Make the most of a galley kitchen. “There isn’t a lot of space here,” says Julia, “so we thought carefully about how we’d manoeuvre in it. I advise actually practising a walk-through of cooking, eating a meal and cleaning up. You want everything within easy reach, and there’s no such thing as over-planning.”
Couples with young children usually like practical rooms with light, easy-to-clean neutral colours.
“I gravitate toward black and white,” says homeowner, decorator and stylist Julia Black. She and her husband, Andrew — who have a two-year-old daughter, Quinn, a boxer named Parker and a baby on the way — are clearly an exception. “Dark floors and cabinets can show more dust and dirt,” admits Julia, “so if you are the type of person who gets stressed out by this, avoid black as best you can.” Inclined more to positivity than to stressing, Julia sees black as a great motivator. “We wanted to be aware of dog hair and dust, so we could stay on top of cleaning and keep the place spic and span.”
Their new 150-square-foot kitchen certainly is that, and a far cry from its previous state: a space with no dishwasher, no storage and 1920s-era cabinetry. It demanded a complete demo and rebuild, a big project for any family. “It is always a challenge,” says Julia, “but one I quite love. You have to dance around with different millwork, furniture, finishes and accessories to get the best balanced result. And with another kid on the way, I’d say the dance continues, just to a different tune.”
Photography, Sian Richards