Kitchen Spotlight: The Un-Kitchen in London

Kitchen Spotlight: The Un-Kitchen in London

Kristin Hohenadel
Mar 20, 2008

London-based South African architect Jennifer Beningfield was asked to redesign a kitchen to integrate seamlessly into a room that also included the dining and living spaces in a North London flat. "The problem with an open plan kitchen is that it tends to dominate," says Jennifer, who finished the renovation last fall, creating a massive and functional un-kitchen made from European oak. "The clients love to entertain, so the challenge was how do you make a kitchen that looks like a piece of furniture?"

Jennifer is the architect whose Openstudios designed the fold-away kitchen that was one of the brilliant features of the London Urchin's Jewelry Box, the winner of the 2007 Smallest Coolest contest. Here, she made the kitchen island the centerpiece by making it look like a beautiful object, not a kitchen...

She designed the countertops to be extra-deep, a tip she recommends for aspiring kitchen renovators...

Don't let the contents of the fridge fool you -- these people like to cook when they spend a weekend in the city. Clutter is hidden away in drawers and cabinets on the wall behind the kitchen (that also has a ready-made spot and lighting to hang a piece of art). "Storage was a big issue in this flat, because there wasn't any," says Jennifer. The island has Miele appliances and a ledge so that friends can lean on it or put down their wine glass without taking up extra counter space. "And when they sit down to dinner," Jennifer says, "you can't see the dirty dishes!"

• See the whole house tour here: House Tour London: A North London Sanctuary at AT: New York

- Kristin Hohenadel blogging from rue Vieille du Temple, Paris, France. If you have an idea for a European kitchen tour, please write kristinh @ apartmenttherapy . com

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