Our open-plan apartment is a very busy environment. We needed a kitchen to reflect that.
YOU AND YOUR KITCHEN
It may look like a haven of tranquillity, but this 1930s city-centre apartment is a happy, bustling place. The light and touches of colour jazz up a space that isn't as serene as it may seem, home to a large, foodie family that's extremely busy to boot.
Once upon a time, the kitchen was a separate room kept well away from the other living spaces. I wanted to bring it back to the heart of the apartment in an understated manner, without taking away from the period volumes and style of this apartment originally built in 1931. We needed to optimise the space we had and keep storage a priority, a crucial factor with four children to juggle.
Because I work in communication and interior design, I do know a thing or two, and have a soft spot for 1950s furniture. I also like the graphic effect of using black and white with flashes of colour here and there. But I always seem to end up mixing things up. I need my space to feel alive!
The kitchen is in the hallway: the designer suggested we go for a U-shape, separated from the living-room by a bearing wall used to hide the functional features. This means the hobs and kitchen sink are invisible from the living-room. The extractor fan hood has been incorporated into the ceiling, complete with offset fan to avoid too much noise. Units have been placed up high to gain in storage space. The oak bar is a smooth transition from the living-room, yet wide enough to be able to grab breakfast on the go.
Your favourite feature
All the functional features. I like the bottle drawer with integrated bread bin. My daughter follows a gluten-free diet, and this means bread is kept off the counter, avoiding any traces of gluten finding their way into meals. I also really like the recycling bin: it's practical and hygienic. The light is fantastic too: spotlights have been integrated into the units and extractor fan hood, allowing you to see the entire space clearly. Simply wonderful… and it means I have no excuse to mess up a meal!
Carefully crafting a colour palette. The walls were painted to harmonise with the matte basalt shade of the cladding. We chose a black mosaic backboard and slate Pierredeplan worktops for a muted, cosy feel that doesn't jar. To break away from an overly integrated feel, we added shelving and an oak counter for a more personalised finish, giving it that uplifting and homey feel.
Your favourite part of the day
Every moment spent with my children. My husband and I are busy professionals, as we also spend a lot of time helping out at different clubs and associations. Our three boys are very sporty and our daughter is a junior doctor, so time we get to spend together is thin on the ground! This kitchen layout means we can combine cooking or household chores with spending meaningful time together: we discuss the news with the kids whilst they watch TV, we chat to friends who drop by.
Setting up the kitchen in the apartment's hallway was quite a bold move: the designer worked with Lucile to turn this tight space into a cosy kitchen that opens out on to the living-room. The elegant design and deep, rich colours lend the space a bold, high-impact feel, creating an atmosphere that invites the family to relax and savour precious time together.