The Clements Kitchen

When Poppie Clements and her husband bought their three bed Victorian terraced home in Clapton London, they decided to live with the kitchen as it was for a while, always intending to add a side return extension at some point in the future.

Then, the pandemic started and they found out Poppie was pregnant with twins. The couple quickly figured they might need a little more space,  so the side return extension began September 2022, a year after their twin girls were born. “We figured a renovation with two newborn babies wouldn’t be ideal. It turns out renovation and two one-year-olds wasn’t ideal either really,” says Poppie. 

With their family doubling the new parents were desperate for more space and a proper family kitchen. "We really wanted to host the family at Christmas, and hold birthday parties for the kids and all those things are now happening and we wouldn't be doing them without having this extra space. We also discovered that when you have kids you can't go out as much, so you have to have dinner parties in order to actually see anyone,” Poppie adds.

Because Poppie didn’t have a complete picture in her mind of how she wanted the kitchen to look at first, the initial design evolved a lot along the way.

“I'm fairly indecisive as a person so my mind changed often."

"I was after something fairly traditional in terms of the kitchen design itself but with mulchy colours and some beautiful natural stone surfaces. The marble shelf was on my list of non-negotiables. It's our first project so you learn as you go, don't you?”

The run of cabinets along the wall is painted in a custom ‘truffle’ colour by Paint & Paper Library. To complement this, the island was hand painted in another custom shade, ‘Grooms Mustard’ by Fenwick & Tilbrook. The cabinetry was then embellished beautifully with deVOL hardware. Aged brass finishes can also be found on the hand crafted brassware from Perrin & Rowe in the form of an Ionian bridge mixer tap with crosstop handles and matching instant hot water tap.

Social media platforms provided an abundance of inspiration.

Taking inspiration from the various kitchens Poppie was drawn to whilst browsing social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest, she tried to combine her favourite design elements and translate them into the new space they were creating. 

“It's important to choose brands you trust for certain things I think and combine them with pieces you love from independent designers and second-hand things that will make a house your home. For example, with deVOL, you trust that their quality will be impeccable and that they will make your design process as smooth as possible. They also pointed us in the direction of the best quality brands for the other key pieces like Shaws  and Perrin & Rowe.”

“We love the classic look of a traditional Shaker sink and it works perfectly with our Shaker style kitchen.”

Having chosen to install handcrafted deVOL kitchen units and island, they followed deVOL’s recommendation and selected a Shaws traditional fireclay sink. They settled on the Shaker Single 800 because they wanted something wide, but didn't want a double bowl sink.

“The sink is slap bang in the middle of our kitchen run. We didn't fancy putting it on the island as we know with small children we’d end up with a dish rack and a pile of dishes next to it. And honestly I love the sink/tap combo so much I think it just deserved to be right in the middle there.”

The new handmade cabinets were paired wonderfully with the family’s existing antique larder cupboard which Poppie stripped back and repainted herself using Abigail Aherns ‘Outback’ paint. The larder’s warm red tone stands proud in contrast to the more naturally acidic green tones of the Shaker units. Warm red is also echoed in the Terracotta pendant lights by Straw London that hang elegantly from the ceiling above the kitchen island. The colour scheme – even when tempered by the Wimborne White walls – is still bold and eclectic, however it isn’t the design detail that draws your eye the most. The dominant feature in this kitchen has to be the distinctive Calacatta Viola Marble which is sourced from Develli. Its swirling grey and coral tones adorn the worktops, splashbacks and open shelves adding a warmth and softness to the space in a way you wouldn’t normally associate with the use of stone.

The building work involved dropping the level of the kitchen and garden floors to increase the ceiling height.

They also added underfloor heating, and removed the middle wall to open up the space. A pitched roof was added to the extended side of the property which features several large skylights to allow an abundance of natural light to flood in. Large custom Crittal-style steel doors and several traditional sash windows were installed to improve both access to, and the view of, the redesigned garden area.

The process, which involved the family moving out for six months, wasn't always a smooth one, but the end result is a very impressive transformation into a stunning family kitchen.

Poppie reflecting on the project says, “I enjoyed the design process, our kitchen company was wonderful and it's something I enjoy anyway so that part was great. The build process I also enjoyed funnily enough up until things started going wrong. But I think you just have to trust your instincts don't you? There were lots of things that I umm-ed and aah-ed about for days on end when I knew what the answer was. There were also things I became too concerned about in terms of if/when we ever come to sell the house. There's also things I'd definitely do differently for sure, but you live and you learn.”