I recently transformed my kitchen into a walk-in wardrobe and my living room into my kitchen, so I thought this was a recipe worth sharing.
My kitchen before
Tiny kitchens are the norm in flats in London and although at one stage I merely used mine to reheat or “cook” salad, this was my chance to make a space I wanted to spend time in. The original kitchen was a cavelike windowless room, far more suited to clothing than cooking.
wall cabinet – 1940s staff noticeboard salvaged from Kings Cross station on SalvoWEB with gold knobs saved from a built-in wardrobe that was in my bedroom. The back of the noticeboard was removed so the glass doors could be mounted in front of shelves made of reclaimed wood from Pine Supplies
lights – Deco lampshades from The Architectural Forum
radiator – old panel radiator, reclaimed, restored and painted black by The Architectural Forum
cooker and dishwasher – reused from the old kitchen with a new gas hob to replace the old electric hot plates
splashback – reclaimed marble scraps from sculptor John Joekes
cabinets – reused carcasses from the old kitchen with doors made of gymnasium floorboards salvaged from a school near Berlin by Historische Bauelemente
worktop – reclaimed wood lab top salvaged from a school by Source Antiques
sink – Armitage Shanks butler sink salvaged from a local yard with brass bib taps from Catchpole & Rye
vintage glass – Libbey Glass tumblers from Olde Good Things
vintage crockery – including green Beryl Ware plates and bowls from Insitu
original oak floor
I spent over seven months sourcing salvage. Designing a kitchen with reused and reclaimed materials doesn’t require such a long cooking time, but I wanted the chance to get to know the space. Although the old kitchen was dingy and dated, it was fine for my first months in the flat.
Consulting SalvoWEB throughout the journey, I set about realising the reclaimed dream I sketched on a napkin in New York. I rarely found what I imagined, but one ingredient led to the next and my taste matured. I originally envisaged a glamorous kitchen to prove that salvage could look polished, but I fell for honest materials and I wanted to feel their provenance. I love the fact that girls were playing games back in 1910 on floorboards that now front my kitchen doors. What could be more glamorous than that?
©Photographs Reclaimed Woman
Lulled into a false sense of ceramic security by the fact my mum had a Belfast sink in her back garden (don’t most mums?!), I was expecting a kitchen sink to be one of the easiest things to source. I would have taken my mum’s, but she is saving it for her own renovation and I decided to go for something much smaller. Sure, I could have bought new, but having come this far, I was adamant it had to be old and kept searching. I finally found a bargain Armitage Shanks (Butler) sink by calling local salvage yards on the SalvoWEB Directory. If like me, you are interested in a reclaimed sink and don’t know your Belfast from your Butler, here is a quick lesson I could have done with earlier…
Traditionally used by butlers, the name ‘Belfast’ distinguishes Butler sinks originally made and used in Belfast as they have a built-in overflow due to the fact that fresh water was readily available in Belfast in the late 18th Century. Whereas in London, ‘Butler’ sinks were designed without an overflow so as not to waste any of the fresh water, which had to be gathered from deep wells. So now you know.
Check out these links for salvaged sinks
©Photographs Reclaimed Woman