We are always eager to see the latest from
Uncommon Projects—the London-based designers and makers of bespoke plywood kitchens and cabinetry. Founded by an architect and a product designer, Alan Drumm and James Hoy, their projects are deceptively simple and immaculately executed. Bold color choices and unfussy design allows their cabinetry to work in any environment.
This is the kitchen of Julia Gilmour and her husband, Stephen—a three-story townhouse overlooking a park and private marina in Teddington, southwest London. The couple—keen cooks in their mid-60s—moved into the property four years ago, following a year-long renovation. The work was carried out without a lead architect, which enabled Alan to draw on his experience in interior architecture, reconfiguring the layout of the first-floor kitchen and using bespoke cabinetry and a taut palette of materials to create a sense of connection between each of the six split levels.
Join us for a look around.
Jocelyn Low for Uncommon Projects. Above: “The house itself is a really interesting design,” says Gilmour. ‘It looks like an ordinary, modern, three-story townhouse from the outside, but inside it is six split levels, plus two terraces on the top floor, all joined by an original aluminum staircase. We moor a boat right outside our study: perfect for day trips or an evening cruise up river to Hampton Court or Teddington Lock.” Above: Alan suggested swapping the position of the kitchen and the dining area to create more space for the kitchen and improve the circulation from the hallway. The kitchen area is now a U-shaped design with a peninsula that has deep drawers on one side, sliding door storage on the other and integrated bar seating on the end. The white Corian worktops reflect light from the windows. The bar stools with colored foot rests are Uncommon Project’s own design. Above: To maximize light and views, the entrance to the kitchen was widened and a sliding pocket door was installed, which the owners generally leave open. Tall units house the Fisher and Paykel fridge freezer and feature a built-in bookcase, which adds a point of interest as you enter the room. The original terrazzo flooring was cracked and has been replaced throughout with terrazzo by Diespeker. “It hides dirty spots, so it’s perfect,” says Gilmour. The recessed kickboards are also terrazzo. Above: By rearranging the floorplan, Alan was able to create a small utility room off the dining area in a space that was previously an awkward corner of the kitchen. “This is great for hiding all those bits you don’t want to be facing when you’re having dinner,” explains Gilmour. Above: The Brora hob and downdraft extractor is on the same side of the kitchen as the Gaggenau ovens and warming drawer. The decision was made to keep the peninsula free from appliances to allow space for eating and socializing. The countertop is illuminated by LED lighting. Above: A mini shelf to the left of the hob displays 3D-models of the couples’ three grown-up children. Above: The sink has a single Quooker Fusion tap with integrated boiling and filtered water. A narrow row of open shelving has been built beneath the wall cabinets, creating another point of interest in the room. Above: A shallow herb box has been built in below the window, between the sink and the peninsular. “This was a great solution for us, as we used to keep all our herb pots next to the kitchen sink,” explains Gilmour. “Now we are able to keep the sink area clear.” The herb box also creates a seasonal connection between the kitchen and the park views beyond. (In the winter months, the herbs are replaced with crimson poinsettias.) Above: The terrazzo continues into the sunken living room, providing a robust surface for the steps, which include integrated storage and provide a room-length display for the couples collection of art and objects. (Thanks to the wide pocket door, there are now through views from the living room into the dining area.) Above: The wall-mounted sideboard in the dining area helps unify the space. All joinery has been made from easy-to-clean oak-veneered birch plywood with cut-out handles. Above: Another simple, wall-mounted sideboard in the main bedroom. (The couple swiftly commissioned Uncommon Projects to design and build their bedroom storage.)
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