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Kitchen of the Week: A Family Gathering Spot in a London Victorian

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Kitchen of the Week: A Family Gathering Spot in a London Victorian

December 7, 2017

Mark Lewis began his career as a costume designer; he then segued into set design before becoming an in-demand London interior designer—all of which explains his ease at referencing the past, thinking on both a sweeping and a microscopic scale, and staying mindful of budget. Leave the details to him.

For a young family of four, Lewis introduced an addition to the back of a North London Victorian that serves as kitchen, dining space, back entry, home office, and more. Lewis’s client came to him with five-year-old magazine clippings of his work and a request to replace the worn-out Ikea kitchen in her family’s quarters with something multipurpose and expansive. Join us for a tour of Lewis’s design, including a look at his use of characterful materials and finishes: Many are surprisingly economical, and all look both at home and of the moment in this new stage set for daily life.

Photography by Rory Gardiner, courtesy of Mark Lewis Interior Design.

The Kitchen Extension

the addition links the kitchen to the garden and features wood framed french do 9
Above: The addition links the kitchen to the garden and features wood-framed French doors. “They were easy to fabricate and cost-efficient; metal is so much more expensive,” says Lewis. The roof has slate shingles—a splurge—and three skylights.

The resulting space, approximately 45 square meters (484 square feet), is double the size of what had been there and required inserting steel supports—”to hold up the chimney and the WC wall”—in the interior. Lewis says permitting wasn’t an issue: “In the UK, we have a committed development rule: You’re allowed to add fifty cubic meters, or 1,765 cubic feet, if you own the house, and don’t have to apply for permission.”

lewis has an aversion to &#8\2\20;fitted kitchens&#8\2\2\1; and wheneve 10
Above: Lewis has an aversion to “fitted kitchens” and whenever possible installs drawers instead of cabinets, “all in a line rather than turning a corner.” Over the counter, he opts for racks and open shelves.

The sink is set in an antique pot cupboard from John Cornall Antiques of Warwick, and the adjoining drawers are made of old pine floorboards. Lewis used the client’s existing range—”It’s going to carry on for another ten years, so why change it?”—and inserted a wall-mounted Smeg hood. (Browse our Hoods & Vents posts for ideas.)

the butler sink is a rak gourmet double bowl and lewis&#8\2\17;s go to bra 11
Above: The butler sink is a Rak Gourmet Double Bowl and Lewis’s go-to Brass Mixer Faucet is from Aston Matthews. Immediately next to the sink is a Fisher-Paykel integrated two-drawer dishwasher (read about dishwasher drawers in Remodeling 101).
As for the wall hardware, it’s all Lewis’s own, S-hooks included: Finding that it was impossible to keep sourcing his favorite vintage details, he started fabricating reproductions—see Custom Cast Bronze Hardware from Mark Lewis in London. The dark-blue- and yellow-rimmed Paris Bowls are by Manufacture de Digoin and came from the Conran Shop.

tricks of the trade: to accentuate the graining on the drawers, the wood was &a 12
Above: Tricks of the trade: To accentuate the graining on the drawers, the wood was “brushed with a wire brush that creates the texture of driftwood” and finished with Fiddes Liming Wax. The counter is flame-textured black granite—another splurge—and the new floor is salvaged pine, stained to match and sealed with clear wax.

Kitchen Details

lewis lines his kitchen drawers with leftover wallpaper: &#8\2\20;we stick  13
Above: Lewis lines his kitchen drawers with leftover wallpaper: “We stick it down with double-sided tape and don’t add anything to protect it—you lose the magic if you seal it. You just need to be prepared to redo it every few years.”

The cast bronze pulls are Jake Handles; £15 ($19.80) each, which Lewis also makes in cast iron and brass.

how to light the work area immediately under the skylights? lewis inserted copp 14
Above: How to light the work area immediately under the skylights? Lewis inserted copper piping and used it as a place to suspend DIY pendants: Filament Bulbs and metal Cord Grip Lamp Holders hang from Twisted Fabric Lighting Cable, all sourced from Urban Cottage Industries.
The kitchen wall is lined with inexpensive square white tiles—about £7 (roughly $9) a square meter—in a brick bond with off-white grout. For more white wall tile pattern ideas, go to Remodeling 101: Subway Tile Pattern Glossary.

