Joshua’s parents needed some changes to their kitchen, which was poorly laid out and very cold. We considered how the room had become the main place to congregate, like a traditional farmhouse kitchen. The house is too small for most activities to happen elsewhere, so the table has been used for repairing electronics, fettling engine parts, sewing, cooking and painting. With this in mind, we wanted to bring some unusual textures and colours into play, while making the room more useful and with space for more plants!
The humour and playfulness of the taps, the richness of the oiled wood and the texture of the floor against the rough stone and brick walls make the kitchen stand out to visitors. The worktop faces the room, and the raised CD shelf conceals the kitchen mess. By providing a front edge to the work area, and a space for plants by the front door, the experiences of arriving, eating and cooking have all been made more convivial.
The worktop is made from a tropical hardwood laboratory bench, salvaged by Joshua’s parents when the school they were working at was remodelling its science department. They’ve lugged it about for 20 years so it was finally time it was put to good use. 18mm birch plywood is slotted together for the shelving unit.
Our main intervention has been to bring the sink to face the company by providing a new worktop, with sculptural home-made polished plumbing and industrial taps. The worktop, which is next to the front door, has shelves to hold recipe books, maps to hand when heading out on a walk, and a projecting top shelf for CDs that serves as a shield between ‘front of house’ and ‘back of house’. Dirty plates piled next to the sink aren’t visible from the table, but someone preparing a meal or washing up is facing the room, remaining part of the conversation.