East London kitchen project

I am excited to share with you my latest residential project; a kitchen renovation in East London. This was an interesting and challenging project with a clear brief from the client in terms of practicality, but a very open brief in terms of creativity.


The property is a modern two bedroom apartment in E1, which the couple had rented before having the opportunity to purchase it from their landlord. As a result, it was a blank canvas with basic fixtures and fittings, Lino flooring and magnolia walls.

The owners are keen cooks, and despite the kitchen being on the bijou side, they were keen to be able to cook together and maximise the storage and worktop space in the room. As a result, I was keen to create a full-height wall of storage and built-in appliances including the fridge/freezer, oven and microwave, on one side of the kitchen. This answers the need for storage, whilst avoiding the use of wall cabinets which make a small space feel enclosed. A discreet shelf above the sink provides space for cookbooks, accessories and interesting glassware.


The kitchen is in the centre of the building which means there is no window or natural light in the room. In dark spaces, the natural inclination is to choose white as a means of creating a feeling or space and light. However, choosing white in a room which will largely be lit by yellowy, artificial light, which will be the colour reflected on the units. That is one of the reasons we decided to choose a warm burgundy colour for the cabinet doors. The beautiful shade creates real ‘wow factor’ in a small space and the colour really sings in here. The cabinets are by IKEA and I chose Naked Doors for the fronts, which are painted in Little Greene’s Adventurer.


The lack of natural light also impacted the lighting plan in here, which involves two circuits: overhead spotlights, pushed to the edges of the room to illuminate the worktops, and three wall lights which drift a softer, more atmospheric light on the worktops and sink area. Finally, an LED strip light sits above the nook next to the oven in order to illuminate underneath the cabinet.

Finally, I chose matt wall tiles rather than glossed versions because of the lack of natural light as well. These textured matt versions from Mandarin Stone almost glow in here which bouncing the artificial light around the room. It creates a much more relaxed and serene environment. The blueish grey compliments the burgundy cabinets and also opens up blue as a delightful accent colour in here.


Finally, the floor tiles are part of the same family of tiles at Mandarin Stone and create a really dynamic feature in the room. The pattern has a nod to the encaustic, patterned tile trend, but created in porcelain which is much more practical in a kitchen with the threat of spills and splashes.


I would love to know what you think and do get in touch if you are looking to collaborate on your own home project.

All photography by Veerle Evans.

Heather milnerComment