Inspiring Interiors

British Standard.

I’ve had these photos from British Standard saved in my kitchen inspiration folder for almost a year after spotting them on Remodelista, but I forgot about them until I started thinking about painting the cabinets in the kitchen of our new apartment. That’s probably not going to happen anytime soon (for starters, I’d definitely have to ask the landlord first, and I’m waiting for him to fall in love with us as tenants before I start bringing up that kind of stuff), but now I can’t get this kitchen out of my head!

British Standard cabinets from Plain English

British Standard cabinets from Plain English

LOOOOOOOOOOVE. I mean beyond the inset, flush-mount doors (you don’t see those much in contemporary kitchens!), the exposed copper piping, the door latches and the wooden countertops, how amazing is that paint job?! It’s like the entire bottom third of the room was dipped in black paint. I love that it even goes right across the upper cabinets! So, so good.

Plain English (who make incredible kitchen cabinets that I’ve coveted for ages) created their lower-priced British Standard sister line as part of an apprenticeship in building skills program for the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community. A custom-fitted Plain English line will run you at least £50,000 (gulp), but the no-frills, off-the-shelf British Standard cabinets cost about a tenth of that. They’re intended to be painted by the owner, which is good if the black-dipped thing isn’t for you for some crazy reason.

British Standard cabinets from Plain English

British Standard cabinets from Plain English

One more thing: You know I can’t resist doing a recreation of this kitchen using stuff that’s readily available in the US, right? Yeah. I’m going to leave out the sausage links, though.


WHAT HAVE I DONE? Haha, this took forever. Geez, now I really want to do something like this in the apartment kitchen! That’s what happens when it’s 1AM and you can’t sleep…you wind up badly Photoshopping paint onto IKEA cabinets. Seriously, though, this would look pretty great. You could easily do something like this with existing cabinets, too—take down a few uppers, paint the cabinets, add new hardware. Wood paneling is really cheap and easy to work with, and it’s a nice alternative to tile in kitchens and bathrooms—just make sure to prime both sides before installing it. We used it in our downstairs bathroom (though not in the shower area, obviously), going a full 8′ up the wall instead of stopping at the usual wainscot/chair rail height.

1. EverTrue unfinished pine wall paneling
2. AKURUM/Ädel wall cabinet with glass doors, IKEA
3. AKURUM/Ädel base cabinet with drawers, IKEA
4. Rohl apron front sink
5. Rohl brass wall-mounted faucet
6. NUMERÄR birch countertop, IKEA
7. Esse Ironheart cook stove (I’ll bet this stove is a nightmare, but gosh…so pretty)
8. Factory Light No. 7 cable pendant, Schoolhouse Electric
9. Steel cabinet latch, House of Antique Hardware
10. Half moon cup pull, House of Antique Hardware
11. Coconut bristle and dust pan, West Elm
12. Fleet hot orange chair, CB2

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  • Reply Jade Sheldon March 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Oh my… I just adore everything about this space. Such a dream…

  • Reply Ilenia March 21, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    omg it’s so beautiful – except for the sausages hanging.

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2013 at 6:16 pm

      I think all of the “meat” is plastic! I’ve seen it is different positions in promo shots of this kitchen taken at various times.

  • Reply MFree March 21, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Really loving this look. There was a very similar idea on Design Sponge a few weeks ago. The color palate was almost identical and struck a line mid way up and painted over all the cabinets. If you missed it, the link is below.

    • Anna @ D16 March 22, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      Oh wow! Something tells me they were inspired by this British Standard kitchen. 🙂

  • Reply LIZ March 21, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    I hadn’t heard of this and I think you might have found my kitchen for me. Thank you so much!

  • Reply Jensen March 21, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    My grandma once painted her entire kitchen black, this is such a refreshing take on it. Definitely bookmarking.

  • Reply Lena March 21, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I was just googling them one or two days ago! I wanted to see if they had any different pictures of their kitchen (the cabinets painted in another colour ect.) I really like it, though I have to say while I liked the colour dipped look at first, I know think I would get tired of it soon.

    • Anna @ D16 March 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm

      If you got tired of it, you could just paint over it. 🙂

    • Lena March 22, 2013 at 8:54 am

      of course, but would kind of suck to repaint after a few months especially if you already knew you would get tired of it soon, right? But I don’t have a kitchen to paint anyway, my flatshare kitchen is some ugly faux-wood thing that would a: be pretty impossible to paint, b: we would never be allowed to do that c: way too much work for something I don’t want to stay any longer than necessary, d: my flatmates would declare me insane. But I still would like to see your reinterpretation of this kitchen!

    • Anna @ D16 March 22, 2013 at 9:44 am

      Haha, I would never do something (other than, say, a manicure!) I think I’d get sick of in a few months! I meant more like a few years or a decade. 🙂 My taste doesn’t really change much, so I don’t worry that I’ll get tired of things I like over time.

    • Lena March 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      For me there are some things which I know I will like for a long time or maybe forever and other things I like but I know I will get tired of them. I call those things things that I want my friends to have (so I can enjoy them but not be constantly around them, so I won’t get tired of them.)

