A traditional and contemporary hybrid look for an Essex kitchen extension

We browse designer Peter Humphrey's latest kitchen renovation; from it's metallic accents to oak interiors

Humphrey Munron two tone kitchen redesign

When the owners of this stunning Victorian terraced house in Chelmsford, Essex, decided to embark on a single-story extension, they chose a classic and timeless design from Humphrey Munson for their new kitchen.

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Under stair kitchen storage solution
Photo by Paul Craig
Photo by Paul Craig

Here’s what they did.

The project in a nutshell:

The property: A Victorian terraced house in Chelmsford, Essex

Designer: Peter Humphrey, design director/founder at Humphrey Munson

Budget: Humphrey Munson kitchens start at £40,000

“The concept idea for this project was that the room had to open up as you made your way towards it,” explains Peter Humphrey, design director and founder of Humphrey Munson.

“The entrance corridor runs down and into the kitchen, and the couple wanted a clear view from the front door when they walked in,” he says.

Humphrey Munson kitchen redesign with central island
Photo by Paul Craig

Keeping everything looking light and open was key. Peter explains, “They loved the idea of a walk-in pantry that was away from the main kitchen area and which could be closed off, and this helps to make the area feel calm and uncluttered.”

The desire for a kitchen that felt streamlined and ordered was a driving factor in the Spenlow cabinetry that was chosen for the space, too. It has simple beading and cornicing, and the owners thought that its understated modern style had a timeless appeal.

Humphrey Munson kitchen redesign with oak interiors
Photo by Paul Craig

“It’s a design that feels contemporary and characterful and not too cold or cutting edge,” says Peter. Whilst the interiors feature classic oak – giving a nod to the simplicity and style of traditional joinery – the exteriors were painted in a range of sophisticated hues to further modernise the design.

For the perimeter run, walk-in larder and utility room, the cabinetry is painted in Humphrey Munson’s off-white Linen, and to draw the eye into the main kitchen area and act as a stylish contrast, the island is finished in a dramatic Helm hue.

Humphrey Munson central kitchen island with storage solutions
Photo by Paul Craig

This bold colour choice is given further depth with a black anticato granite worktop, chosen for its unique beauty. “It has a hammered, sort of mottled effect that is really tactile and brings a lot of texture to the kitchen,” says Peter.

Kitchen redesign with double fridge freezer
Photo by Paul Craig

For the remaining kitchen worktops, a durable and practical quartz was in keeping with the lighter shade of paint. To finish off, Quilp nickel knobs and hinges in polished nickel are ergonomic and keep the look consistent. To overcome the main challenge of getting the flow right as you walk towards the kitchen, the space was carefully zoned.

Walk in pantry from Humphrey Munson
Photo by Paul Craig

“At first there was the challenge of getting it all in,” says Peter. “There’s the kitchen, dining space, breakfast pantry, walk-in pantry, utility room and boot room area, all in a Victorian terraced house – albeit one with an extension.

“We overcame this hurdle by ensuring everything has its place, so there’s a specific space to prep, cook, dine and clear away on an everyday basis – with plenty more room to entertain at the weekends.

“We’re pleased to say the owners are delighted with the results,” he adds.

Photo by Paul Craig
Photo by Paul Craig

Here asked Peter some questions about how the design came together,

How did you go about creating this design?

Our first impression was that the extension needed a focal point, which we created with the false chimney above the range cooker – the dark painted island sitting in front of this helps to draw the eye to this area, too.

What do you think works particularly well?

The metallic accents. We love the the lighting above the island and antique-effect mirrored splashback, which is great for bouncing light back across the room and means that the person cooking can see what’s happening behind them – ideal if you’re finishing off cooking for friends, or keeping an eye on the children eating at the island.

Breakfast pantry cupboard
Photo by Paul Craig

We also love the breakfast pantry cupboard to the left hand side of the false chimney. Here, the owners can help themselves to coffee and toast and have space for storing everyday dry goods, as well as table and glassware.

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What’s your top tip for anyone embarking on a similar project?

Think about zoning the space to suit your requirements – one of the best things about this kitchen is that everything they need is to hand where they need it. For example, the island acts as the main prep area with the hot water tap by the sink, integrated dishwasher to the right hand side of the sink and the pull out Euro Cargo bin to the left. Off the kitchen is the pantry, the utility and a boot room area with seating.

Metallic accents and range cooker in new kitchen
Photo by Paul Craig