Arne’s House Kitchen 

Today I would like to share our kitchen renovation, especially as we know we’ll be moving soon. We moved into this 1960’s townhouse in South East London on September 5, 2014. Here it is, August 30, 2016, and we’re about one month from moving again. It may seem like we moved in just to flip this old fixer, but that wasn’t the plan. We decided about 2 months ago that we would like to up sticks and move to LA. Since then we’ve started the green card process for my English husband and put the house on the market. Lucky for us, the house was only on the market for one week, and we’ve already signed contracts just three short weeks from accepting the offer. Much faster than we anticipated! So now we’ll be moving in with my husband’s parents out in the Kentish countryside until he gets his green card, and then we’re off on our own American adventure. I’ve detailed the project below, just as I would for any other paying interior design project.

I am an interior designer, so it’s only right that I have a client brief:

The Client Brief:

Kitchen/dining space to be renovated and replaced with a contemporary, bright design that would make reference to the home’s mid-century modern design. The clients are big fans of Scandinavian Mid-Century Modern design in particular. The clients need to renovate the entire home, so the kitchen budget is modest to allow for the installation of new windows, flooring, and decorating throughout the home.

The Scope:

  • Remove: wallpaper, ceiling tiles, flooring, cupboards, worktops, and appliances. Make good the walls and ceiling. Install new cupboards, worktops, appliances
  • Develop a lighting scheme as the kitchen only has two pendant lamps for all lighting needs
  • Create a colour scheme that was bold and colourful, but limit the colour palette to keep it from feeling too busy
  • Add shelving in an awkward corner to provide storage for cookery books
  • Incorporate a Mid-Century Modern Scandinavian aesthetic to the contemporary design

The Design:

The dark carpet was neither appealing or functional for a kitchen. We replaced the carpet with a light, white washed wood laminate floor by Quick Step, which was both affordable and hard-wearing. Layers of wallpaper and outdated ceiling tiles were removed and walls and ceiling were then repaired and painted. Bright and contemporary cupboards were installed along with full stave American walnut worktops. To bring in pattern and also incorporate Scandinavian design, we installed a Josef Frank wallpaper on the back wall as a backsplash. As the wallpaper is behind the hob and in an area used for cooking preparation, we protected the wallpaper with a clear acrylic panel. The colour scheme was informed by the brilliant colours found in the wallpaper. Apart from the wallpaper, the design was limited to the lovely blue painted throughout and orange accessories. The blue never feels too dark or cold due to the natural light from the large windows that span the width of the kitchen. A Danish-inspired walnut dining table was chosen for the dining area and a Gubi Semi pendant lamp was installed above the table to not only provide decorative and task lighting, but to achieve the desired mid-century Scandinavian look. Recessed ceiling lighting was installed in addition to the series of pendants installed above the kitchen sink area and the Gubi pendant above the dining table. All lighting was installed with a dimmer for added ambience and function. The completed kitchen feels fresh and contemporary while still referencing the Mid-Century Scandinavian look that the client loves.

The Result:

We are so pleased with our kitchen and dining space! Our former kitchen was small and outdated, but we created a kitchen and dining space that we love, and in spite of our budget! Our friends and family love it too! Its such a calm, relaxing room and it has that mid-century aesthetic that we were going for.


Kitchen Before- Photo from Estate Agent
Kitchen Dining Area Before -Photo from Estate Agent


Annotated plan of kitchen before


Annotated Plan of Kitchen Lighting/Appliance Design


Sample E-Collage


The Messy Stage


Getting Closer


Nearly There


Up close of Josef Frank wallpaper



Our Estate Agent’s photo of our kitchen- our splashback is not THAT shiny though


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