Brilliant Blue & Bright Red – By British Standard
By Linda Parker
This kitchen, from British Standard, was created by owner Alex Evans, who wanted a bright and appealing kitchen that could come in on an affordable budget. She consulted the design team from British Standard to help her plan the layout of her dream kitchen.
Q: Alex, what were your standout priorities for the design concept?
A: My standout priorities were to maximise our socialising space … the kitchen had to stand up to the rigours of family life, and I also wanted to create a stylish mid-century vibe whilst the room still looked like a cosy, child friendly space. And of course, I didn’t want to blow our modest budget!
Q: How did you embark on your design journey?
A: We went to the British Standard showroom and spent some quality time with the design team. They gave us tons of help and handy tips, and although they don’t offer a ‘design service’ as such, having the team to bounce ideas off was totally invaluable. It gave us the tools and the confidence to back our own design choices. The focal points of our redesign were the antique church pews that we had repurposed as banquette seating, to create an interesting central point and social hub. This decision let us maximise the relatively limited square footage, and the rest of the design was then built up around that starting point. For example, look at the high shelves that float over the benches … they double as display space and practical storage, as well as emphasising the high ceilings.
Q: How did you choose the materials and work out the layout?
A: The work surfaces are Iroko, which we chose because it’s a very tough hardwood, it was also cost effective. Having parallel lines of cabinets was an obvious decision once the L shaped pew seating was in place. That also allowed us to balance storage space with our desire to have clean, uncluttered lines, and that is where the two tone paint scheme came into play as well.
Q: How much building work and renovation was involved?
This was a major project … it was part of a total gutting and refurbishment, which included rewiring, replumbing, and all new plaster throughout. This allowed us to re-site taps, radiators, gas, sockets, and lights etc in the kitchen, so it was a real blank canvas. We were also able to install under floor heating too, which keeps the room cosy all through the winter
Q: What are your favourite design elements?
A: The geometric tiles really tie the room together, and as they flow in from the hallway and utility room and give a sense of continuity throughout the ground floor. We love the seating, and as the pews came from a mid-century church in Essex, they give a great baseline for some of the other features, which are either from or give a nod to that period – such as the retro fridge, the floor tiles and the utility table.
Q: What is your best advice to anyone planning their own new kitchen?
A: Patience in sourcing is vital. We spent hours on eBay, looking at endless websites and on-line stores. Offline, we trawled loads of architectural salvage yards and shops – and were rewarded with big finds like the extra deep shelves, which were from a Dutch dairy, and smaller items like the drop drawer knobs. We found the Villeroy & Boch sink on eBay.
We Love: The colour of the cabinetry – Deep Space Blue by Little Greene, and the bright red Smeg refrigerator
Cabinets: British Standard, supplied off-the-shelf and fully assembled, undercoated in white eggshell and ready for finishing coat. From £465 for a single cabinet, an average British Standard kitchen is around £8,000. www.britishstandardcupboards.co.uk
Cabinet Paint: Deep Space Blue by Little Green, www.littlegreene.com
Range cooker and refrigerator, both Smeg, www.smeguk.com
Worktop: Iroko, Worktop Express, www.worktop-express.com
Tiles: Tons of Tiles, www.tonsoftiles.co.uk
Sink: Villeroy & Boch via eBay, www.villeroy-boch.co.uk
Handles and knobs: Silbury Antiques, www.silburyantiques.com
Pendants: Labour & Wait, www.labourandwait.co.uk; Graham & Green, www.grahamandgreen.co.uk
Extractor: Belling, www.belling.co.uk
Dishwasher: Beko, www.beko.co.uk
Kitchen Owner Alex Evans