Midcentury Modern no.1 – Case Study

Happy New Year to you all! Our new website is finally here and we are celebrating with our first blog post – a case study for a Midcentury Modern style kitchen project for a client in Petersfield.

We designed this space for a client (a local garden designer) who had recently acquired a detached chalet bungalow style property with good overall proportions, great natural light and a lovely wide garden. Unfortunately, it had some very dated finishes, for example super swirly artex ceilings, a no longer serviceable kitchen and awkwardly proportioned separate kitchen and dining room (see below for before photos).

The client had already seen the potential to knock through between dining room and kitchen to create an open plan kitchen/living/dining room. It was our job to design this whole open plan space, including the kitchen, dining and living area.

Central to the design concept was establishing how the customer could use the space to maximise the benefit of the light and views of the garden and in deciding on the ‘sweet spots’ (best places) in the new space. It was clear that one of the sweet spots would be in the kitchen area, close enough to get a good view of the garden, comfortable enough to linger – from this the idea of a panoramic window with bar area was born. Continuing the kitchen around in an L-shaped gave plenty of space for all appliances and cabinets with generous space leftover for a dining table. To run wall cabinets all the way along the main run uninterrupted, we needed to block up the small north-west facing window, which was fine as with the other new windows, we knew that there would huge quantity of natural light coming in. We had to work with the constraint of the position of the boiler, which also needed replacing, so we used the opportunity to move it to the corner and build a cabinet round it which could also serves as recycling storage. By reconfiguring the wall opposite the garden we had space for a freestanding cabinet.

To complete the overall design, we included a set of matching sliding patio doors out to the garden to the left of the kitchen and a new sliding door to the hall to give a lighter, more modern feel to the entrance to the room.

Having established the layout of both the open plan space and the kitchen, we then turned our attentions to the look. We had worked with this customer before so we had a good understanding of their style preferences. We also knew that with the period of the property we had the opportunity to create a really special design – a modern kitchen with Midcentury features we all agreed would be perfect. To create this look we incorporated three particular features: a freestanding larder cabinet with multicolour block doors/drawer fronts and tapered wooden legs, wall cabinets and multicolour cubby holes all framed in a wood effect panel, and wood breakfast bar office style cabinet with inset handles and tapered wooden legs.

The next step was to put produce renders/3D visuals and overall 2D plans to show the customer how the final kitchen space would look, and to consider options for colours and finishes. Our first designs for the kitchen concept proposed a neutral colour palette with flashes of teal and burnt orange, two colours that the customer really liked and we felt would work with the midcentury style. The final design actually used different shades of greens and blues instead of burnt orange as an accent – effectively calming down the scheme from the effects of the very strong sunlight and giving a more Skandi colour palette.

Once we had the overall concept agreed we moved onto producing detailed 2D drawings and specification and organising the building works side of things. As well as the kitchen and windows/doors, we also managed the building works; walls, floors, electrics and plumbing. To give a coherent look to the extended space we specified a retro style patterned wall paper for the hall and even wallpapered the sliding door and pelmet holding the sliding gear mechanism.

Concept Design Visual showing new shape of the room and layout.

On site prepping for the new panoramic window to be installed.

Breakfast bar area with office style cabinet, looking over the garden.

Freestanding larder cabinet with tapered wood legs and multicolour block door/drawer fronts.

Multicolour wall cubby holes with wood effect framing, incorporating undercabinet LED lighting.

The result as you can see is really stunning (spot the difference with the 3D concept render) – it is a great space that works at anytime of day and really shows of the best of the property’s features and all on a very reasonable budget, we hope you like it!