Terraced House Kitchen

The Problem

  • A much loved but tired and somewhat dated looking existing kitchen in a little two up two down terraced house. 
  • Wasted space in corners where cupboards had been omitted and appliances which were on their last legs. 

The Brief

  • To design and oversee the installation of a totally new kitchen, while maintaining the existing flooring.
  • To maintain the feeling of the previous kitchen, but to improve the quality.
  • To assist the client in selecting new appliances.
  • To assist the client in choosing the supplier of the new kitchen, and help during meetings with supplier as an advocate and advisor.

The Design & Solution

Layout  My client was keen to minimise disruption and liked the orginal position of appliances, so we agreed to keep the appliances in the original locations.

Ambiance  To maintain the original feeling of the kitchen I recommended a similar shaker style door but hand painted and in a more subtle green colour than the original. We chose a similar sized tile but reduced the tiling to just around the hob, and went for a hand finished crackle glaze tile with feature dragonflies to add texture which had been previously present in the different colours of the tiles.

Bespoke features  We asked the kitchen supplier to make a bespoke shallow dresser for the feature wall with shelves reclaimed from the previous solid wood worktops. We used the marble worktop as a shallow upstand around the worktop and to make the shelf behind the hob for continuity.

HINT: In smaller or slightly odd shaped rooms, opting for the bespoke option can really pay off. While slightly more expensive, the flexibility to make non-standard sized cabinets avoids wasting space and means you can optimise what you have.

HINT: Before approaching a designer for you kitchen, make a list of what works and doesn’t work in your existing kitchen. This can help distill down what you need and don’t need and avoid chasing yourself down blind alleys.

HINT: If you are using a ‘free’ in-house designer, you can still benefit from having your own project manager and designer who will help you distill your ideas, advocate for you and keep on top of all the things that the kitchen suppliers do not supply.

The Execution

Other people involved – kitchen supplier with in house designer, kitchen installer, electrician, tiler, decorator.

My role in the execution


    • I discussed the project with my client in detail and helped them distill their ideas down to find out what was right, and what was wrong, with the existing kitchen.
    • I made a ‘wish list’ for the kitchen and included plans.
    • At the request of my client I visited various suppliers with them to get quotes and help them choose wich supplier best matched their vision.
    • I liased with the in house kitchen designers to finalise the kitchen design and advised my client on colours and accessories which would work with their vision.
    • I made shortlists of all the things that were not provided by the kitchen suppliers, such as certain appliances, wall tiles, paint and furniture to make sure my client could easily choose.
    • I liased with the kitchen fitter and electrician to make sure the works proceded smoothly as this was part of a larger project refurbishing the whole house which I was organising.
    • When even more boxed off space was discovered and the kitchen design was changed part way through, I sourced matching flooring so the additional space could be used.
    • I advocated for my client when she wanted to make a small change to the design part way through which involved adding some faux doors above the hob. I made sure that the kitchen installer was happy with the alternation and then organised with the suppliers the cost and lead time for the doors and made sure the alteration did not delay the installation of the rest of the kitchen, nor the rest of the work in the house.
    • I organised the decorator, the tiler and the electrician once the kitchen was installed.

The Result

  • A new kitchen which made the best possible use of the space available.
  • A room which evoked the same feeling that my client had loved about the previous kitchen, but had additional storage space to get rid of the clutter .

The Cost

This was part of a larger whole house refurbishment, but as a standalone project this would probably cost in the region of £35,000.

    • Alice Clare Studio: Design, quote gathering, project supervision, purchasing shortlists about £5000
    • Cost of installation and materials: about £30,000 

You can read more about how I might be able to help you and your home by reading my Services page.