A Custom and Compact Kitchen Lives Large in Scotland
Though cooking may be continuous, it’s not the only creative process that happens in the hub of the home. When starting from scratch, a kitchen’s design and layout require a great deal of thought and consideration, especially when space is at a premium and a major remodel is part of the plan. That was the case for a young family living in the Scottish seaside town of North Berwick.
With this project, patience and compromise were key. The couple, who like to entertain, decided to reside in the home for three years, planning the alterations over time before the work was done. In the end, an old addition and a conservatory behind the former kitchen area were demolished to make way for the current configuration. One important stipulation was that the new space would have to reflect two different tastes. The husband wanted a contemporary kitchen, but the wife preferred a more traditional style. The end result, says Howard, was designed as a compromise: a modern look, but traditionally made.
Custom cabinetry, painted in Railings by Farrow & Ball, let them maximize every inch of the tight space while Corian countertops accommodate the unusual shape with no visible joints. The Glacier White countertops that incorporate a molded sink provide a dramatic contrast to the deep-gray cabinetry. Walls were done in Johnstone’s Trade White and the glass backsplash behind the gas stove features a slightly off-white finish. Italian ceramic tiles cover the floor.
A combination of black-glass and stainless-steel appliances was intentional. “We did not want to use all stainless steel as this would have been too harsh, and we wanted attention to be drawn to the cabinetry and countertops rather than the appliances,” says Howard. “The steel elements of them, however, tie in with the spiral staircase.”
The kitchen measures fifteen feet three inches by fourteen feet nine inches, and the space beyond the spiral staircase measures thirteen feet by nine feet three inches. “This gave the option to have the table in the body of the kitchen or beyond at the window for the sea view,” says Howard. “It also gave them the flexibility of adding in a kitchen island at a later date as the table fits easily in the space beyond the staircase.”
Although the spiral staircase that leads to a rooftop deck was an online purchase, it could easily pass for a custom piece. Other unique features include a series of closets around the eat-in kitchen that offer plenty of storage; one houses laundry and another holds the husband’s motor bike. “There is an outside doorway on the driveway he can open to drive the bike in, and then he can exit out of the [closet] into the hallway—Batman style,” says Howard.
Despite the challenges of the uniquely shaped space and its varying angles, a 3-D design plan let the homeowners know what to expect ahead of time. Howard married the homeowners’ styles with the necessary functions of a kitchen, and the clients were delighted with the way their kitchen turned out in the end: with a modern look, but traditionally made.