Basic Steps: Our main priority was to make a modern kitchen that didn’t clash with the existing 1910 home, so we were careful to identify a couple key features of the original house that we would keep to unify the new and the old. We refinished the old fir floor that was under the lino and made it continuous with the rest of the home’s wood flooring. We kept the picture rail above the cabinets and replicated the wood ceiling tiles that were in the dining area to tie the ceilings together. Those few things — the floor, the ceiling pattern and the old picture rail — provided the continuity of background, and then we juxtaposed the modern lines of the kitchen appliances and cabinets against that. We used a simple palette of colours and natural materials to harmonize the new and old. Light was also important, so we made sure to add windows and have lots of light from three directions, which gives a really even and natural quality of daylight. We also used the light fixtures to bridge the styles, mixing the traditional-looking incandescent glass globes with the contemporary bocci globes. For us, it is the conversation between the old and new elements of the house that make this space so special.
Paint color can be a surprisingly tricky thing. And one of the trickiest colors to get right is white. I know it may seem silly, but finding the right balance between cool and warm can be harder than you think. When I said I was searching for a great warm white for our kitchen, I couldn’t get over all of the suggestions I received and how many people had gone through upwards of 10 different colors trying to find the best hue. But for us, it came down to one perfect, warm white (“Tibetan Jasmine” RL1007 by Ralph Lauren Paint) that turned our kitchen from a dark hunter-green space into the bright, white dream room we had always wished for. So today I’m thrilled to share another sneak peek into our new (old) home and how we’ve transformed it in the past two months. xo, grace
On the corner of historic St. John’s Square in London’s Clerkenwell, a must-go neighborhood for any foodie or design lover, stands a beautiful and inviting yellow brick building with large windows facing two directions. A year ago you wouldn’t have thought there was much hope for this house — it used to be a rundown stationers and really wasn’t much to look at. The facade was dirty and dark, and all original features inside were hidden behind metal racks and reams of paper. Despite its tatty appearance, the talented team at British kitchen design company deVOL immediately knew that this house was a diamond in the rough.