the open shelves are whitewashed floorboards supported by strong boy cast bron 15
Above: The open shelves are whitewashed floorboards supported by Strong Boy Cast Bronze Brackets; £39 ($51.47). Note the stainless steel, full-size fridge at the end of the counter.
all of lewis&#8\2\17;s hardware is hand cast in england. 16
Above: All of Lewis’s hardware is hand cast in England.
antique brass colanders hang from a cast bronze pan rack; £95 (\$\1\25.38). un 17
Above: Antique brass colanders hang from a Cast Bronze Pan Rack; £95 ($125.38). Under it, a wall-mounted Cast-Bronze Draining Rack, £650 ($857.87) holds a vintage wire draining basket that Lewis is thinking of reproducing.
lewis dressed up the family&#8\2\17;s english farmhouse table by painting t 18
Above: Lewis dressed up the family’s English farmhouse table by painting the base and legs pale gray using Eicó, a low-VOC line of paints. The benches came from John Cornall Antiques.
the tabletop is fuss free and can also be used for food prep. 19
Above: The tabletop is fuss-free and can also be used for food prep.
double doors open to the backyard. the top half of the windows open and there a 20
Above: Double doors open to the backyard. The top half of the windows open and there are roller blinds for bright days.
lewis left the ceiling framework exposed and whitewashed. next to the back entr 21
Above: Lewis left the ceiling framework exposed and whitewashed. Next to the back entrance, a vintage church chair and divided crate serve as a place to remove and store shoes.

The bronze-finished sconces are Maria Wall Lights; £103.32 ($136.78) from Urban Cottage Industries.

the new, old fashioned cast iron radiators are the radiator company&#8\2\17 22
Above: The new, old-fashioned cast-iron radiators are the Radiator Company’s Ledbury design with exposed copper piping: “The refurbished radiators I’ve found are just a pain in the ass,” says Lewis.

Workspace

lewis used an existing alcove in the back of the kitchen to create a built in d 23
Above: Lewis used an existing alcove in the back of the kitchen to create a built-in desk and shelves made from scaffolding planks. The area is used by the family for doing homework, charging laptops, and looking up recipes.

In lieu of baseboards, Lewis inserted a 35mm (1.3-inch) shadow gap for a contemporary twist: “You need a balance between old and new.”

the wall has tongue and groove paneling in elephant&#8\2\17;s breath from f 24
Above: The wall has tongue-and-groove paneling in Elephant’s Breath from Farrow & Ball.

Above L: The German Angled Bakelite Wall Sconces, £57.60 ($76), are from Urban Cottage Industries. Above R: Computer cords are tidily threaded through a Cast Bronze Wire Cover, £22 ($29.04), that Lewis also makes.

Utility Room

a back corner contains a utility room and wallpapered wc. 27
Above: A back corner contains a utility room and wallpapered WC.
cast bronze jamie coat hooks, £\26 (\$34.44), are mounted on an old floorboard 28
Above: Cast Bronze Jamie Coat Hooks, £26 ($34.44), are mounted on an old floorboard outside the two rooms.
the utility room is used for &#8\2\20;practical tasks, like washing childre 29
Above: The utility room is used for “practical tasks, like washing children and garden paraphernalia,” says Lewis.

The exposed brick wall is original and had been hidden behind plaster. A compact Belfast Sink by Twyford sits on a counter made from salvaged Swedish pine: “It’s very thick, so it’s great for a worktop.” A washer-dryer and the boiler are tucked below, and the fuse box is hidden behind the wooden doors.

lewis&#8\2\17;s plumber made the copper piping faucet on site. for more lik 30
Above: Lewis’s plumber made the copper piping faucet on-site. For more like it, see Trend Alert: 10 DIY Faucets Made from Plumbing Parts.

 strong boy aged cast iron brackets, £35 (\$46.\23), support the two tiers o 31
Above: Strong Boy Aged Cast-Iron Brackets, £35 ($46.23), support the two tiers of open shelves.
reclaimed welsh quarry tiles—&#8\2\2\1;originally made for schools, hospi 32
Above: Reclaimed Welsh Quarry Tiles—”originally made for schools, hospitals, and factories”—line the floor of the utility room and WC.

Powder Room

 lewis salvaged the stained glass rose from a window in the back of the house  33
Above: Lewis salvaged the stained glass rose from a window in the back of the house and paired it with Robert Kime’s Tokai Wallpaper in rose.
the ebonized wooden toilet seat and cover, £\173.93 (\$\2\29.7\1), is from ast 34
Above: The Ebonized Wooden Toilet Seat and Cover, £173.93 ($229.71), is from Aston Matthews: “A bit expensive but worth it.”
the utility room and wc were slotted into the back of the kitchen. the design a 35
Above: The utility room and WC were slotted into the back of the kitchen. The design also includes a pantry next to the desk alcove.

Here are two more Mark Lewis projects:

Product summary  Item 7 164Item 8 165

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