After extensive renovations to their Edwardian home in Hertfordshire. the O’Neil family needed a beautiful kitchen that would lift the space from its historic origins, to a haven of grace, elegance, and femininity.
A clever combination of period features and modern functionality beautifully blend together in this elegant and serene scheme. From humble historic beginnings, this Edwardian property, built in 1903, has been transformed into a cool, classy, and contemporary home for a busy modern family.
Though the O’Neils had lived in this spacious eight bedroomed property for six years, after their two eldest children had ‘flown the nest’, the capacious house seemed slightly too large. Consequently, they decided on a mass renovation of the property, dissecting the L-shaped structure into two separate houses. The new development, though including five bedrooms and a stunning orangery, lacked one essential: a showstopping kitchen. To add the heart to their home, the O’Neils turned to Joanna Majewski, designer at Poggenpohl.
The must-have Aga, specified by Jacqueline, adds a comfortable, homely vibe to the crisp modern aesthetic; ensuring the room radiates a welcoming rather than clinical tone. As the Aga is a very pale blue hue, Joanna chose a complementary white pine for the tall units, due to its faint blue tint; while the base unit and island are in a sleek, on trend Pebble grey.
The island is definitely the centre-piece of this kitchen; its ultra-contemporary look, featuring a matt grey finish and cantilevered wooden breakfast bar, is both functionally and aesthetically brilliant. High-tech integrated appliances and ample workspace take the chore out of day-to-day cooking, while the opulent crystal chandeliers, which hang above it were inspired by the family’s recent trip to Morocco, and add a feminine touch to the bright white minimalism.
Designed with entertaining in mind, the large central island allows Jacquline and Paul plentiful space for cooking, while the opposite side boasts an opportunity for casual dining. The two distinct zones mean that guests are separated from the busy cooking area, but still face the chef, to allow for socialising during the food preparation.
Adding opulent accessories to a minimal scheme works wonderfully to craft an eye-catching centre piece. In this kitchen the glamorous crystal Dante chandeliers add old-school elegance to the stark white surroundings, while simultaneously accentuating the room’s sleek symmetry, by drawing the eye vertically along the space.
The island and tall units provide plentiful storage space for the kitchen, meaning that the space above the Aga could be left free, allowing Joanna to integrate floating shelves. The shelves can provide either a perfect display opportunity, or easy accessibility to essential culinary utensils; their less formal appearance ensures the kitchen doesn’t appear too structured, and adds character to the design.
The high-tech Gessi three-in-one mixer tap boasts a sleek design and a multitude of practical functions; however, the refreshments found in the Waterline wine cabinet hold a different allure. With temperature control, to keep the owners’ collection in exactly the right environment, and a stainless steel frame, to complement the other appliances, it is the perfect addition to make for happy hosting.
Warm wooden flooring and an open fireplace, framed by exposed brickwork, add personality to the kitchen, while simultaneously paying homage to the property’s classical roots.
Adding a sociable kitchen to their home drastically changes things for the O’Neil family. “Before we made the changes, the family used to hand out in the TV room, now they stay with me in the kitchen. We have leather sofas at the far end that lead through to the orangery and the garden, so it is a really lovely place to be!” Jacqueline elates.