Katie Dawson’s Kitchen Renovation
Kitchenware designer, Katie Dawson, founder of the Katie Alice brand of decorative homeware, recently had her dream kitchen made a reality – a bijoux French-inspired design featuring Caesarstone’s 5143 White Attica worktops to complete the design.
Photography: David Giles
Self-taught designer Katie, whose brand is sold through the likes of Fenwick’s, Debenhams and John Lewis, lives with her partner Matt and their new-born baby, and wanted to create a kitchen space with an eclectic look that carried the family’s personal design stamp; an aesthetic with a charmingly whimsical appeal.
Katie knew that a key component of her new kitchen would be the worktop surfaces. As an independent designer with a strong online profile, she wanted the perfect setting for photographing her vintage-inspired creations for featuring on both her Instagram profile and her e-commerce site.
When Katie and Matt bought their home, their original kitchen was far too dark a setting for her photographic needs, and the units were in a state of disrepair. A more fundamental issue was the poor layout of the kitchen, with an additional wall partitioning the room and reducing the usable space.
Both Katie and Matt adore French-inspired and industrial design and love the fusion of old and new in interior stylings; this combination was a clear design steer throughout the project. In addition, neither was overtly enthused by more contemporary offerings in the market, and so decided against working with a designer, instead taking on the challenge themselves.
To address the layout issues, the couple extended the kitchen into the garden to give a more regular rectangular space, and a new sky-lantern was installed for more natural daylight.
The couple opted for a combination of new Shaker-style kitchen units from deVOL, complimented by upcycled shelving that communicates Katie’s love of vintage design. The choice of open shelving allowed more space for the creative use of industrial-themed pendent lighting, whilst giving a visible display area for Katie’s branded crockery and other accessories.
New appliances from Smeg, including a toaster, kettle and an oversized fridge freezer, were all finished in mint-green giving a design consistency, and plays on Katie’s love of the vintage aesthetic.
Photography: David Giles
To overcome the challenge of darkness in the space, Kate knew she wanted a very bright kitchen worktop surface. The couple looked at quartz samples from Caesarstone, and quickly made the decision that they wanted a marble look for their worktops.
5143 White Attica was chosen, with the dramatic blue-grey veins providing the contrast to the clean white base; a perfect surface for her photographic needs, as well as being extremely easy to maintain, compared to a natural marble worktop.
“I absolutely love the quartz worktop by Caesarstone on the island. It looks like marble, but it’s so easy to clean and look after,” explained Katie. Caesarstone quartz is also heat-resistant, which was a big benefit for the couple.
“It’s totally heat resistant and it’s also a fantastic ‘flat lay’ background for taking shots of my products for my Instagram account”.
Photography: Katie Dawson
Alongside the Caesarstone White Attica quartz worktops, and the new cabinetry and appliances, colour was also extremely important to the look of the space, with the couple opting for Farrow & Ball’s No.60 ‘Smoked Trout’ colour-way, a delicate brown that adds a touch of warmth to the kitchen.
For the more industrial stylings, Katie decided upon a quirky tile feature wall that carries the look of tin. Further details included a hanging rail for pans and larger utensils to hang from, inspired by French artisan kitchens.
The combination of the old and new, including merged with Katie and Matt’s distinct stylistic preferences, has allowed the couple to develop the kitchen of their dreams.