After struggling to find suitable original kitchen furniture for her Leigh-on-Sea home, my client asked me to create a new one from scratch but keeping to the vintage theme. This was a very exciting commission and an energising break from the norm. With a bounty of inspiration to draw from I was mindful not to over do it and keep the design subtle.
A melting pot of iconic and nostalgic elements, such as a dome fronted bread bin, a jelly mould, milkshake glasses and the ‘English Rose’ kitchen were all thrown into the mix, along with adding an element of fine furniture not seen in the original pieces.
Just buy an original kitchen! What’s the problem?
For those whose heart would sing at the thought of owning a genuine vintage kitchen, original is the only way to go. A quick Google search and you will soon find reclamation companies and other businesses that offer refurbishment services. Owning a kitchen that was made around seventy years ago and has dutifully served many families over time is a wonderful thought, but there is one problem that can sway all but the hardiest of enthusiasts, and that is………….
Modern homes need modern appliances!
Yes, it’s an inconvenient truth but there you have it. Whether or not you believe in global warming, the processes made to produce electricity are a drain on resources in many ways and when it comes to saving our mother earth original appliances are extremely inefficient. Strong measures have been made in recent years to increase the efficiency of new home appliances making them comparatively cheap to buy and run. However, using a new appliance in an original kitchen would clearly undermine the whole look. Also, it would not be possible to use modern integrated appliances with old doors because of the difference in height and width.
And so………. over to the drawing board!
It was crucial that the kitchen provided the best possible blend of practicality and the required aesthetic, taking great care to ensure that one wasn’t compromised by the other.
Spot the appliances if you can!
The first design problem to overcome was to hide the modern appliances to ensure the flow of the kitchen remained uninterrupted. This was achieved by making the integrated appliance doors to appear exactly the same as the cupboard doors. Even though there is a fridge, freezer and washing machine in this kitchen they are very hard to spot. The integrated doors were made to appear to be hung on frames and mock hinges were fitted.
The washing machine is discreetly situated to the right of the sink.
After searching for images of various kinds of vintage kitchens I decided to subtly and tastefully include some classic elements.
The English Rose Kitchen and above an original dome fronted bread bin that gave the inspiration for the main feature of the kitchen.
Contact details etc
Guide price for a High House furniture kitchen starts at £15,000 (cabinets only)
Fb High House Furniture
I was inspired by the original English Rose kitchens and when I first laid eyes on one of these, I found the upturned dome detail to the drawers really exciting. Having never seen anything like this before I was really keen to create something similar. Being determined not to just copy I decided to turn the dome detail up on its head and craft a drawer that looks more like a nostalgic up and over bread bin.
Walnut drawers with hand cut dovetail joints add an element of fine furniture into the mix.
Many shaker style bespoke kitchens have a very traditional cornice, something which I didn’t wish to use on this project. Instead, I chose to draw inspiration from a classic jelly mould design which gracefully follows the outline of the wall and tall larder units. The porthole detail to the larder doors break up the large flat space nicely and were glazed with a glass very similar in texture and finish to that of old milkshake glasses.
This commission was a pleasure from start to finish and I was very grateful to be given the opportunity to create a kitchen which is really unique and will hopefully be enjoyed by its owners for many years to come.