  • Reply kristen March 21, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    OMG I am totally LOVING the way these cabinets look! Work on your Landlord because I want to see these in your life.

  • Reply Cristina March 21, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    This is such a great look to be inspired by! I love the faucet! I’m slowly becoming obsessed by fixtures. So strange.

  • Reply isabelle- laminutedeco March 22, 2013 at 3:22 am

    With this article, you proove a kitchen can be black. I alwayshad doubt, I don’t anymore.

  • Reply Kate March 22, 2013 at 4:04 am

    Wow…that’s amazing! I’ve been coveting a Plain English kitchen for years but given their starting prices it just wasn’t going to happen. I’d never heard of their British Standard range so thank you – I’m off to ogle their website.

  • Reply Kylie @ All Things Lovely March 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Uh oh. Those black cupboards have just taken my heart & I want to paint my own now! Beautiful kitchen! Fingers crossed your landlord comes around 🙂

  • Reply Martha March 22, 2013 at 10:12 am

    Thanks for sharing the House of Antique Hardware. The cheapest I’ve found stamped latches previously was $12 as Restoration Hardware. For $3 a piece replacing the ones in my apartment seems quite a bit more doable.

    • Anna @ D16 March 22, 2013 at 10:15 am

      We’ve bought a lot of stuff from HoAH, and we’ve always been impressed with the quality!

  • Reply Fritz March 22, 2013 at 11:28 am

    I bet that oven makes great pizza

  • Reply SFDC March 22, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    Those cabinets are terrific and I adore the paint job, too. The styling leaves something to be desired, and I’m not just talking about the weird meat. Hanging a dustpan and broom above your workspace, next to the stove? Ick.

    • Anna @ D16 March 22, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Yeah, I thought the same thing!

  • Reply Tara March 22, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Love it. The stove is actually not a nightmare at all. It works beautifully and is gorgeous to boot. Of course, the set up they have it in for this picture is not realistic. It needs clearance. It’s a heat emitting stove as well as a functional oven and cook top. This stove is one of my greatest treasures.

    • Anna @ D16 March 22, 2013 at 4:35 pm

      Oooh, so you have one?! How cool!! Do you actually have to put wood in it and start up a fire before cooking?

    • tara March 23, 2013 at 7:54 pm

      Yup, it’s a wood stove and only runs on wood. It’s actually the only heat source for our upstairs. We have another, much bigger, wood stove in our basement. The one in the basement is just for heat, but we keep a cast iron kettle on it for emergency tea sessions.

      In the winter, we keep both chugging along 24 hours a day.

      The way the picture shows the stove is pretty unrealistic. They throw off a lot of heat and there’s a bunch of clearances that must be met, by law, to have one. The one in our kitchen is alone on a wall, but I would love to have it surrounded like these pictures.

  • Reply misa March 22, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    anna! this is amazing! i’m having heart palpitations! this reminds me of a project i saw on design sponge ages ago, where someone had painted the frame of that gilbert stuart unfinished painting of george washington to extend that cloudy, unfinished part on the bottom (just found it:

    • Anna @ D16 March 22, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      Yes!! I remember Tyler’s frame, such a great project.

  • Reply Robin March 23, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Did you see the kitchen in this home tour? quite similar!

    • Anna @ D16 March 23, 2013 at 12:26 pm

      Yes, someone else linked to it above! 🙂 I’m sure they were inspired by this kitchen. So nice…

  • Reply Annie K March 23, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    OMG… beautiful job! Clever how the paint continues half way up the walls. Very well done.

  • Reply Sylvia March 24, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Loooooove this kitchen. I would put acid green with it, not red.

  • Reply Meredith March 26, 2013 at 11:50 am

    Beautiful. Couple questions:

    Have you ever installed an IKEA kitchen, is it easy?
    Can you easily paint IKEA cabinets and if you were going to use these cabinets and paint what color would you get the cabinets in? I wish they came just raw.


    • Anna @ D16 March 26, 2013 at 12:04 pm

      Meredith, I have IKEA cabinets in my kitchen, and I’ve also installed their kitchen cabinets in other places (living room, closet, etc.). If you’re handy with tools and have basic knowledge of home repair and construction (e.g. what type of anchors to use, how to find studs and use shims and so forth), it’s really not difficult at all…but I don’t know where you’re coming from in that area! My husband and I have done nearly all of the work in our house ourselves, so there’s not much we find intimidating at this point.

      My mother and stepfather installed an IKEA kitchen at their house last year, and they chose their door fronts with the intent to paint them. They used the wood ÄDEL doors (the type I used in my recreation above) and painted them white, which looks much nicer than the factory-finished white ÄDEL doors that IKEA sells. They carry a few other wood doors, too, all of which would take paint well.

      Another option is to get the DIY doors from Semihandmade. They’re made of MDF with a banded edge, and are meant to be painted.

  • Reply youmeill April 15, 2013 at 11:11 pm

    OMG… beautiful job!

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