For six months I was looking for the perfect stainless steel kitchen island. Believe me when I say I looked everywhere: Facebook Marketplace, eBay, Vinterior, Etsy and a hundred other independent antique dealers. I wanted something that was freestanding and visually lightweight, to contrast and complement the beautiful wooden fronts of our kitchen. As we have a lot of closed cabinets in the space, I felt like the space needed something that was open, so that I could add a little bit of detail with cookbooks, kilner jars and favourite bowls, etc.
After what seemed like hours, maybe even days, scrolling through sites, I came across this secondhand stainless steel kitchen island on eBay. It’s originally from IKEA, maybe from the 1990s or 2000s? Budget was also an issue – a lot of the kitchen islands I had seen were near £2,000 or so. This was a bargain at just £120. I snapped it up.
It’s maybe not my perfect kitchen island, but I think I got to the point where I just needed something in the empty space! Before we did the extension, this was where our dining table was. In time, I might replace the top of the island with something a little fancier, like marble. And I definitely need to add some wheels to it because it’s not quite the right worktop height for preparing food.
But I’m enjoying slowly making this minimalist kitchen more homely and inviting. I really love cooking and I want that to be expressed in this space. I want it to be filled with favourite cookbooks, delicious ingredients, warmth and character. It’s getting there!
[All images Cate St Hill. AD – the kitchen fronts were a previous press product from Superfront]
I love mixing old and new in my home, whether it’s with treasured, found objects on display that I’ve picked up from flea markets, or with vintage furniture I can get at a fraction of the price of new. You might spy a little marbled jug that is my latest find, from Walthamstow Flea Market. I adore my old French jars and the tactility of the wooden Skagerak (now bought out by Fritz Hansen) pepper grinder.
I also have a thing for ceramics, so you’ll find a lot of speckle ware and handmade bowls. I’ve been enjoying doing some pottery myself at The Kiln Rooms in Peckham, London, so I’m hoping to add a few of my own to my collection.
My style has certainly evolved over the years and I think that’s very natural for that to happen. This kitchen used to be pale grey and more what you might imagine classic Scandinavian style to look like. But as I’ve become more influenced by Japanese design and British designers closer to home, my style has become warmer and more relaxed. I think that’s probably representative of a general shift in interiors – we seem to be more drawn to warmer, earthier tones, darker woods, browns and natural textures. That seems to be a symbol of a desire to reconnect with nature and retreat into a soothing sanctuary. This certainly has become my sanctuary, and I’m trying to be less of a perfectionist about it!