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Room For Improvement: Colin and Justin banish this kitchen’s blues . . . with a liberal dose of blue |

Room For Improvement: Colin and Justin banish this kitchen’s blues . . . with a liberal dose of blue

What a difference a week makes, huh?  Aye, in just seven short days, this semi open concept space has come full circle.

Last week saw us waving our wands across the desperately tired living room and this week, as promised, we’re showcasing the connecting kitchen and transforming it with vigour. 

First up, consider the evidence. Can we say chaotic student squat, circa 1979?  Can we say ‘let’s leave it there’ for fear of upsetting anyone who finds honest critique a bitter pill to swallow?

But seriously, what was Elvis doing in this ‘Hound Dog’ of a room? Dated units, mountains of dishes and poor use of space made it a kitchen even the ‘King’, via association, couldn’t save!

Be inspired

Every scheme needs a starting point: perhaps a heartfelt memento or the recollection of a beautiful sunset enjoyed during a favourite holiday.

The inspiration for this scheme came from our client’s Fiestaware crockery, some of which you can see in our before shot, but the majority of which was gathering dust in his cellar.

All that beauty, but hidden away. Scandalous. Excitedly, we hauled it out, dusted it down and set it aside….

Blue for you

Although our client’s previous attempts at ‘bold’ (reference the lime green paint) had fallen flat, we knew we could master a workable (yet similarly strident) new look in the same space.

But beware: a kitchen like this isn’t for shrinking violets.  Only opt for a strong tone if utterly confident of the outcome.

If in any way unsure, add drama via accessories, blinds and artwork.  That way you’ll get all the colour you want… without the commitment. 

All things considered, a plan was set. Having worked with Altima ( across many projects, we know their ability to colour match any Pantone shade we specify is second to now.

Inspired by Fiestaware, we tailored our vision, settled on this wonderful tone and left production to the talented team.

Bettering layout

Our client grumbled he hadn’t enough space to prepare beans on toast, let alone the gastronomic compendium he so longed to conspire for family and friends.

Transpires he’s a proficient chef (whodathunkit looking at the kitchen as we found it?) but his messy habits had served only to wilt his epicurean ardor.

To us, the most sensible solution was a new elevation of cabinetry, albeit that meant shrinking the window towards which the proposed elevation would run.

Realised, the L-shaped configuration adds bags of extra storage and much needed counterspace. Furthermore, traditional triangle of sink, cooker and fridge addressed, the room’s functionality skyrockets. 

Mixing past with present

How sweet does the Fiestaware look in its new home? We always try marrying aspects our clients already have with new specifications — doing this breeds familiarity when they see their old rooms, rejigged, for the first time.

If your designer suggests banishing every bit of personality from your scheme, it’s time to find a new designer. Confident visionaries incorporate aspects you already have (where possible) thereby creating ‘personal’ results each time.      

Steel appeal

The oven, micro’, cooker hood and fridge/freezer are all brushed aluminum: to suffuse your project with professional appeal, isolate one finish, then repeat wherever there’s a metal element.

We’ll happily mix metals elsewhere (accessories, light fittings etc) but, where larger items are concerned, a little unification goes a long way.  For a great range of handles and kitchen appliances, check out Ikea (

‘Concrete’ counters

Good news. To achieve this look, you won’t need to pour wet concrete anywhere. Our specification Caesarstone embodies the contemporary lines our project so richly

deserves, but with far less upheaval than framing out counters and dosing up with cement.

Note that we employed the same product as backsplash — this simple step negates the need for tile (or indeed a tiler) therefore saving cash.

Your counter supplier/fabricator can template both flat and upright surfaces, so fret not, leave it to the experts.


What better way to finish than with smart, successful accessories to pull your project to the next level. We combined modern appliances — toaster, coffee maker etc — with colourful pots, canisters filled with cereal and cookies, colanders and a chunky knife block.

Find a stellar collection of counter top accessories in Chapters Indigo – visit

All things considered, it’s fair to suggest our formerly dowdy kitchen has come alive. With sufficient blue to satisfy Elvis’s famous suede shoes, maybe his picture will eventually be promoted to centre stage, rather than tossed to the floor, In The Ghetto stylee! More from us next week…

Watch for Colin and Justin on ‘Cabin Pressure’ (Cottage Life TV) and on ‘Cityline’ (Citytv). Find the ‘Colin and Justin Home Collection’ in stores

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