‘Cooking is an absolute joy for me,' says model and food writer Daisy Lowe. 'So when I moved here four years ago, the tiny kitchen at the back of the house was an issue. It was dark, with hardly any work space or storage, and nowhere to sit or entertain - in fact it was smaller than the bathroom,' she says.
'I wanted to extend and add light, and my must-have was an island with a big Aga and breakfast bar. Finalising the design and planning permission took three years, partly because of the pandemic, but that gave me time to save up.’
Daisy wanted a traditional, country feel, but with feminine touches. ‘Devol’s beautiful green-black, farmhouse-look cabinetry maximised the space, and I added the pink china cupboard, marble tops and pretty lighting to soften the room,’ she says.
‘I moved out for six weeks during the building work, which cost £100,000. Everything went smoothly apart from the resin floor, which turned out too beige. The colour just wasn’t right, but we mixed some grey paint into the final coat of sealant, which luckily solved the problem.
The kitchen fitting cost around £5000 and took about five days. It’s transformed the whole flow in the house and it’s such a pleasure to cook or just spend time in there, especially now we can entertain again.’
Daisy’s top tip when planning any kitchen idea: ‘Check, check and check again! I really believed I’d thought of everything, until I realised, too late, that I’d forgotten to include storage under the breakfast bar. It would have been so useful, but unfortunately it’s a wasted space,’ she says.
'The island-breakfast bar combo was a really important feature for me, as I love having friends here while I’m cooking. I searched high and low for comfy, affordable, upholstered bar stools,' says Daisy.
'Sometimes we’ll light candles and have dinner together at the breakfast bar, too. It’s the next best thing to going out to a restaurant,' she says.
The new glass roof lantern boosts light from above and adds a sense of height.
'I wanted somewhere for cookbooks, plants, a few photos and some pretty accessories to make things feel homely. The brass brackets tie in with the taps, cabinet handles and electrical sockets too,' Daisy enthuses.
'I really thought the layout through' says Daisy. 'My bin and dishwasher are hidden on either side of the sink, and all the foodstuffs are in a lovely big pantry unit at the far end, opposite the fridge-freezer.'
'The new glass roof and doors have transformed the room. There’s a bit of an industrial feel to them - the grey frames tie in with the exposed brick, resin floor and steel support beam,' Daisy continues.
Underfloor heating frees up wall space and works well with a resin floor.
The marble work surface is extended to form a seamless kitchen splashback idea.
'The boiling water tap is amazing – instant hot water for drinks and cooking, and no kettle cluttering up my work top! I wanted a big butler’s sink and the fluted front makes this one a bit prettier,' Daisy comments.
Dramatically dark shades on the central island contrast beautifully with echoes of soft blush, for added depth and a contemporary nudge.
'I was very tempted to have a completely pink kitchen, so the pink china cabinet is a nice way to bring in femininity and that element of colour, without totally committing,' says Daisy. Cost-effective brick slips give an authentic character look.
Daisy used cost-effective brick slips as a fuss-free way to add texture, character and an industrial vibe.
Feature written by Annabelle Grundy.
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