It feels like life has been a complete rush lately, what with finishing the last details on the house and a new baby – on top of all the regular life stuff. Even as I type this, on December 22nd, there is a decorator hovering behind me finishing the wallpapering in the downstairs loo! But earlier today, I did it. I finally cleaned and set up for this blog post reveal of my kitchen-diner, and as it’s Christmas, I’ve combined this long-planned reveal with some festive styling.
I feel like endless work and thought have gone into this space, and I’m sure you’ll still spot some unfinished bits, but it’s finally starting to feel (dare I say it?)… finished.
We are so happy with this space, I planned it to be as open as possible so that we can turn it into a proper party house in winter, or in the summer, when we plan to open up those doors and enjoy it all after a very challenging year!
The large space is great, but big spaces in new builds can often feel like empty white boxes. I wanted to add some design elements to the architecture to give it some character, so I worked with the architect to include the exposed painted beams (which also allow me to hang various things pretty easily - spot the gold mirror ball which has been left up since my birthday party for an impromptu-silly-season-boogie), the pale exposed brickwork and the small tiled courtyard. I also love the warmth of wooden floors, so we went for pale herringbone flooring by Havwoods.
One of my absolute must-haves was to fit in a big dining table, my husband made this one out of some scaffold boards and hairpin legs, it was only meant to be temporary, but everyone seems to love it, so it may stay a while. I do love how we’re not too precious about it and my daughter, Eva often colours or paints off the paper and onto the table by accident. I also love the contrast of the modern anthracite Hay chairs (which I bought from Amara) with this battered table.
Also in this space is a small seating area by the bi-fold doors, It’s such a lovely place to sit and have a coffee in the mornings. I have big restoration plans for a vintage Ercol sofa which will perch perfectly in this spot, but for now, it’s a good place for the Christmas tree, and a cosy spot to open presents on Christmas day.
The kitchen is my favourite space in our house. I started planning the kitchen before we even started the build! To keep costs down I went for Ikea inside and the clever people at Custom Fronts made the beautiful Black Stained Oak drawer and door fronts to fit, they even made some bespoke sizes for me to fit above the fridge and ovens. The long shelf, which I much prefer to wall cabinets to keep that open feel going, is also by Custom Fronts. The brackets and smoked brass socket plates are by Dowsing and Reynolds.
The brass island is a bit design experiment of mine. I’ve had many a tradesperson mutter
un-reapeatable things under their breath about this island (and probably me as well!)
Firstly, I wanted it to be on castors so that it could be moved around for various parties (if that particular party so required :).
Secondly, I wanted it to be completely clad in natural brass, which would tarnish and patinate naturally over time. But I have to admit, I’m finding it difficult, as we are in the beginning stages of ‘the patination pain’ and it just looks mucky! I’m doing all I can to resist the urge to grab the Brasso and polish it to within an inch of its life! Again, this is Ikea inside and I had simple mdf panels cut and clad in brass to form the drawer fronts.
The brass cladding was an absolute mission and a half! I searched for ages for a supplier who would supply and cut the brass to size and then searched again for a company that would do the actual cladding. My builder then put the whole thing together for me. Cue the un-reapeatables.
I wanted to top the cabinets with a sleek marble, but without the fuss of the real deal, so I chose a composite, Compac Unique Calcutta in 20mm, which I’m very impressed with so far – no staining.
I’m so looking forward to cooking up a feast in my kitchen this Christmas and hosting everyone around our old scaffold board table… it’s been a long, long wait to get to this point.
If you’d like to read more on kitchen planning and see where I got some inspo from for my own kitchen design, check out my post on How To Plan The Perfect Modern Kitchen. There’s also an instant access download inside the post for my Ten Insider Tips To Get That Designer Kitchen Look.
Merry Christmas all! Hope you all get to laugh, drink and feast with your loved ones!