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House Tour - (St Ives) Kitchen and Utility.

It’s been a strange few weeks, have you been tackling that “to-do list”? I have and at the top was redecorating the kitchen.

Before we lived in our current house, we would walk past it on our nightly walks and I used to say that it had a “St Ives Kitchen”. I said this because several years ago while on one of our yearly trips to St Ives (my favourite place) we stayed in a cottage with a kitchen with a window at street level where you could see feet walking past and dogs sniffing around while you were doing the washing up! When you walk around St Ives you begin to notice lots of windows like these and many of the houses there seem to have basements, which is exactly where my kitchen is now. When this house went up for sale, I was excited to look round and I saw that it felt even more like a St Ives kitchen than I thought, it has a lovely exposed stone wall, ceiling beams and traditional style units, features I have enjoyed at several of the holiday apartments I have stayed in over the years as well as in some of my favourite restaurants there.

I live in Derbyshire, as far away from the coast as you can get, let alone from Cornwall and personally I’m not a huge fan of anything seaside themed when you don’t live near the seaside, I feel a bit like it’s a cheat. I’m not a fan of themes at all really as they can end up with very little soul and feel contrived as you are purely choosing items to fit that theme, with little room for whether you actually like it or not (unless of course you LOVE that theme). The underlying element to anything I design is that I think a house should have personality and this really only comes from collecting your likes, needs, experiences and objects together and creating a design for your home using all these elements.

Below you will see my design board for my St Ives Kitchen. What I wanted to achieve was a subtle hint of that feeling of being in a seaside cottage kitchen coupled with elements of my usual design style that I have used throughout the house. It was really important for me to find a great position for my lobster (one of my first pieces of embroidery artwork that I did and just can’t part with) as well as a couple of little prints I bought in St Ives from a shop called Off The Beaten Track (find the artist on instagram @jodielovelyhearts) and a fun map style print of the whole town that I bought there several years ago which used to live in our old kitchen too.

What stands out most on there is a really bold colour, Pelt by Farrow & Ball. I LOVE this colour and was desperate to use it somewhere in the house but being such a rich, dark colour meant I needed to be careful about where I used it. Our utility room at the top of the kitchen stairs gave me the perfect opportunity. This is a tiny room, it is dark, north facing, has a very small window and as it has no door dividing it and the kitchen below so it feels a little like it is actually part of the same space so I had the idea of possibly trying to link them. Here are the before photos of the utility and kitchen.

I decided to paint the utility Pelt. It is already dark in there so why not?! As it is such a small area then it could be painted over quickly if it turned out to be a disaster…what happened was that I loved how it looked in there so much, that I decided to continue the purple down the stairs and into the kitchen, linking together the two spaces and also creating a feature area in the kitchen which contrasts well to the very neutral scheme I have kept to in the rest of the room.

So here are the after photos, starting with the utility and moving down into the kitchen. I'm really pleased with how it looks, by removing one of the cupboard doors I have managed to display some favourite items and cook books but still minimising clutter. You may have spotted the rope handrail on the design board which we haven't managed to get yet as due to the current situation it has made ordering one difficult, but once things are more back to normal we will get one fitted. Hope you like it as much as I do, I've now got daily reminder of my favourite place!

R x


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