home > stories > profile: a classical kitchen but with a contemporary edge
Profile: A Classical Kitchen but With a Contemporary Edge
Set in a new extension, this kitchen has been designed to be both family friendly and fun
written on: 09-11-2021 16:15pm
How do you create a kitchen that’s large and inviting, family friendly and grown-up and contemporary without being a cliché? The answer can be found in Tom and Fiona Sargeant’s south-west London kitchen. A considered design by the couple’s architect, Chris Eaton of Stiff + Trevillion, combined with decisive input from the couple, has resulted in a “versatile” kitchen.
- Owners/residents: Tom and Fiona Sargeant and their children
- Kitchen feature: The kitchen is designed as part of a new extension with units custom-made from solid wood by Nicklin Furniture in Newcastle and painted in Panel from Paint Library
Fiona says, “Whether we’re having a family meal, children’s party or a dinner party the kitchen is a fresh, robust space that really adds to our family and social life.” The kitchen sits in a capacious new extension which has transformed the once-lacklustre Edwardian house. “When we first saw the house it was three flats, but the moment we stepped inside we both knew this was the one. The house is on a corner with windows on all sides so its position is wonderful,” continues Fiona.
Instead of conventional plain glass, the doors which open on to the garden are Crittall. “It feels industrial and a bit classical,” she informs. Characterful doors also lead to the larder, with its marble worktop and Fisher & Paykel freezer drawer. Overhead, a skylight and slim clerestory windows introduce more light while the glass-fronted, solid wood cabinetry, made by Nicklin Furniture, enhances the weightless feel.
Equally light is the ingenious room divider, a partial wall which separates the smaller family area from the dining space. “The kitchen’s so large that it needed to be broken up otherwise it would feel like one huge race track for the kids,” laughs Fiona. One side of the space is vibrant, bright and family friendly while the other feels elegant and a little bit French. Other details bring the space to life, such as the ceramic floor tiles by the range that contrast with the oak floor, differentiating the family area from the cooking space.
“The island feels like a beautiful, timeless piece of furniture,” says Fiona. That was also the thinking behind the bespoke dining table where the family congregates on red and grey Conran chairs for meals, homework or painting sessions. Made from a honey toned oak, perching on robust steel legs, the table encapsulates the feel of this kitchen. “Classical but with a contemporary edge, this is definitely a room we won’t get tired of,” says Fiona.
Q & A – Chris Eaton, associate director at Stiff + Trevillion Architects
- What was your brief? The ground floor of the house was sub-divided into two flats and my brief was to design a large, informal family kitchen and dining space which also incorporated a play area for the children and a visible, walk-in larder. To conceive the kitchen, we extended the ground floor to create the new 100 sq m space.
- How did the design evolve? We tried out a few open-plan ideas but it became clear that it worked better to subtly define the space with joinery and glazed doors. These create a free-flowing feel while adding definition to the different zones of the room.
- Tell us about the light and glazing? It was important that the kitchen was light and spacious and also had a strong visual connection with the garden. After looking at contemporary sliding systems, Fiona and Tom opted for a metal-framed Crittall door system. To bring in more light, high-level clerestory windows were designed above the raised level kitchen units.
- How did you decide on the layout of the kitchen? The large island is the hub of the space and dictated the layout. After that it made sense to locate the high-level units along the side wall. Practical storage was a priority but we made the larder store slightly more theatrical by installing the glass doors and a tiled interior where large meat hooks hang from the top of the ceiling.