When Maxine Brady, a professional stylist and interiors blogger at We Love Home, decided to create her dream kitchen, she knew there’d be a few challenges. The existing kitchen had damp problems and mould, a non-working cooker, broken cupboard doors, loose tiles, dodgy electrics and a floor that always looked dirty no matter how much it was cleaned.
The layout was also a problem. With her refrigerator tucked into one corner, it’s location meant she couldn’t even open the doors fully. As a self-proclaimed “party girl” who loved to have friends around, she wanted a space guests could congregate and enjoy. With a keen design eye, she wasn’t willing to compromise on style despite working with a small space and a limited budget.
“My biggest obstacle was the layout,” Maxine says. “I was really torn between having a galley kitchen or sticking with the same layout but make it work much harder. In the end, I went for the same layout as it gave me more space in the room – you can fit more than one person in there which wouldn’t have been possible with a galley! I just moved all the appliances around so it functioned much better.”
Her kitchen designer recommending blocking off the odd alcove where her fridge was located and continuing the bank of cupboard doors into the corner, allowing Maxine to create a much better functioning layout which included a pull out larder and plenty of storage.
Maxine chose a Hotpoint combination washer dryer which means everything can be done with one machine rather than two and it’s completely hidden behind those beautiful sage green doors – perfect when you want to maximise every square inch of space.
Her fridge is a Whirlpool 50/50 split fridge freezer allowing her plenty of space to freeze food when she’s away on styling jobs or travelling. “In a kitchen as small as mine, built in just looked neater and saved valuable space. I have additional storage above my fridge that I wouldn’t have had if I’d gone freestanding.”
She even managed to squeeze in a Stoves range cooker. “My builders joked that it was too fancy for me considering I very rarely cook more than a pizza!” Maxine had the last laugh however, “I’m now queen of the dinner party these days!”
For the design, Maxine took inspiration from a recent trip to New York City, falling in love with the industrial style coffee shops common in the area. “All American diners have these mad tiled floors which I lusted after for my home. I wanted to bring a bit of NY home with me,” she says. Installing underfloor heating freed up floor space and transformed the space from a damp nightmare to a warm inviting kitchen perfect for entertaining.
The copper handles and shelving brackets, sink and tap all lend a unique finishing touch and add a touch of sparkle to the space. Soft sage units and the bold geometric flooring contrast to create a uniquely inspiring space.
When asked what she loved most about her new kitchen, Maxine replied, “I love the tap and the flooring. I also love the underfloor heating and my range cooker. It’s so lovely!”
Maxine’s kitchen is a fantastic lesson in small space kitchen design. By utilising built in appliances and arranging her units in an L-shape, she’s been able to fit everything she needs for a fully functioning kitchen. Open shelving and stylish finishes create a bright and open space, perfect for entertaining.
All images copyright Lucy Axford and used with kind permission.