Room Therapy: A Calm Kitchen

Hello, It’s Angela here. As promised, I’d love to share a little of my own kitchen and garden space as featured in this September 2019 House Beautiful magazine.

5 years or so ago we moved into our home and I think just about every room needed some love and attention. Many still do! But the big and expensive one was our kitchen and garden project. Let’s face it, most of us can’t justify changing our kitchens up often and so it is so important to reflect and plan carefully from the outset. The most important question to reflect on was how we wanted to feel in this space and the overwhelming desire was to feel calm. To create a calm and calming space. We live on a crazy busy road and lead busy lives as we all do and so a feeling of calm is exactly what we needed at this quieter side of our home.

The next question to ask is of course what makes us calm as this will be different for each of us. For my family and I it’s our holidays in Mallorca and Puglia. Creating our little piece of the Med in our kitchen and garden would make for our calm place. Here are some details that helped make this work…

1. design details

We were lucky enough to have a blank canvas on the structure as we built a kitchen extension and we worked with with our architect, Jim Reed of Reed Watts, to create a space where the details made all the difference to the feel. The pitch of the roof helps create a feeling of space and the wooden beams take us to that Med space. The bifold doors and huge picture windows bring the garden into the kitchen. We have an old vine and this was integral to the design as a pergola structure runs not just outside the picture window but also along the outside of the bifold doors so that the vine literally surrounds the space. This creates a little shade and some lovely dappled light in the sunshine.

The kitchen units are from DeVol and are Shaker style as we wanted them to be sympathetic to the period of the house but again, the detail makes the difference. The colour of the units is Mushroom, an unobtrusive and calm greenish grey. Nothing in this kitchen screams for attention. The colour palette is soft and natural.

2. choice of materials

We have chosen to use natural materials for the way the look and the way they feel. The units, ceiling beams and furnishings are wood. The floor is limestone both inside and out. The tiles on the kitchen wall are terracotta. The worktops are marble. The sink is copper.

3. Connection to garden

As countless studies report, contact with nature is crucial to our health and sense of calm. We have a small courtyard garden and we thought carefully about the design of this area at the same time as designing the kitchen. The result is that our garden feels like a zone of the kitchen, an outside room, and the kitchen feels part of the garden. This truly helps the space to feel calm. As I said, the stone floor is the same indoors and out, helping to tie the spaces together. The lighting inside is a combination of slightly industrial and rustic styles to link to the outdoors and we have placed some lanterns and wall lights outside in the same style, again ensuring the indoors and outdoors as as one. There is a built in wooden bench for the table in the kitchen and directly opposite it in the garden for lounging outside. I dress this bench in soft sage and copper toned cushions from H&M Home - lovely but affordable. To compliment the old vine and create our little piece of the Med, we have chosen to plant mainly herbs such as rosemary and we have a large olive tree in a terracotta pot. To connect the indoors to the outdoor planting, we have a lemon tree in a terracotta pot by the dining table and herbs in terracotta pots by the cooker. Small details but they make a difference. The only other colour of flowers in the garden is shades of white so nothing disturbs the calm…well, that’s the idea anyway! The last touch to take us to the Med is the outdoor pizza oven. It looks lovely but we are still to perfect the pizza making!

All images in this blog post are by David Parmiter @davidparmiterphotography and feature in House Beautiful September 2019 edition.

Please get in touch if you would like us to help you style a room in your home, and please feel free to leave any comments or questions below, we would love to hear from you!