Period property or not, consider a kitchen that’s not too ‘kitcheny’ by locating the cabinetry on either side of the chimney breast. Guests will do a double take when they realise this space is both for cooking and dining. Try streamlined neutral grey cabinetry (without handles) and reflective glass splashbacks let original features – ornate cornices and ceiling roses – shine.
"Design around a focal point, even if it happens to be a fireplace"
Smart lighting effects can add subtle layers of interest. Above-cabinet lighting will brighten and bathe the room in soft light. As for undercabinet task lights, space them 20–30cm apart and pick fixtures with barely visible profiles. If necessary, moulding – known as a ‘light rail’ – will help conceal lights with an obvious profile.
Without an island or sufficient bench space, a marble-topped dining table can double as a wipe-clean worktop when the occasion warrants. Seating, such as these replica Tolix metal chairs, need to be robust to withstand the rigours of family life and being in the cooking zone.
With space at a premium, allow sufficient countertop room by nudging the sink to one side, as here, so you have plate space when washing up or unloading the dishwasher. Keep the look streamlined with an under-mount sink and drainage grooved in the benchtop. And opt for the seamless look of an induction cooktop.
To maximise storage, take the upper units as high as you can without obscuring ornate cornices – because if you’ve got them, flaunt them!
What about a fridge? Integrate into the cabinetry or consider fridge/freezer drawers. Otherwise relocate it close by and make do with a bar fridge in the ‘kitchen’.