Starting the week with this new kitchen by Devol which is in an Islington townhouse. It’s a large open plan space and by keeping it dark and not too fitted the owners have cleverly blended it into the living space so that it has become a room with a kitchen in it rather than a kitchen with a sofa stuck in it, if you get my meaning.
The cupboards are in a very classic style – painted in Devol Flint for those who might be wondering – while the worktop is in classic Carrara marble. Mind you, it has to be said that Georgian houses are so beautifully proportioned with large windows and plasterwork that they look good whatever you put in them. It’s the old Kate Moss in a bin bag scenario.
Still, never mind that, one important point to note: in they have kept the pendant light but rather than leave it hanging in the middle of the room where it would be illuminating the floor, it has been moved to the side so it can hang usefully over the table.
The open shelves, which are always a controversial choice as some people feel they allow dust and cooking splashes to accumulate, work, in this case, to keep the impression of a room into which a kitchen has been fitted rather than a fitted kitchen in a room.
As many of you know I have open shelves – also far away from the hob – and I generally find that as long as the things on the shelves are used regularly the dust isn’t too much of a problem. I make no such claims for the champagne coupes on the top shelves however.
Moving on from there but sticking with dark walls and heading to the wonderful bathroom of Jess Hurrell, otherwise known as Gold is a Neutral, and you can see how she has used it to great effect in her bathroom which is an awkward shape and when she moved in had a fish tank embedded in the wall.
The metallic surfaces reflect the light and you can see how they are bouncing back off the bath so the room is immediately lightened because of all the shiny surfaces – a useful trick for any room in the house where you want to use a dark colour for the walls.
Sticking with bathrooms and this is the lovely pink and black one belonging to Fiona Cameron of Around Houses. This is Farrow & Ball’s Pink Ground which, she didn’t realise until it was on the walls, will go more peachy if you have a yellowy tinge to your electric lighting. Worth bearing in mind if you are looking for a similar colour.
And on that note we have found the right pink for the bedroom which is south-facing and suffered from exactly the same problem when we tried Pink Ground in there as the golden sunlight made the colour altogether too intense and pink. But we are using Threadneedle by Mylands which has a cooler base so that it is the perfect pink when the sun hits it.
It’s the same thing I have pointed out with grey – a warm light will intensify shades of pink and turn some greys brown. In this house I think Pink Ground would probably work well in a north-facing bedroom but as both of those are occupied by teenage boys it’s probably not something I’ll get to try soon.
Below is Fiona’s sitting room, which is painted in London Clay by Farrow & Ball, a lovely dark chocolatey shade which is always warm whatever the weather. Again, it’s a bit like Down Pipe – a dark grey that is never cold – I have used that in both north and south-facing rooms and it’s always lovely.
Of course if you’re really adventurous and clever with paint you can warm up a space with a splash of gold leaf as Kate Learmonth has done in her dining room. She is gradually painting the rest of her house white with touches of black – after years of it being the other way round – but the dining room is one room where you can aways get away with dark walls as it tends to be used in the evenings when it’s dark outside.
Coming back to that idea of Georgian houses being the architectural equivalent of Kate Moss, is this wonderful room belonging to Wendy. I’m not sure what period this is but with windows and cornices like that you could stick a deck chair in front of it and it would still look amazing. Wendy has worked a bit harder that that though and the results are wonderful. If this was my sitting room I would sit here all day. Probably wouldn’t even need any other rooms in fact. You could stick a sofa bed there and add a kitchen on the back.
Finally, for some reason we often seem to finish with a bedroom – this one is for all of you doing a late night scroll before turning the light out. William Morris walplaper, always a classic and it looks wonderful when it’s used on all the walls. Also note how Fiona Duke, the designer, has used a toning colour for the coving and ceiling rather than reverting default white. Which can be lovely but when it comes to wallpaper there is usually another, and better, colour to pick.
And that’s all folks. Have a lovely day and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.