Creating a fresh, bright kitchen, dining & outdoor living space

The kitchen and dining room is the space where we had the least blank canvas as a starting point. While the kitchen setup of units, worktop and tiling we inherited wouldn’t have been my choice, the layout works and it was better to invest elsewhere and enhance what was here.

Much like the living room, this space was a big selling point as we could see the potential to be able to use it as multipurpose space – a proper kitchen to cook and enjoy food in, an entertaining space, and in the absence of a desk space, a place to sit and work from. The room also opens onto a really good sized roof terrace; one of the key parts of transforming this space, was bringing the two together so that we effectively doubled the space with an indoor and outdoor dining room.

New flooring was the key to doing this, the existing flooring was incongruous, country kitchen style mottled terracotta tiling which ran from the kitchen through to part of the hallway. The look we wanted was modern, fresh and unfussy. A space that worked as an evening hangout as much as a daytime workspace. While the vision was to have a poured polished concrete floor, the budget and logistical restrictions of a first floor living space quickly ruled this out. Instead, we had a vinyl laid by the Colour Flooring Co, giving the look of one continuous poured floor. It gently reflects the light, makes the space feel instantly more modern and fresh, and is a really practical material for how we want to use the space. The Colour Flooring Co are also lovely to deal with, based in Stoke Newington and offering an amazing array of rubber, vinyl and cork flooring.

In choosing the colour, it was really important that it created a consistent look flowing from the kitchen through to the roof. The roof terrace area was rebuilt, laying new decking and surround stained a in a shade of soft grey which gives the effect of it continuing through from indoors. When the door is open, it feels like one lovely big space and makes the flat feel extra spacious and bright.

Outside, the dining area gives us an additional living space during good weather. Rather than this feel like an add-on, it has been designed to be part of the flat. Along with the consistent flooring, pops of yellow in the outdoor seating catches your eye from the hallway to bring the whole space together.

The roof terrace, before & after:


To update the existing kitchen, the walls were repainted a fresh white to tie into the hallway, accessorised with vibrant cobalt blue accents and hints of orange to freshen up the space and make the setting feel more modern and clean than before.

Unable to change the fundamentals of the kitchen, the dining area was the space to play with. A clean, modern design for the dining table by Hay acts as a lovely backdrop to the dining chairs which are long lusted after design icons – Eames DSV and an Ercol stacking chair. What hopefully will become a future icon is the lovely work of Tom Raffield with the ceiling lamp. Formed of shaped wood, the light gives the space new warmth and zones the dining area to create a distinct atmosphere for entertaining compared to the functional cooking area which is lit from concealed lighting under the wall units. We also added a wall mounted Anglepoise to add extra light in the corner.



The dining area, before & after:



While I’m excited for the day to design a new kitchen from scratch, this has been a great experience of transforming an existing space on a small budget, but making such a big different.

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