As promised here is the reveal of the kitchen project I was working on over the summer for a client. The brief was simple - design a kitchen for a male home owner who had lived in a traditional victorian tenement flat in Glasgow. With a nod to victorian touches but with a modern feel with enough space to cook a meal in as his tired kitchen could not deliver this. 

I was a very lucky designer in that the client let me just run with my ideas and vision and the process was a really great, fun and enjoyable one in creating this space. 

The kitchen itself was TINY. I mean tiny. Around 2.5square metres x 2.5square metres. There was no space to prepare food. Any space was taken up with a microwave and dish rack and a big sink. The lighting was poor. Let me re-phrase that - the lighting was AWFUL and dark. My client had made some great changes to the rest of his flat but had never touched the kitchen in the 8 years he has been living in it. I could see from the rest of his space that he has an aye for modern touches and set about creating some mood boards of images to get the ball rolling for reactions from him. 

Above - one of 6 visual boards presented to think about all areas with the client at consultation


There was a few areas I wanted to address: 

Space - how to get more space into the kitchen for cooking.

- I planned for the microwave to get moved up onto shelving above the fridge to allow more worktop area for prep

- Based on victorian kitchens - drainage was designed up on the wall above sinks, so we designed the sink area to be a smaller sink with a bespoke draining cabinet to be fixed above the sink.

This freed up so much extra worktop space. 

Storage - how to plan the space better for 'clever' storage

- popular in victorian kitchens is shelving for dishes, pots and crockery. So I set about designing new shelving above the cooker and fridge to replace the bulky cabinets that were in situ already. I knew by doing this it was also really open the space too. We decided reclaimed shelving would be most true to design and most stylish so the client said yes and used a glasgow based reclaimation yard to size and design them.

- The client sourced some clever extra shelving from Ikea inside his new cabinets which housed ingredients, goods and food so he could utilise the shelving for the above. 

Function:  Upkeep of space

- I noted traditional victorian kitchens used alot of tiling in their kitchen due to the amount of cooking being done - a kitchen could be kept cleaner back then. I had a vision of tiling right up the entire height of both walls with cool white tiles in which would guarantee the space to light up and open up too. Also it looked great. This could be his modern touch I suggested, but using grey grouting instead of the standard white grout. 'let's make it different' I said, this also reflecting the traditions the client wanted in the space so that's what we opted for.

Storage and space were the clients needs for this space. So this was priority to have these elements designed first, then came the fun part of spec, lighting, design and function. 

 one of my prep notes/options after consultation

one of my prep notes/options after consultation

Design: Bringing a modern touch to the space took some convincing at points to the client.

- With many visual boards to see my ideas he followed every suggestion and made confident, stylish purchases for the space. He only kept the black fridge and microwave (not seen) and really loved the suggestions of having stark black matt cabinets. We kept the bones of the kitchen and replaced the doors with a range from Ikea with matching handles. 

- The belfast sink was the only suggestion upfront he really wanted, which I wanted too - so one was sourced by him from the same reclamation yard in Glasgow I suggested and got this one, below, at a bargain price of £80.

As you can see from above - there is a bare wall. The decorators took down the old wallpaper and found this wall underneath - so we all loved it and wanted to keep it to add a real modern, cool industrial touch. Everything is was so new in the space - I begged them to keep it! So they did! 

More of a look at the wall at the sink behind the door! Very cool next to the wooden door and tile details at the sink. 

As you can see - so much more prep space and enough for a new coffee machine too! The brackets for the shelving are original too - and were sourced online by the client he got 14 original iron brackets for £140

A small look at the flooring - again with victorian kitchens the style was tiled flooring. The client was really keen to have it tiled so we designed to have them white with a cool black border design. Again - keeping it really simple but stylish to really keep the space open. 

Above - a look at the tiling design with grey grouting. Also showing how the clients kitchen accessories were styled to his needs and a peek at that very cool new cooker top (I was SO envious he chose this one) I think the overall look is amazing and delivered everything the client needed, wanted and more.  The space is opened up, everything has been lifted from the worktops and cleverly designed onto the walls now without losing any space. My client was THRILLED with the final result. It was quite a moment to see the reveal! 

The lighting in the space was simple too - I could see 2 hanging vintage style pendants would be a very cool look, plus the lighting from the cooker hood adds a touch of industrial modern style but keeps it traditional too. These lights, shown in the top picture, were also sourced online. 

I was very lucky in that my client had a good budget but also pleased he took my advice to search out online finds, sale finds, tile sales, go to a local reclamation year and go to Ikea for cabinets and keep the bones of his kitchen!!! I dread to think what it all would have cost to buy all off the peg. By clever shopping, patience, yes some money too - but this is his investment into his home and at the end of the project the client is so happy with his new space and that's made me more than happy too! 


Glasgow Reclamation Yard - South Street, Glasgow

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