Kitchen Tour: A Bold Modern Scheme Updates a Tired Victorian Semi
A smart mix of dark door fronts and exposed ply gave a period property the fresh contemporary look its owners wanted
A radical rethink was in order. This meant removing a wall and introducing a couple of steps down into the living area to break up the space. After deciding to move the kitchen to the front of the property, keep the living room where it was and create a dining area in the old kitchen at the back, the owners asked Emma to come up with an idea for a “different” kind of kitchen scheme.
Who lives here? A couple with a young child
Location Levenshulme, Manchester
Property A three-bed Victorian semi
Dimensions Kitchen, 17.6 sq m; living area, 16.5 sq m (including dining area, 7.2 sq m)
Designers Emma Rodgers of Lived In 365 and Robert Kemp of Kitchens by Kemp
Photos by Ade Hunter
The homeowners were after a contemporary, open-plan look along with a generous island unit, and were also taken with the idea of using exposed ply. Emma came up with a vision, then brought in bespoke kitchen specialist Robert Kemp to finesse the plan and ensure it was workable.
“They wanted something bright and airy, and their priority was creating a social and entertaining space,” Emma says.
Robert explains that, from a design point of view, it was a challenge. “They wanted an island and we had to make sure it was far enough from the steps down to the living area, and that there was a good walkway around the kitchen,” he says.
Walls painted in Wevet, Farrow & Ball.
“They loved the look of the exposed ply – that was one of the features they really wanted to show,” Robert says. “So we bonded the laminate onto birch ply doors to achieve it.”
Polyrey Touch anti-fingerprint laminate in Bleu de Prusse, International Decorative Surfaces.
Polyrey laminate in Blanc Artic, International Decorative Surfaces.
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The pendant lights were chosen as a nod to the era of the house, while a pale quartz worktop with light grey veining boosts the feeling of natural light.
Venting gas hob, Elica at AO. Backflip socket, EVOline at Appliance House. Quartz work surface in Lucca White, Chicstone.
Emma specified a contemporary-style tap and an undermount sink for a neat, streamlined look.
Undermount sink; Pitone pull-out tap, both Waterline.
“Usually when you have a kitchen, you’d have a filler piece that runs to the side of the wall and takes out any deviations, but with this style you can’t,” he says.
American-style fridge-freezer, Samsung. Ovens, Neff.
What do you like about this plywood kitchen? Would you consider using the same material in your home? Share your thoughts in the Comments.