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Kitchen of the Week: A Colorful Custom Kitchen in Hertfordshire (with a Tight Budget and Even Tighter Space)

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Kitchen of the Week: A Colorful Custom Kitchen in Hertfordshire (with a Tight Budget and Even Tighter Space)

April 21, 2022

Ardent fans of Shaker-esque kitchens for their simplicity and timelessness, we’ve another favorite specialist to add to our list: Olive & Barr, UK-based makers of bespoke—and, they say, affordable—cook spaces. Today we’re stopping into a petite kitchen in an 1890s terrace house in Stanstead Abbots, Hertfordshire, redone with Olive & Barr fittings and playful color, a request of the homeowner, Temi.

First, there were practical constraints to consider, starting with the kitchen’s small footprint. But: “Temi had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve, on a tight budget,” says Olive & Barr founder Al Bruce. “She wasn’t afraid to use a bold color when it came to her cabinetry.” Join us for a look at the finished space.

Photography courtesy of Olive & Barr.

&#8\2\20;beforehand, the kitchen was chaotic, dark, and a small and unusabl 9
Above: “Beforehand, the kitchen was chaotic, dark, and a small and unusable space,” says Al. “The layout felt disorganized and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing. The existing kitchen needed to be ripped out, and the walls needed plastering.”

For the transformation, the team worked to create a high-end, bespoke look on a minimal budget.

“Although it’s compact, Temi wanted a kitchen that had a freestanding look. She worked closely with our designers, and together they created a kitchen concentrating on space between the cabinets, giving the freestanding look she wanted with all the practicalities and storage she needed.” At Temi’s request, the handmade cabinets got a wash of bold blue-green; she also opted to tighten the usual 1000 mm (39-inch) space between island and counter to 880 millimeters (about 35 inches). Temi chronicled the process on her Instagram, @ahousemadeofbrass.

a custom plate rack and an arched backsplash, temi&#8\2\17;s idea, add to t 10
Above: A custom plate rack and an arched backsplash, Temi’s idea, add to the luxe look. (For more, see Trend Alert: Sculptural Marble Backsplashes—though, in keeping with her budget, Temi’s worktops and backsplash are actually Ventatino quartz.)
a well worn breakfast table adds to the freestanding look. 11
Above: A well-worn breakfast table adds to the freestanding look.
the range cooker—tucked into a nook—was kept in place, as was the 12
Above: The range cooker—tucked into a nook—was kept in place, as was the parquet flooring.
the team designed a custom freestanding larder to fill the corner beside the ra 13
Above: The team designed a custom freestanding larder to fill the corner beside the range.
inside, there are specially designed spaces for spices and dry goods as well as 14
Above: Inside, there are specially designed spaces for spices and dry goods as well as bulky countertop appliances.
the kitchen is also equipped with an induction cooktop. a sliding glass door le 15
Above: The kitchen is also equipped with an induction cooktop. A sliding glass door leads into the WC.
and a glimpse in the wc, with farmhouse sink and brass taps. 16
Above: And a glimpse in the WC, with farmhouse sink and brass taps.

For more compact kitchens we love, see:

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