'I designed the whole space, including the layout of the kitchen. I had a very clear idea of what I wanted the space to be and how I wanted to be able to cook and live in it,’ says homeowner Laura Harper Hinton. No stranger to planning and design, Laura is heavily involved in creative concept development as the co-founder of restaurant and coffee roastery business, Caravan. After living in their five-bedroom Victorian terrace house in London’s Kensal Rise for four years with partner Chris and sons, Arlo, six, and Otis, four, New Zealand-born Laura decided the time was right to use her experience to create her dream kitchen. ‘While I wanted something modern and clean, I didn’t want to lose the honesty, rustic warmth and homeliness that I loved about my last kitchen, so I made sure we used lots of natural materials from dark stained oak cupboards to matt stone composite worktops to the 300-year-old dining table.’ 

In order to create the ideal space the original kitchen needed to be extended, which entailed digging down an extra metre and adding another metre and a half in width. This meant that the garden could then be on the same level as the kitchen – creating an open-plan, inside-meets-outside area that also had the higher ceiling height that Laura wanted for a fresh, airy feel. Business needed to mix with pleasure as she spends lots of time cooking and developing ideas for Caravan, so the top priority for her was the walk-in pantry. ‘I worked with Gregory at Orange & Black and drew exactly what I wanted. It was the biggest challenge overall but I persevered with the design and flipped things around quite a few times and we got there in the end. Now I’ve got everything where I need it and I cook a lot better,’ she says. And how do the rest of the family enjoy the kitchen now? ‘We live in the kitchen. The boys are keen cooks and will always get involved with some sort of preparation, whether it be shelling peas or helping me bake a cake for pudding. We love having big groups over for lunch on a Sunday and that’s definitely when the kitchen comes to life for us.’

Photos by: Malcolm Menzies

Article by: Lucy Macdonald