I’ve always liked kitchens to have a symmetrical feel to them, so if you split the kitchen in half it’s like a mirror image of units,’ explains owner Juliet Batchelder, who lives in this Victorian property in Tunbridge Wells with her husband and – as per Juliet’s description – a very grumpy cat. ‘Before, the kitchen was dated and old fashioned, lacking in any character, and with impractical, tired units. There was a large expanse between the units that was wasted space leading into a poky utility area which was riddled with damp.’ The back of the kitchen was opened up once the utility area was removed, meaning the room gained not only an extra couple of square metres but added light in the form of a new glass roof. While this brought new opportunities in terms of storage and work space, it also presented a challenge as the glass roof would affect the height of the larder units, plus the new space had to incorporate a wood burner, seating area and island.



When it came to optimising the light in the room Juliet knew from the start that dark colours would be the key. ‘I really wanted a dramatic statement but one that would last and not just look good for a moment in time. The Neptune Charcoal paint was perfect, and was something I knew from the very beginning I wouldn’t change my mind on. 'The dark cabinetry creates a beautiful contrast with the brilliant white walls and, rather than sucking in the light, it has created a sense of space and vitality lost in the previously all-white space. ‘I don’t believe in the ‘don’t fight the light’ mentality,’ says Juliet. ‘Even though the room has little natural light adding dark paint has made the space seem brighter.’



In a room with such a balanced scheme it’s no surprise the kitchen has become the focal point of the home. ‘We spend most of our time in here now,’ smiles Juliet. ‘It’s lovely to come home to a room we’ve worked so hard on and to really enjoy it. It was even worth the eight months of microwave meals, slow cooked casseroles and being literally open to the elements with no back to the house at the worst time of year. Even after almost a year, I still walk into the kitchen and forget it’s ours. Its simple design and clean lines created the understated look we really had always hoped to achieve.’


Kitchens from Neptune start at £10,000.


Photos by Darren Chung


Article by: Molly Forbes