Hello everyone and welcome to a new week. Herewith, as ever, a selection rooms that have caught my eye both online and, this week, in real life – with more to follow on Wednesday. No unifying theme this week apart from I loved them all and wanted to share them with you.
First up this lovely kitchen by Meghan Eisenberg who has remodelled her grandfather’s home. It’s great inspiration for anyone who doesn’t have a large kitchen and has no room for an island. I wrote a feature in praise of the galley kitchen for The Times (link here – might be a paywall or a free trial) and while they used to be regarded as a problem to be solved there are lots of things in their favour – not least that everything in within reach. And, as this shows perfectly, you don’t have to stick to pale colours in small rooms if you don’t want to. This has a window, you might have a door as well to bring in even more light.
So, as you can see, the cupboards are a rich dark olive; I’m calling it for this shade of green by the way – dark forests and pale sages have been popular for a while now and I sense olive is about to break through. It looks fabulous with rich cream and pale pink. This green looks great with the dramatic Arabesco marble splashback or try Arabetto from Caesarstone if you prefer a quartz. Yes you can go for a minimal white style but why not choose something fabulous that will bring you joy every time you look at it – and remind you that sometimes life needs a bold decision. The wooden cladding brings another layer of texture and echoes the stripes of the floorboards. The palette is minimal the effect maximal and, just in case you hadn’t noticed, the green lamp base (a traditional table lamp always looks great in a kitchen) and the dark blousey flowers pull the whole room together as they pick up on the cupboards and the rug. This is a masterclass of texture and pattern and one that you could emulate using your own colours.
The room above belongs to Cassandra Ellis of Atelier Ellis whose paints are a joy of rich, understated elegance. I painted my sitting room in her fallen plum several years ago and I adore it still. Here the walls are one of her soft pinks (try Bell Pink, Faded Blossom or even Solstice) with a pale yellow (Sadhika or Pollen) and I have mentioned several here as pink changes dramatically depending in the the light available becoming darker, more peach and more intense in the more south-facing rooms so you will have to try your own combinations. The point, however, is the yellow window frame with the pale pink walls – a combination I’m dying to try but have yet to bring The Mad Husband on board with and yes he would notice and he would care and he does have opinions. Unfortunately.
Now for a little trip I made in real life last week to the home of Leanne, @goodboneslondon, who runs a consultancy and vintage shop as well (and she has more things arriving soon). Some of you may remember the room above, which I featured a few weeks ago as Leanne’s home is also used as a location shoot. Well it turns out she lives very close to me and I popped in to have a look at this gorgeous kitchen last week.
First up a shout out for the extension windows, which Leanne deliberately choose over bifolds or crittal as she wanted it to fit with the period of the house and it does, indeed, look like a Victorian orangery. I love this wall of paned glass rather than the more modern frameless or large panes. It is more in keeping and, as Leanne said to me: “I wanted it to look like it had always been there”.
This is the main part of the room. Leanne designed the island herself (look out for a range of designs coming soon) and kept a simple row of cupboards all along one side. And I asked, because you may ask, about an extractor fan and, there is a fan in the gap between the ends of the cupboards and the outside wall, which was completely acceptable to building control (check in your own area though as councils and rules will vary). I have heard the same from Tom Pike (husband of my lovely podcasting co-host Sophie Robinson) who is a builder by trade. You don’t have to have a giant wall fitted chimney – a simple fan will do as long as it extracts a certain number of litres of air per second (you’ll need to check the exact numbers) and, I have to say, if I had known this before we fitted our giant cooker hood, I would have done this too.
And then it’s the pantry. And what a joy this is. It’s also a clever design, which I shall attempt to describe to you. Essentially it’s a box built in from the entrance hall on one side and an opening which leads to the back half of the sitting room on other other – for those of you in the classic Victorian terrace this would have been a French window leading to the side return. Here, the side return has been built over, the French door opened up to lead to the back half of the sitting room and the pantry sited between these two openings. And, of course, you can make it to fit the space you have. In Leanne’s case it was done to suit the doors she found on eBay. The walls are painted in Paint and Paper Library Muga which sets off the navy gingham check curtains perfectly. And look at all the storage you can have. You could also put a washing machine in here if you didn’t want to have it in the main part of the kitchen but don’t have space upstairs.
Swinging round to the other wall which has been clad in tongue and groove – you don’t need it on all four walls if you don’t want to – and this, like the rest of the room, has been painted in Farrow & Ball Schoolhouse White, it’s a lovely warm milk shade that isn’t too yellow but has some warmth to it. I saw it in both brilliant sunshine and then dark heavy rain – just as I was about to walk out of the front door – so I can vouch for it in different lights. The one other fabulous little style point I wanted to draw your attention to is the Shaker Pegs.
Regular readers will know I love a shaker peg – especially in a child’s room where you can use them for school bags, clothes, picture frames and storage baskets. Here Leanne has painted the pegs and their wooden mount to match the wall so if they are empty they disappear and if things are hanging they double up as decor as well as being practical.
So many ideas to take from this gorgeous kitchen and I hope you feel inspired.
We’ll finish with a couple of bedroom shots – time for a virtual lie down after all that inspiration – and first up let’s look at all this storage in the Berlin home of Theodora Malik. I appreciate most of you won’t have a French door leading to a balcony in your bedroom but these shelves would work just as well on either side of a window and, actually, if you made them a bit deeper, you could add a bench between the two shelves and create a fabulous window seat, which may be an even better use of space.
Lastly, if there is anything to take away from current interiors trends it is this – a headboard is a decorating opportunity waiting to happen. If you paint a shape on the wall, create your own from MDF covered in foam or buy one, we are seeing feature headboards everywhere at the moment. How will you create yours?