A handsome turn-of-the century house meets sleek design and functionality in this kitchen that blends the best of both
"You can probably tell that I’m a big fan of mid-century Scandinavian design!’ says fashion buyer Fi Coe as she walks us around her elegant turn-of-the-century townhouse, where she lives with husband William and their children Sophie, 17 and Charlie, 14. ‘It wasn’t a theme I planned, it’s just evolved over time. I love geometrics and symmetry and designer Orla Kiely’s colour schemes of yellows, oranges and acid greens always fall into place. The Norman Cherner-style chairs were something I bought for the kitchen before we had even started planning, and one of my favourite places is the world is the chair gallery found in the Design Museum in Copenhagen.’
Previous to the couple making the new changes in the kitchen, there were handpainted Shaker-style cabinets here, which have subsequently been re-used in the utility and boot rooms. Removing a large chimney breast from the centre of the room, they then added an extension with sky lights to create a lofty, light and streamlined look, incorporating a false ceiling so that they could box in contemporary lighting.
‘I like different light combinations so there are about five options in this space alone,’ Fi says. ‘I also believe that design shouldn’t be substituted for functionality and that you can have both. The kitchen was planned in a notebook I carried around with me, so when I saw things I liked I took pictures and drew designs and measurements.’
The main inspiration for Fi came from looking at stripped-back contemporary schemes, ‘but ones which weren’t going to be a ‘flash in the pan’ and look dated in a few years,’ she explains. ‘We live very close to my children’s school so the kitchen is always full of teenagers and all the bags and clobber that comes with them. I wanted beautiful design but also wanted the space to feel lived in and not like a showroom. I love stripped-back contemporary design but I wanted it to feel comfortable too.’
Working with a local cabinet maker Nick Bourne, Fi created her vision for a stylish yet comfortable space by choosing sleek handsome modern cabinetry with custommade pieces added. There’s a bespoke built-in bench with stools and table designed to match the chairs she had originally bought. The result? Timeless, but cosy too."
Photos by Darren Chung
Article by: Ciara Elliott