How to create a pared-back kitchen that still packs plenty of character

Minnie Peters combined natural materials and antique pieces to create a pared-back kitchen with plenty of character. She spoke to Arabella Youens.

Employing what she calls the ‘concierge-style’ approach from concept to completion of a project, Minnie Peters often starts working with clients when they are searching for a house, sharing her knowledge and experience to ensure they make the right decision. ‘We like to get involved early; I can’t bear people making mistakes,’ she explains.

This is the kitchen of a new house set in mature gardens on the south side of Dublin. The owners requested a relaxed scheme that would evolve with the changing demands of their young family. ‘I always start by understanding how the room is going to be used by day and in the evening. Having the appropriate balance of task and mood light-ing is vital to ensuring the right atmosphere.’

“I’ve tried to create somewhere that is easy to keep calm and tidy”

To accommodate a large amount of storage, Minnie designed full-height cabinetry, which was made by Andrew Ryan, and added a wrought-iron library ladder to access the top cupboards. Running the cupboards to the ceiling helps the joinery to dissolve into the walls.

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A narrow skylight was cut out above the cooker, throwing natural light into the room. To introduce texture, she installed a reclaimed beam as a lintel above the Aga. The work surface is an earthy lava stone called Basaltina, which contrasts with the fresh Calacatta marble island. Both were sourced through Miller Brothers.

Added layers of interest include the use of Belgian tiles in a mix of putty and soft grey to create the splashback, French copper wall sconces and an over-sized antique planter from Holland that offers a useful place for children’s toys.

‘Kitchens can be so messy,’ adds Minnie. ‘Here, I’ve tried to create somewhere that is easy to keep calm and tidy and a space to relax at the end of the day.’