Rebecca and James Hunter couldn’t wait to say goodbye to their dark and cheerless kitchen and flood it with light and warmth
When Rebecca and James Hunter first moved into their five-storey townhouse in Southwest London they spent as little time as possible in the kitchen. Panelled floor-to-ceiling in dark wood, it was an imposing, gloomy part of the house. Top of the list for a re-design was to bring in the light so, they installed doors out to the south-facing garden and put in a skylight for good measure. ‘We wanted an airy kitchen that we’d be happy to cook, eat, work and play in; somewhere homely to be the hub of the house.’
Interior designer Rebecca had strong ideas about the look of the kitchen, opting for a classic Shaker-style with a painted finish. Designer Julian Milton from Stonehouse helped Rebecca work out the trickier elements of her plan.
‘I really wanted a traditional-style cooker hood, but worried it would be too imposing,’ explains Rebecca. ‘Julian suggested taking the cabinetry right across the wall and using a push-catch system that removed the need for handles and kept the lines clean. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.’
There is more clever design in the island – the bench seating, which also provides plenty of storage, is the ideal place for three-year-old Lily to kneel on when she fancies joining in with the cooking. Plus, there are two dishwashers; ‘I’d definitely say that a double dishwasher is my top tip for people who like to entertain,’ says Rebecca. ‘When we have a dinner party now we can clear away in one swoop and it’s great.’
The stand-out feature of the Hunter’s kitchen is the marble splashback. Its markings and earthy colours became the key to the room, with Rebecca working all other finishes around it. ‘The shade of grey for the cabinetry, Bone by Farrow & Ball, has a lovely green tone to it and works perfectly.’
Just off the kitchen and glimpsed enticingly through Crittall-style doors is investment banker James’ favourite part of the re-design – the wine room. ‘James’ hobby is wine,’ laughs Rebecca, ‘and his friends approve. It’s a really social addition to the space.’ Rebecca designed the wine storage, using wine boxes as drawers, and she indulged her love of pattern in the flooring. ‘I really wanted to incorporate decorative tiles, but James didn’t share my enthusiasm. I’m really pleased I managed to sneak them into the wine room where they’re a great contrast to the plainer style of the kitchen. I’ve gone from dreading being here to spending most of my time in here. Lily loves it, James and I love it – it’s the light, bright centre of our home we always wanted.’
Kitchen prices start from £15,000 at Stonehouse Bespoke Kitchens.
Photos by Heather Gunn
Article by: Rebecca Morris