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Kitchen of the Week: Playfulness and Plywood in a London Kitchen by Nimtim Architects

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Kitchen of the Week: Playfulness and Plywood in a London Kitchen by Nimtim Architects

May 5, 2022

Before Nimi Attanayake, of London-based Nimtim Architects, redesigned the 1920s townhouse for 2020s living, the kitchen was small and closed-off from the rest of the living space: “It was perfunctory, ill-considered, with no connection to [the rest of the rooms] nor any space to socialize,” Nimi tells us. “It was also separated from the dining area by a solid internal wall.”

The clients, parents to a young child, hired her firm to free the kitchen from its small, confined space, add a powder room and utility closet, create better flow between the living spaces—essentially to make the first floor bigger, brighter, better. Instead of building an addition, though (which would have been the logical solution), the architect decided to work within the existing structure, both to minimize waste and to stay within budget.

Nimi opened up the kitchen to the dining area, installed large sliding glass doors, and designed built-ins featuring curved openings that would become a recurring motif throughout the home. And she focused on “a limited palette of inexpensive materials that have been playfully arranged to celebrate the family’s daily lives. Value has been delivered in the composition rather than the expense of the material.”

“The footprint of the property has not changed—it’s all about the use of the space,” she writes. Below, Nimi walks us through the cleverly reimagined kitchen.

Photography by Megan Taylor, courtesy of Nimtim Architects.

the view from the front door toward the back of the home, where the kitchen res 9
Above: The view from the front door toward the back of the home, where the kitchen resides. A powder room and a utility closet are now in the newly formed space (thanks to plywood partitions) between the living room and kitchen.
nimi chose responsibly sourced, formaldehyde free birch plywood from chipfix fu 10
Above: Nimi chose responsibly sourced, formaldehyde-free birch plywood from Chipfix Furniture for all the cabinets and other built-ins, because it is “cost-efficient, strong, relatively durable, warmly toned and reflective.”
the refrigerator and freezer are integrated into the cabinets (far left of the  11
Above: The refrigerator and freezer are integrated into the cabinets (far left of the stove). All the knobs are from Swarf Hardware. The slim green bar lights are from UK lighting company Hand & Eye Studio
this wall of storage cabinets includes a fold out table that the kids currently 12
Above: This wall of storage cabinets includes a fold-out table that the kids currently use for arts and crafts. Two orange sconces by Teti provide extra illumination.
the countertops are formica and the terracotta floor tiles are from living terr 13
Above: The countertops are formica and the terracotta floor tiles are from Living Terracotta.
the kitchen is now big enough to fit a dining area. hanging above the table is  14
Above: The kitchen is now big enough to fit a dining area. Hanging above the table is a Verner Panton Flowerpot VP1 Pendant in dark green.
the built ins also provide ample space for the owners to display art and favori 15
Above: The built-ins also provide ample space for the owners to display art and favorite objects.
the view from the living room toward the kitchen. behind this playful partition 16
Above: The view from the living room toward the kitchen. Behind this playful partition are the stairs and a tiny powder room.

For recent Kitchens of the Week, see:

For more on plywood, see:

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