Tour this green kitchen design with a colourful structural beam

The layout of this London property was too Victorian for their family, so Ben and Kate have fast-tracked it into the 21st Century, creating a fabulous modern home. KBB journo Ben Webb finds out how the renovation came together – let’s take a look around…

Ben and Kate loved living in Highbury, north London, where they rented and decided to buy locally. They spotted a terraced Victorian property and knew it was the one for them. The couple decided to live in the house for a few years before starting the kitchen renovation because it would give them insight into how they could use the space better.

“We wanted to improve the connection to the garden, add more light and create a better space for hosting friends,” Ben explains. “We didn’t want the space to feel sterile and knew we wanted to incorporate colour, art, plants and all the other objects we love.”

open-plan kitchen diner connected to the garden
A vast glass skylight sits above the new extension, flooding the green kitchen design with light.

Finding the architects

The couple appointed Jo and Adrie at Edwards Rensen Architects who, they felt, understood the overall vision. “They provided us with suggestions and helped us to examine different options for the space,” says Ben. “It really felt like a collaborative process.” A clever and sympathetic design meant planning permission was approved without any issues.

Creative ideas for the green kitchen design

As you walk into the lovely open-plan green kitchen, the design feels playful and creative, brimming with interesting ideas. The structural blue beam, which has been left exposed to help trim the budget, is a wonderful display area. Framed pictures bring colour to the walls, while the rich green of the house plants adds to the drama.

blue exposed steel beam in green kitchen
The exposed steel beam, which was a cost-saving decision, creates a colourful feature in the green kitchen design.
double butler sink and speckled worktop with art framed on the wall
The handmade kitchen units have a durable green laminate finish and the worktops are made from recycled glass by Resilica.

And there is more to this development than meets the eye. The couple has tried to improve energy efficiency wherever possible. The finished house exceeds building control minimum standards in more than a dozen ways – from using solar water heating to creating a biodiverse garden, including a green roof. Similarly, the flooring is oak throughout, which connects different spaces with a warm and natural feel. And, the striking worktop incorporates recycled glass.

“It’s hard to imagine not considering the environment in a project like this,” says Ben. “We also love the sense of connection to the garden, having the plants right outside the window and watching the bees and butterflies that they attract.”

green kitchen run of cabinets with fridge freezer and oak flooring
The natural oak flooring sits well with the contrasting pale walls and brightly coloured units and steel beam.
green roof of the extension
The green roof of the extension was planted with sedum and within days bumble bees were spotted buzzing around the flowers.

The colour palette

The colour scheme is decidedly funky. The bright blue and green shades of the kitchen feel bold and fun, while the speckled worktop adds another texture that contrasts with the organic feel of the wood. Original BTC ceiling lights add a quirky feel while the use of built-in shelving lends character. “The shelves are a clever idea to conceal a steel column,” explains Ben.

Today, the project has already proved a great success. “The kitchen space is far more organised and easier to use,” says Ben happily, “and it really helps us to manage some of the chaos and mess that a family of four can create.

open-plan lower floor zoned in a relaxing space, a cooking area and dining room
The open-plan lower floor is zoned, from front to back with a relaxing space, a cooking area and a dining room.

As originally told to: Ben Webb | Photography: Adelina Iliev

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