The problem with modern kitchens

Kitchens are the hardest room to change.  I hate what modern kitchens have become. Sleek lunar landscapes devoid of kitchen paraphernalia or quaint parodies of themselves with painted doors and gimmicky handles.  Hands down my favourite kitchen is Mary Margaret’s/Snow White’s in Once Upon a Time.  There is a way of doing shabby chic that bears no resemblance to its founder Rachel Ashwell.  More industrial and stripped bare than her trademark pretty, faux vintage style. It also proves my theory that the best interior designers are set designers. They rarely have to compromise because if they don’t like what’s available they just make their own stuff.

I’ve been privileged to see Woodlands transformed for several film, TV and advertising shoots.  Most recently Stephen Fry’s production Doors Open an art heist film based on Ian Rankin’s book.  The Art Director was a veteran of several George Lucas movies so I was a little worried what he might do to my humble abode.  In the end he blocked a window and covered every inch of wall with fake masterpieces.  I was tempted to repaint the room a dark colour after this (and keep the odd Kandinsky) but the set director persuaded me to go for Cornforth white by Farrow & Ball.

Doors Open set
Doors Open set
Woodlands living room in Farrow & Ball Cornforth White
Woodland’s living room in Farrow & Ball Cornforth White

Abigail Ahern’s industrial kitchen is also beautifully masculine but the tiny beaded chandelier and oversized vases teeming with voluptuous blooms make for an eclectic childlike feel.  Think Alice in Wonderland down the rabbit hole.

My own kitchen (and my inability to pay for it to be replaced) is the main reason I’m so delighted to be moving.  I want a long reclaimed kitchen island with chandeliers and a fireplace and large comfy sofas where I can watch my children play, or do their homework, dance to music and fall gently to sleep after creating our very own children’s tales.

Downpipe kitchen photography Jane Barlow