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.