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Project Complete: Islington N1

July 9, 2015

Today we are featuring a project we completed in Islington recently to replace the current kitchen and extend the property with a rear glass box extension. From a short ‘we have a baby coming in 6 months and are looking to renovate our kitchen’ email received late one December evening the project grew to include a full refurbishment of the lower ground floor of the Islington terrace.

The original layout on the lower ground floor had three small rooms and felt very closed in and dark (see before pictures at the end of this post). An internal hallway used too much space on an already restricted footprint. and the existing kitchen was poorly planned – one of the horrors was a small round sink hidden away in a corner, with an expanding family the kitchen no longer served the needs of the owner.

After structural calculations and building regulations consultation we installed two large structural steels to allow us to remove all the internal walls downstairs and create a new, much larger, kitchen and dining space. At the same time we submitted a planning application to add a glass box extension to the exterior to provide a new living space off the kitchen.

Going against our recent trend of specifying handleless kitchens we changed the design on this project as the property, and the owners, appreciated a more traditional style. At the same time however we also wanted a design that wouldn’t look dated before it was even finished so a mixture of traditional and contemporary elements were specified. We agreed on a painted style kitchen, which featured three different shades of grey. The handle detail adds a contemporary element, we chose a simple cylinder bar finished in nickel which complements the large Rangemaster range installed. We teamed the grey units with limestone tiles on the floor which added a traditional element to the room – this limestone continued into the new extension.

The island of this kitchen is 2.8m long and has now become a central hub for the home. We finished the island with a white Hanex worktop to keep the overall feeling very light and spacious. The island has a large seating area on one side which features under counter storage for kitchen items infrequently used. The industrial style stools specified were designed to provide an unexpected element against the slick worktop and painted units. In a design scheme it is always good to provide a contrast between the finishes – this also helps to avoid the ‘this is an unloved show home’ look to your interior.

For the pendant lights above the island I was looking for something subtle, but also wanted to try to add some colour – you can actually have too much grey in an interior. We sourced simple ceramic lights from Folklore in Islington, but I then had our electrician recable them with a bright red cord. He didn’t thank me (a rather complicated task) – but the subtle touch of colour suits the interior better than the black and white cables supplied with the fittings.

The details on this project are the things that have given it the wow factor. On one end of the island we installed a book case to allow the client to keep the current cookbooks they are using. This selection is rotated from the larger selection on the unit in the dining area of the room. When it came to specifying the splashback we wanted a metro type tile, but the standard gloss tiles didn’t work with the style of the kitchen. Instead we sourced a matt finish tile, which due to the subtle colouring blended into the kitchen without creating too much contrast – both stylish, and also practical.

Due to the time in Planning the glass box extension was actually the final element to be installed on this project. With careful preparation we were able to prepare the site, finish the internal kitchen installation and then drop the glass in at the last minute. The extension has transformed an underused area of the garden and created an additional living room – it’s proving to be the perfect space for the new little addition to the client’s family.

This Islington terrace has now been updated from its tired look and style to provide a large entertaining space for a modern family. With good solid appliances the kitchen will also serve the family as they expand and grow.

The final picture below shows the internal layout at the start of the project (just after the kitchen had been ripped out) and also the exterior space we included in the house with the glass extension. As you can see the interior was tired and dated, the one larger room with its open plan layout is more sociable than the three small rooms we started with.

The project was a total dream working for a client who appreciated our experience and design expertise – as she said we delivered her the ‘kitchen she has always wanted’ – and the good news is we managed to get them back home and settled before the baby arrived!

Before and After

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