10th April 2014

Last week, I mentioned that it felt as if this blog was morphing into The Kitchen Files. What can I say – there’s been a run of great looking kitchens around. And I always seem to be drawn to kitchens. After all this can be the ‘make or break’ room in a property – the space that either sells a flat or house, or the space that leaves you with a headache while working out how much it’s going to cost to replace the existing kitchen.


Personally, I spend as much time in my kitchen as I do in my living room, if not more. (And if this conjures up the vision of a super-cook, oh-if-only… Mr Property Files takes all the credit for the cooking in this household.) But these days the dining-kitchen just feels like the space to hang out. It’s where everyone congregates, instinctively. In the sitting room, chances are you’re kicking back watching TV, but in the kitchen, you’re more likely to be having a conversation, whether food is involved or not. It’s a cliché to refer to the kitchen as being the heart of the modern home, but it is.


Which is why people tend to spend so much time – and investment – when it comes to designing their kitchen, and why a space like this transforms an already very desirable family home into a must-have property – indeed, number 32 Gilmour Road is already under offer with Strutt & Parker. Located just south of Edinburgh’s city centre, this 4/5 bedroom end-terraced period house has been completely refurbished by its current owners, including the creation of this fantastic open plan dining and kitchen space that opens into a glass-roofed extension. French doors lead from this space – which is used as a sitting room – into the garden, so there’s that all-important indoor-outdoor flow we all hanker after.


And let’s face it, this is one seriously good looking kitchen. Some people will insert a super-contemporary kitchen into a period house – you’ll find great examples of this here and here – and that approach can work beautifully, where it’s all about contrasts and the juxtaposition of crisp modern fittings against period detailing.

And then there’s this approach, which is to choose a more traditionally-styled kitchen in terms of the design detailing, but where the modernity of the space lies in the lifestyle it offers – the social aspects of open plan living and that aforementioned flow of space, for example. I love everything about this kitchen: the simplicity of the cabinetry and its handcrafted quality (Plain English designs handmade kitchens that are similar to this, and it’s also worth checking out the Somerton Sage and Somerton Fern ranges from Magnet); the tongue-and-groove panelling used for the splashback combined with the glossy glass used behind the range cooker; the slatted wall section designed to hold utensils (a great detail); and the colour palette that combines pale grey with a stony-hued taupe (perfection).


Of course, it’s not just the kitchen itself: just look at that glass-fronted dresser in the dining area. I’m always drawn to open shelving in a kitchen as it gives the space some visual lightness and a more casual feel, and this dresser achieves the same effect with great style – Ethnicraft have similar designs. I like how the owners have combined the simple wooden table with old church chairs, as pieces like this add to the character of an interior. The gas stove is a great feature in a big social room like this, while the rise and fall pendant lights add a bit of drama to the ceiling space (the Hautaniboul ceramic pendant is similar from The Lighting Company while Jim Lawrence does a fabulous version in solid brass). And with such lofty ceiling heights, this room can take the drama. Beautiful, right?


This property was marketed by Strutt & Parker. Photography by Square Foot Media.

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