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The owner of this impressive kitchen, Maxine, who blogs at WeLoveHomeBlog.com, was desperate to tackle the kitchen when she moved in. ‘It was overcrowded, with wall units and an old boiler that took up lots of space. Also, it was a death trap due to damp – water had been dripping down the wall into the oven’s electrics.’ It was too dangerous to use, so she lived on toast and takeaways for five months while she saved up money to revamp the room.
'Before work began, my boyfriend and I visited New York and loved the coffee bars and markets in Brooklyn, which became the starting point for my kitchen design. They looked stylish but functional, and hard-wearing.' The aim was to introduce copper accents, along with rough wood and a bold patterned floor.
Gallery collection at Symphony
Copper soap dispenser
Jug, breadboard and Kilner jars
Before any work could be started, the old boiler had to be taken out. They sold the old kitchen online and stripped back the room. 'Once the units were out, we could see burnt-out wiring and mould growing behind them. We used a jack hammer to hack off the plaster - it was filthy, exhausting work.' The builders knocked out a new window in the far end wall and put in a damp course. Moving just one window instantly brightened the kitchen and gave delightful views of the garden. Once the room was plastered, underfloor heating was put in and geometric floor tiles laid. 'We saw lots of patterned tiled flooring in New York, which inspired the 3D design we chose.'
It took two weeks for the plastered walls to dry in time for the units to be fitted. 'Our kitchen designer from Hehku Heavenly Spaces, came up with an ingenious design, which managed to fit in all our appliances, including a dishwasher, fridge freezer, washing machine and a slimline pull-out larder for all our spices. We needed to squeeze so much into the space and it was tempting to put units on both sides, but it wouldn't have made it the social area it is now.' Using slimline appliances appliances is a great idea in a compact kitchen.
The owner couldn't find any handles she liked so her boyfriend made copper ones himself using plumbers' piping. 'I love them, as they are totally unique to our room.' Metro tiles are the ultimate industrial design statement. Here the owners have covered two walls up to the ceilings in classic metro tiles with dark grey grout and painted the other walls crisp white to keep the room looking fresh. These tiles help to draw your line of sight upwards, making the space feel bigger.
Industrial interiors are all about celebrating the bare bones of a functional space. For a designer look on a budget, construct things yourself. Wall units would have closed the space in, so shelving was made out of scaffolding planks and copper piping, to keep the room feeling light and to give it a utilitarian edge. Not only are copper accents bang on trend, but they're perfect for adding a sumptuous, glamorous feel to any space.
Hard wax (used on shelves)
Every detail has been thought through, even down to the polished chrome pull-out drawers. These clever drawers are brilliant for storing pots and pans. Nothing says industrial style like stainless steel utensils and cookware.
Similar pots and pans
'If we couldn't find what we liked in copper, we sprayed it ourselves - such as our knife magnet.' The warm metallic colour and distinctive design mix French cafe chic with salvage style.
The old kitchen looked tired and bland, and the owner wanted to inject as much style and personality as possible into the small room, as well as creating extra storage. 'Now it's finished, we really enjoy being in there. It was so grim at first, but we're really proud of our kitchen. I can't wait for our first house party here, so we can dance on the tiles!'