Jamie Blake of
Blakes London applied a high/low mix of materials—from marble to readymade beadboard—in his design for a sun-splashed kitchen. We featured the house in Endless Summer in a London Victorian. Thanks to the popularity of the kitchen, Blake has kindly offered to share its secrets. Above: The bright kitchen opens out onto a green backyard in Beckenham, on the outskirts of London. Photograph courtesy of Blakes London. Above: The open kitchen is fronted by a marble-topped island built from wood textured to look like reclaimed timber. “The best way to describe the design is an exploration into textures,” says Blake, ticking off a list of materials that includes porcelain floor tiles, beadboard paneling, subway tiles, and painted brick. Note that the designer carefully hewed to a subtly contrasting pale palette offset by dark overhead cabinets and a trough of herbs sprouting in the middle of the island. Photograph courtesy of Blakes London. Above: The upper cabinets have a surprise lining of white subway tiles with dark grout. Clear glassware lines the shelves, allowing the design to shine through. Photograph courtesy of Blakes London. Materials Above: The countertops and backsplashes are Carrara marble. Considering splurging on marble in your own kitchen? See Remodeling 101: Marble Countertop Pros and Cons and read Michelle’s cautionary tale, My Dirty Secret: How I Learned to Live with a Marble Backsplash.
Above: The cabinets are painted a Farrow & Ball dark charcoal called Railings; $97 a gallon. Above: The cupboard’s Metro White Matt Flat Wall Tiles came from Tons of Tiles in the U.K.; £0.32 (50 cents) per tile. Home Depot sells miniature one-by-two-inch Metro Subway Matte White Wall Tile, shown, for $5.95 per square foot, and two-by-seven-inch Metro Soho Subway Tile Glossy White for $6.97 per square foot. For a top-of-the-line, handmade version, consider Heath Ceramics Modern Basics tiles. Subway tiles can be patterned in a number of ways; see our White Tile Pattern Glossary. Above: What looks like old wood, Blake reveals, isn’t reclaimed timber: “It’s a finish that we do ourselves, completely handmade to look like reclaimed timber. Almost any color or texture can be achieved.” Since Blake’s technique is labor intensive (not to mention proprietary), we suggest sourcing Reclaimed Barn Wood. It’s available in a wide range of finishes, including a whitewashed version, from Elmwood Reclaimed Timber, in Peculiar, Missouri.