Tour Linda Barker’s green kitchen

It was always on the cards that interior designer and TV personality Linda Barker was going to have a big, bold and colourful kitchen.

“My bedroom is dark green, I have emerald green tiles in my dining room, it’s everywhere in this house,” explains Linda as she tells us about her kitchen refurbishment as part of the works to her grand Georgian house in Yorkshire.

“And the matt olive green for my cabinets is such a beautiful colour to use. I love it: I wear it; I decorate a lot with it. It was a very obvious choice for me in this kitchen. Plus, it’s a very a good foil for black, pinks, silver, greys and whites. Once I’d sat in the room, watched the natural light, how it moves – especially with the setting sun coming through the big windows – I knew the space could hold it.”

Linda Barker's green kitchen with wood cabinets and spacious island
Linda Barker‘s green kitchen includes a large run of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, finished in recycled timber, featuring plenty of storage.

Linda Barker’s kitchen: the plans

The existing space was small and trapped in the centre of the house. It hadn’t been updated since the 1970s, and featured an oatmeal sink and dark brown finishes with a tiny gas cooker.

“It was pretty basic for a long, long time. Eventually, we took the whole house back to its bare bones and rebuilt it including the roof and new windows, new doors, while we re-plumbed and rewired. The whole house was a massive undertaking, so we weren’t in a hurry to do anything. We just really wanted to make sure that once we’d done it, it was right.”

Renovating the space

Throughout those years, Linda was forming an idea of the type of kitchen she’d create. “I knew I wanted sustainable materials, and that we would design and build it ourselves, so that it would be completely ours and bespoke to our needs.”

While the space is big, Linda was slightly limited in terms of layout due to the five doors that connect the kitchen to other rooms in house. “It’s a high traffic area, and it needed to have space for people to rest, drink, eat and cook,” she says.

A large run of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry, finished in recycled timber, features plenty of storage. “Below waist level it’s all drawers: I hate, hate, hate, cupboards,” she laughs. “Things get lost in them. I’m slightly obsessed by detail and have drawers for specific things. From nuts and seeds to flour and utensils for bread making.”

drinks area with green cabinetry, concrete sink and boiling-water tap
The drinks area houses a coffee machine, a Quooker boiling-water tap and a little fridge. The bespoke concrete sink is from Concrete Carrot.
spice rack in dark green kitchen with black handles
A dedicated preparation zone in the long run of cabinetry features a magnetic knife block, extra worktop space and open-shelving for oils and spices.

The appliances

Two Miele ovens sit at eye level. Although Linda loves the look of range cookers, she admits she “can’t stand sitting on the floor to get things out”. There is also a large preparation area. It features a metallic knife block and brass open shelving that hold a plethora of spices and oils.

Opposite is the long kitchen island, which includes a hob with integrated downdraft extraction and an overhang for casual seating – underneath which Linda’s lurcher Stanley loves to sleep. The unit also houses drawer fridges on the cook’s side. Plus, a small preparation sink is perfect for filling pans or washing hands.

Linda Barker sitting next in the green kitchen next to the island
The uber-functional kitchen island includes a downdraft hob, fridge drawers, side sink and integrated food bin.

At the back of the room, there is a dedicated drinks area. “There’s a coffee machine, alongside a Quooker boiling-water tap and a little fridge that houses all the milk and ingredients to make juice.”

The kitchen island includes a concrete sink, and a seating area, made from the off-cuts of Linda’s marble dining table.

walk-in pantry with open shelving
This dedicated zone has everything you need to make tea, coffee or juice.
Storage space for handmade ceramics
The back kitchen is where Linda keeps a lot of her handmade ceramics. It also has plenty of storage for essentials you don’t want in your kitchen, such as lightbulbs or cables.

The final design

Asked how she would describe the style of the space, she replies: “I think it’s very modern, but I’m hoping very timeless as well. This is not a kitchen that’s going to be replaced in 10, 15 years – and will hopefully last much longer than that. I’m very much aware in design these days that things can be quite transient.

“It shocks me how often kitchens are removed or replaced when somebody fresh comes into the building. So, I’m hoping that this is now rooted into the property.”

Her favourite part of the kitchen is how she feels when cooking in the space. “I look out at the garden which I planted – which has meadow grass and loads of trees – and Stanley is usually sleeping under the island, where Chris is sat, with music on in the background. It’s a space that works really beautifully for all those reasons.”

Photography: Heidi Marfitt

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