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The Project - Victorian Terrace Kitchen

My client purchased a traditional Victorian 2-bedroomed, end of terrace property in a central village location. The property benefits from a corner plot which provided ample space for a large extension comprising of an open plan kitchen, utility and informal living space downstairs. A formal lounge and dining room remain in the orginal part of the building.

The Client

Richard is an industry professional specialising in home automation and he loves to entertain and host small gatherings as well as large parties. Richard was very clear about wanting a super-minimal space that was a complete contrast to the original Victorian architecture, but he wanted the interior to blend with the exterior which has been designed to provide an outdoor living space and overlooks the surrounding Brooke and Woodland.

My Design

As you walk through the corridor into the kitchen you are welcomed by the beautiful view and I was keen to leave this unspoilt. So, from the outside, this kitchen looks a fairly simple design but a lot of thought has gone into designing what is behind closed doors...

Rather than put a sink and kitchen tap in the island, which would interrupt the line of vision, they have been housed behind pocket doors in the furniture behind. The tap is also a boiling tap which eliminates the need for a kettle and minimises clutter. A downdraft extractor has been used in this design for 2 reasons:

1. My client felt a recessed ceiling extractor was still too visible from the outside when looking in

2. The downdraft extractor offers some gentle screening from pots, pans and general cooking clutter during dinner parties, but when not in use it hides discreetly in the island.

Lighting automatically comes on when pocket doors to the sink and countertop appliances are opened.

To further assist a clutter-free dinner party we designed some two-way drawers that can be pulled out in both the kitchen and utility. The dishwasher is in the utility room and these drawers mean that, in the kitchen, you load dirty dishes into the drawers which can then be accessed from the utility for loading into the dishwasher. This works the other way when unloading the clean crockery and cutlery. My client uses the bottom drawer for dirty dishes and the top ones for clean dishes.

The parquet floor in a chevron pattern had been chosen to include a random layout of dark and light blocks to ease the flow from the kitchen to the seating area and we supplied tiles for the fireplace and chimney breast. We used 3 metre long, large format tiles that were installed horizontally for width and cut down in height so they followed the lines of the kitchen cabinetry and built-in ovens.

Colours and finishes

My client was keen to have a concrete worktop so I suggested we keep the kitchen simple and used white for the wall units and grey of the island drawers which complimented the mottled colouring in the concrete. The large format tiles are dark grey to add to the contrast with the white kitchen units, but at the same time complement the island drawers.


There were no off-the-shelf drawer boxes that could achieve a two-way drawer so I sourced two-way runners and we made the drawer boxes ourselves. I also needed to adapt the carcass so there was back panelling behind the storage shelves above, but no back panel blocking the two-way drawers. Instead of a back panel, a door made that looked like a panel from the kitchen side but could be opened from the utility side for dishwasher loading and unloading.

"I really enjoyed working on this project and the challenge of making the two-way drawer concept a reality." Mark Newbery