. “It’s all at the same height as the breakfast bar and in the same material, creating a sense of flow between the spaces,” she adds.
The owner wanted to be able to seat eight people here. “She specifically wanted a proper sofa you could snuggle up on, rather than just a cushioned bench,” says Pennington. “I thought this might be a challenge, given the space, but once we had it all made, it worked really well and is incredibly comfortable.”
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The sofa, unsurprisingly, had to be made bespoke for the space. “We had it templated once the curved wall had been built,” says Pennington. “The curve of the sofa follows exactly the same angles and shape as the breakfast bar, so it’s a mirror image.
“We went to the sofa showroom together and sat on lots of different models to find the most comfortable one with the right back height,” says Pennington. The bespoke design has storage hidden beneath the seats and is upholstered in velvet.
The lighting was designed by the client’s husband, who works in theatre. It consists of a truss, made bespoke to follow the S of the sofa and breakfast bar, with theatre lighting attached.
Bespoke sofa, The Sofa & Chair Company.
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The breakfast bar curve is slightly higher than the worktop to create a visual and physical divide between the two areas. “I used Silestone in the working part of the kitchen, as it’s more hard-wearing than Corian,” says Pennington. “It doesn’t scratch and is more heat-resistant.”
Hob, Siemens. Silestone in Lagoon. Corian in Glacier White.
Cabinets are fitted right up to the ceiling to make the most of the space, and although there’s a small walk-in pantry on the other side of the room (not seen), the owner is able to stash most of her essential kit in here.
The top run of cupboards has handleless doors to keep the look streamlined and prevent this tall wall of storage from seeming weighty.
The cabinets have been sprayed with a matt lacquer. The interiors are all oak.
Cabinets, Neil Norton Design. Cabinets painted in NCS S 7020-R90B, Dulux.
A clever cupboard with pull-out shelves that fold back into the corner makes the most of an awkward recess. “There’s no wasted space here,” says Pennington.
The floor is polished concrete.
The insides of the drawers are crafted from solid oak with dovetail joints.
What do you think of this unusual curving kitchen and seating area? Share your thoughts in the Comments below.