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Kitchen of the Week: A 305-Year-Old Cellar Kitchen, Redone (and Ready for Its Moment of TV Fame)

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Kitchen of the Week: A 305-Year-Old Cellar Kitchen, Redone (and Ready for Its Moment of TV Fame)

December 15, 2022

For precisely a year, we’ve been following @consideredthings, the Instagram feed of Londoners Paul West and Michelle Bower, in which they document the progress on their circa-1717 East London townhouse. Unbelievably, the house was once at risk of demolition before being rescued by The Spitalfields Trust as well as English Heritage. Now, it’s been rescued again: Twelve months from moving in, the couple has carefully restored the five-story home from tip to toe, preserving its original details and balancing its grandeur with subtle but rich, earthy palettes. (For a full tour, see this week’s Considered Things: A 1717 London Townhouse, Rescued from the Wrecking Ball.)

Way down on the cellar floor is the kitchen. “It wasn’t in good working order,” Paul reports: The existing space was falling apart at the seams after years of use and a bit awkward for two people to move around. “We shared our vision with deVol to help bring it to life,” he says. Then the UK kitchen company had another idea: Would Paul and Michelle be game to feature the transformation in the new season of their show, For The Love of Kitchens? “Michelle and I were naturally nervous to take part in a TV show,” Paul admits. “But we came to the realization that life is too short, and we upheld our mantra to ‘just say yes.'”

Thankfully they did, and the resulting kitchen pays homage to the building’s history but is fully practical for a modern couple.

Here’s an inside glimpse at the kitchen through Paul’s eyes. (And catch the episode, just released last week, via Magnolia Network.)

Photography by Paul West (@consideredthings).

“the house has lasted this long—305 years to date,&#8\2\2\1;  9
Above: “The house has lasted this long—305 years to date,” Paul says. He and Michelle were smitten by each floor of the house: “Each level presented a new experience, from the cozy basement kitchen to the grand reception, the atmospheric drawing room, and uplifting top floor with views to the treetops outside.” Still, on closer look, the charming basement kitchen needed a serious upgrade. Enter deVol, who installed their Shaker range of kitchen cabinets. “They’re painted in a Farrow & Ball x Liberty Archive color called Pantalon,” says Paul. “It’s a traditional dark green with a touch of brown, a connection to Stepney Green, where the house is situated.”
&#8\2\20;continuing with the palette, the backdrop color is farrow & ba 10
Above: “Continuing with the palette, the backdrop color is Farrow & Ball Old White, a historic grey-green,” Paul adds. “It was one of their first colors and brings great depth and variation from north to south, day to night.” The marble countertops, under-mount Belfast farmhouse sink, and brass tap are also from deVol.
the couple&#8\2\17;s moody, earth toned palette continues in the kitchen, a 11
Above: The couple’s moody, earth-toned palette continues in the kitchen, and they don’t shy from displaying art on the window ledge. All of the lighting is by Original BTC; a pair of Small Cobb Pendants hang over the prep table-style island, a bespoke design from deVol’s Classic range.
“all the existing plasterwork is traditional marmorino plaster,”  12
Above: “All the existing plasterwork is traditional Marmorino plaster,” reports Paul. “The floor is reclaimed 200-year-old French smoked oak, which was already here and possessed a huge amount of character underneath the waxed finish, so we sanded and treated to enjoy the grain.”
most of the townhouse&#8\2\17;s \1\2 rooms have fireplaces, and the kitchen 13
Above: Most of the townhouse’s 12 rooms have fireplaces, and the kitchen is no exception. This one soars above head height, presumably built that way to accommodate stoves, Paul reasons. The built-in cupboards on either side serve as pantries.
&#8\2\20;we designed the kitchen as two connected spaces: a main kitchen sp 14
Above: “We designed the kitchen as two connected spaces: a main kitchen space and a dining space,” Paul says. “The main kitchen area contains all the appliances, a large prep table that doubles as a casual dining and social space, and also some generous pantry cupboards.” Just beside the entry to the dining area, open shelving displays the duo’s collections of ceramics.
though small, the dining room makes good use of every inch, with a wall of exis 15
Above: Though small, the dining room makes good use of every inch, with a wall of existing utility cupboards that have been renovated and given new life.
a bespoke devol shaker table is a good fit in the snug space. it&#8\2\17;s  16
Above: A bespoke deVol Shaker table is a good fit in the snug space. It’s surrounded by petite Ercol Heritage Chairs.
a vintage black painted welsh dresser pairs with a stately windsor chair: it&am 17
Above: A vintage black-painted Welsh dresser pairs with a stately Windsor chair: It’s the Chair Beech, a Børge Mogensen design for FDB Møbler.
late breaking news from paul this week: stepney townhouse in london&#8\2\17 18
Above: Late-breaking news from Paul this week: Stepney Townhouse in London’s first snow.

For more on the house, see our post Considered Things: A 1717 London Townhouse, Rescued from the Wrecking Ball.

And for more historic kitchens, might we suggest:

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Product summary  

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Paint

Old White

£5.50 GBP from Farrow & Ball

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