Timeless design and a faux cupboard door for a family friendly London kitchen

We speak to designers Tom Edmonds and Neil Matthews to discuss their most recent clients' London kitchen overhaul, including floor to ceiling cabinetry and making a child-friendly space.

Timeless modern kitchen redesign

When it came to giving their kitchen an overhaul, the owners of this Wandsworth home knew exactly what they wanted.

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Industrial kitchen breakfast bar and bar stools

Here’s what they were working with.

Edwardian house renovation with kitchen living room
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co

The project in a nutshell:

The property: A four-storey Edwardian townhouse in Wandsworth, London

Who lives here? A professional couple with three young children

The designer: Tom Edmonds & Neil Matthews from Lewis Alderson & Co

The budget: Around £70,000

Child friendly kitchen with family breakfast bar area
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co

“We wanted our kitchen to be an open-plan space, as we envisaged spending most of our time there,” they tell us. “That said,” they add, “we also wanted clearly defined zones and a natural flow, too.

“Above all else, we wanted a classic, timeless design that wouldn’t date, as we don’t plan to move again.”

As a family who love entertaining, it was also essential that the kitchen could offer suitable space for hosting guests and ‘plenty of parties!’.

The family hired an interior designer – Paul Carter from Vivid – and had strong ideas of what they wanted having browsed magazines and trawled online resources for inspiration.

“We really wanted it to be modern but in a classic way.

“We thought using stainless steel in the design would introduce a harder, more contemporary edge to Lewis Alderson’s work,” they tell us.

Functional kitchen units including wine cooler and coffee machine
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co

Tom and Neil from Lewis Alderson add: “They wanted an elegant, timeless space but with a modern twist, and really relished that it would be a one-off design”.

Contemporary cream and steel kitchen redesign
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co

We ask the pair how they worked with the couple’s brief:

We wouldn’t normally go for a design that uses a peninsular and an island together as it tends to cut the room in half (usually opting for a larger island), but it was essential creating the kitchen zone within the larger space. Within that space we added informal dining on the outside edge of the island, to give the children and visitors a place to sit and not intrude in the prep areas when in use.

Cream kitchen redesign with central island and feature extractor fan
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co

(On the subject of the island, it’s worth noting its bespoke hand-turned legs are unique to this kitchen.)

Feature hob and big extractor fan
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co

Tell us about the false cupboard.

We designed a false cupboard to disguise a door into the exterior hallway. The small exterior door was put in to assist emptying the bins so they aren’t brought into the formal hallway.

Floor to ceiling pantry doors
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co

What’s your advice for planning a kitchen redesign?

Storage solution pantry with floor to ceiling doors
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co

It’s a good idea to think about how you shop, be it daily in local shops or with a weekly delivery. This will indicate how much food storage should be included in the design, and importantly how you cook, whether it’s once a day, three times a day, batch-cooking. This will help in selecting the right appliances for you, their size and capacity. Obviously a major consideration in the design is how large your family is, how often you entertain and for how many people. If you can clarify these points before starting your project, it will help from the outset.

Cream double door pantry
Photo from Lewis Alderson & Co
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The U-shaped layout of the kitchen makes the most of the room’s dimensions by incorporating floor-to-ceiling cupboards, including two concealed pantry-style cabinets.