For a decade, Zed Gant postponed a much-needed renovation of her London kitchen because, technically, it’s not hers. The art therapist, along with her husband and two sons, live in the first-floor flat of a 1930s house owned by a family member. Though they expect to inhabit the Wandsworth apartment for the foreseeable future, it’s not their forever home. Zed simply couldn’t justify investing in an impermanent residence—but then lockdown happened.
When the foursome were forced to spend extra time in their cluttered cook space, they knew they needed to make a change. And with a bit of research, they discovered a solution to their conundrum that had been available all along: a modular cabinetry system that could be transferred to and reconfigured in their next place. “Now that I realize it’s possible, we should have done this years ago,” Zed reflects.
A collection of coral and golden yellow cupboards now provide both generous storage and Zed’s desired vibrant aesthetic, while a lavender and birch open-shelving unit allows her to display beloved items such as her father’s pottery. This contemporary color blocking is juxtaposed with antique treasures and quirky, gallery-like hanging art. With a vivid green backdrop and sunlight flowing through the ornate original glass, it’s the ideal union of old and new.
Kitchen location: “It’s not the suburbs, but this particular street is really quiet, with loads of trees,” Zed describes. “My view outside the window is leaves. We’re really lucky to be here. It’s gorgeous. Lots of birdsong.”
The before: “It was really shamefully awful,” admits Zed. “I think because we didn’t love it, we stopped bothering to clean the front of the cupboards. It was horrid and very cramped.”
The inspiration: “I love color,” Zed shares. “We wanted a kitchen that was beautifully bright with a lot of space to put our junk and that would go with the old furniture that we didn’t want to get rid of. We’re the opposite of minimalist, really.”
Square footage: 150 square feet
Budget: £25,000 (approximately $34,700)
Cabinets: Pluck Custom Birch Plywood System with Ritzy, Market Mustard, and Lynette Laminate Fronts and Square Recessed Handles. “I’d never seen so much color offered anywhere else,” raves Zed.
Paint: Graham & Brown Eva. “It’s got a lovely depth,” Zed muses.
Backsplash: Topps Tiles Zellica Forrest Green in a herringbone pattern. “I knew I wanted dark because I quite like the reflection you get in them,” Zed says.
Floors: Original pine
Counters: Tristone Natural Pearl. “It’s got faint flecks in it, which are—by chance—green, pink, and yellow,” details Zed.
Sink: Original Belfast sink. “I think the previous occupant took it out and it just sat in the garden with plant pots in it, so we brought it back indoors,” Zed explains. “I like a slightly lived-in look.”
Faucet: B&Q tap
Furniture: Victorian church pew from eBay, Windsor chairs saved from the trash, and a 1940s table that’s been passed down. “I really, really, really love mid-toned wood,” says Zed.
Lighting: Pineapple chandelier from a charity shop. “It’s my favorite thing in the world,” Zed gushes. “I have never seen anything like it before or after. I don’t know if it was a theatrical prop. It’s crazy.”
Most insane splurge: The cabinetry was the most expensive purchase, but Zed thinks it was worth it.
Sneakiest save: “With the oven, we got really lucky. It belonged to our friends and they got rid of it. It’s huge, but my husband likes to cook, so all good,” Zed notes.
The best part: Zed is especially taken by the way the rainbow hues change throughout the day. On a practical level, the organized storage solutions make everything much easier.
What I’d never do again: “We just wouldn’t wait so long,” says Zed.
Final bill: “It was only a bit over,” Zed reveals.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest