Designer Jack Hemingway has big shoes to fill. His parents, Wayne and Gerardine Hemingway, are founders of multidisciplinary London design firm Hemingway Design, whose services run the gamut from events and interiors to urban planning, graphics, and fashion (they were behind cult label Red or Dead in the nineties).
But Jack has blazed his own trail, and as a principal designer at the family firm he’s led exhibition design for the Tate, creative direction for UK vintage festivals, and community regeneration projects in Margate, Portsmouth, and Leicester. Luckily, he’s equally talented on more quotidian assignments: Last year Hemingway and his partner, designer Zoe Starreveld, acquired and rehabbed a one-bedroom flat in London’s Kensal Rise. The kitchen was in special need of attention, having suffered a “tatty 1990s refurb job” sporting fake black marble laminate countertops, large-format floor tile, and veneered cabinet doors. They moved several internal walls to link the kitchen to the living room, and to keep costs in check they reused the original cabinet boxes and sourced many items—including flooring, countertops, and range—secondhand.
Now with a six-month-old baby in tow, the duo is looking for a new space, and the flat is currently under offer at The Modern House.
Photography courtesy of The Modern House.
Hemingway and Starreveld sourced their circa 1950 New World range on eBay. Vintage appliances like this one are priced too high in London, they said, but they found a fair price just two hours outside the city. “The oven was a bargain purchase and is, without doubt, the centerpiece of the kitchen,” Hemingway says.
The main design goal was, uncommonly, to reduce countertop workspace—in order to make room for a small dining table.
Starreveld and Hemingway weren’t interested in an off-the-shelf faucet, so they drew plans for a DIY version of copper pipe and hardware-store valves and set their plumber to the task of putting it together. “It was a ‘suck it and see’ kind of situation,” said Hemingway (using a Brit expression meaning to give something a try). “He’d never installed anything like it and didn’t really understand why we wanted to do it.”