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Kitchen of the Week: Artist Graham Carter’s Upcycled Hackney Kitchen

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Kitchen of the Week: Artist Graham Carter’s Upcycled Hackney Kitchen

April 12, 2018

Back in 1985, when artist Graham Carter first visited the two-bedroom, Victorian terrace house that would eventually become his home, it was decrepit and unloved, filled with molding, peeling wallpaper and musty carpet, all of its original details hidden by plywood “improvements” from earlier remodels. It was located in Hackney, now a happening London neighborhood that was borderline at the time, and he was short on cash. Charmed, he bought the house that same day.

As an artist, Carter had a background in building and design, and set about rehabbing the entire 1,200-square-foot, circa 1870 house himself. His aim was to unearth its patina while adding the contemporary art he loved, and he succeeded in two years, doing all the work himself. In the kitchen, as in the rest of the house, raw, reclaimed wood is the predominant theme, coupled with the art pieces and colorful accents one would expect from an artist.

Carter has since moved to Morocco, where he’s purchased and rehabbed other houses, and has put his labor of love on the market; for more, visit The Modern House.

Photography courtesy of The Modern House.

Carter built the kitchen himself, fashioning cabinets out of salvaged wood panels and fire doors, with antique handles. He covered the work surfaces in square white tile (will tiled countertops make a comeback? See Trend Alert:  New Design Developments on Our Radar for Fall ).
Above: Carter built the kitchen himself, fashioning cabinets out of salvaged wood panels and fire doors, with antique handles. He covered the work surfaces in square white tile (will tiled countertops make a comeback? See Trend Alert: 10 New Design Developments on Our Radar for Fall 2017).
At the center of the kitchen is an island work surface made of a Victorian-era butcher&#8
Above: At the center of the kitchen is an island work surface made of a Victorian-era butcher’s block on a metal base. A pot rack and countertop lighting are both made of antique parts.
The central feature of the kitchen is a white-tiled work surface that extends from the wall, held by two raw wood beams that extend from the ceiling. It functions as a daily use dining table with four vintage stools perched around it.
Above: The central feature of the kitchen is a white-tiled work surface that extends from the wall, held by two raw wood beams that extend from the ceiling. It functions as a daily use dining table with four vintage stools perched around it.
 Beneath the work surface is a rusted, working, radiator, reclaimed from a nearby pub that was scheduled for demolition.
Above: Beneath the work surface is a rusted, working, radiator, reclaimed from a nearby pub that was scheduled for demolition.
Carter added shallow, built-in shelving on both sides of the kitchen, and gave it the same whitewash as the walls throughout the house. In typical European fashion, the washing machine is located in the kitchen.
Above: Carter added shallow, built-in shelving on both sides of the kitchen, and gave it the same whitewash as the walls throughout the house. In typical European fashion, the washing machine is located in the kitchen.
Carter had all the modern, PVC windows in the house replaced with replicas of wood windows that might have been original to the house.
Above: Carter had all the modern, PVC windows in the house replaced with replicas of wood windows that might have been original to the house.
An antique tea advertisement hangs above the fireplace. A set of French doors, at left, opens onto the garden.
Above: An antique tea advertisement hangs above the fireplace. A set of French doors, at left, opens onto the garden.
The kitchen has direct access to the rear garden, which has a marble outdoor dining table that seats . At right, a shelving niche has an embedded light to spotlight the artwork perched beneath it.
Above: The kitchen has direct access to the rear garden, which has a marble outdoor dining table that seats 10. At right, a shelving niche has an embedded light to spotlight the artwork perched beneath it.
The townhouse&#8
Above: The townhouse’s rear garden is filled with loose gravel and mature plants.

Designing a kitchen? Start with our Remodeling 101: Kitchens guide to Small Appliances, Ranges & Ovens, and Storage & Organization. For more in London across our sites, see:

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