Flea-market finds and vintage furniture create a one-of-a-kind kitchen that's cosy and bright
When the owner moved in seven years ago, the whole house needed gutting and renovating. ‘ I knocked the existing kitchen, dining room and cloakroom together, then completely rewired, replumbed and replastered,’ he explains. ‘As I used to be in the building trade, I was able to do much of the work myself and keep labour costs down. I also installed folding doors to the garden and levelled the floor, ready for sandstone flags.’
‘I built the kitchen from new timber and old, upcycled furniture — I own Reginald Ballum, a decorative antiques shop. The layout was straightforward, because I knew I wanted the sink beneath the window and luckily the French bench unit, which I’d had in storage, fitted perfectly along the opposite wall. The installation cost about £1,000 and the whole project took about a month.’
Image credit: David Giles
‘It can be tricky to adapt old pieces, rather than buying an off-the-peg kitchen, but it gave me a bespoke look without paying a fortune,’ says the owner. ‘My style is “quirky industrial”, which I’ve softened with a gentle colour palette’
The green unit is a vintage cupboard tipped on its side, reinforced to support the weight of the butler’s sink and with new doors. It sits next to a DIY peninsula, which houses the washing machine.
To make the worktops, the owner wrapped sheet zinc around MDF, fixed with upholstery nails. He aged it first by leaving it outside for two weeks. The sacking blinds are made from vintage mail bags, simply overstitched, for authentic rustic character.
Lime render gives a natural, matt, mottled finish to walls. An old oak workbench stands out against them. ‘I love the look of plain materials,’ says Darren.
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Newgate Cookhouse Wall Clock in Black, £70, Amara
The owner found this antique plate rack at a brocante in France and kept it in storage for future use. ‘I’ve picked up pieces from markets in Europe and around Sussex,’ he says
Get the look
Buy now: Similar Lyon wall-mounted plate rack, £88, Melody Maison
I searched high and low for vintage tiles, but couldn’t find what I wanted. These metro tiles work well instead,’ says the owner, who had an antique range cooker installed. ‘But it filled the room with smoke and I couldn’t find replacement parts,’ he explains. ‘It taught me a valuable lesson in knowing when to buy new and when to stick with vintage.’ Pale pastel accessories soften an industrial-inspired look with pieces in pink hues.
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The owner is thrilled with the results of all his efforts. ‘I took my time and didn’t compromise, so it was a lot of work to find what I wanted. But I’ve created a unique kitchen that I love.’