It’s the eternal dilemma facing those renovating some aspect of their homes: how to modernise without losing that comforting quality of the past? How to acknowledge tradition without veering into dated sentimentality?
Well, Rencraft – kitchen and bathroom designers based in Kent, in the UK – appear to have very competently answered both of those questions with the project below, a highly modern kitchen that isn’t shy about its strong Edwardian influence. If you’re thinking about doing something different with your own kitchen, this is a must-see.
There are a lot of different elements at work here that have made this kitchen come together into what it is. The kitchen units and full-wall cupboards are completely classic in their structure, featuring typically Edwardian proportions and panelling. The dresser seen on the right-hand side of the picture, in particular, seems like an antique based on its silhouette alone, and one can only imagine it is full of stunning vintage crockery.
And yet, the colour scheme used throughout, focussing on two different shades of grey, is very much of the moment, with grey having been a firm favourite with modern interior designers for the past few years.
The stools around the breakfast island offer the only intrusion of traditional, unpainted wood into this space, and allow just the right amount of variation from the consistent greys of the rest of the room.
The lights, meanwhile, are clearly contemporary. Like a trio of bubbles they float above the room, giving the lie to the idea that Edwardian-style design must always be heavy and serious.
This modern glass stove top should seem out of place among all that panelled wood, but it fits in perfectly with the bright atmosphere created by the painted wood and plentiful windows.
The beautiful handles chosen for the units are part of what makes them feel authentically Edwardian in their design. Those used on the drawers are particularly special, being of a half-moon shape common in the past but very rarely used in contemporary furniture design.
The interiors of the drawers more fully highlight the young age of these units, with light, clearly contemporary pine walls that could only have been made in the present day. Each drawers has been carefully designed with a purpose in mind, and outfitted with the appropriate tools to fulfil that purpose. The top drawer, for example, was born to hold cutlery, and as such comes complete with inbuilt wooden compartments, which most cutlery drawers lack.
With so much light coming in from the two skylights above as well as from the French doors, it’s no wonder this room feels so marvellously cheerful and airy.