Pip’s project went much further than his kitchen renovation. Having bought the flat in 2005, he lived there throughout his twenties but later moved and chose to rent it out. Pip told us: “I moved in with my boyfriend of the time but wanted to keep the flat as an investment for the future. When we split up, I just didn’t want to move back there though. I suppose it became a place with negative connotations for me. I ended up renting elsewhere. Last year, I decided to renovate it entirely. To completely reconfigure it so that it became something new – almost a different flat – so that I could stop throwing rent money away and move back in to what was once a home for me.”
Enlisting the help of Jordon Cluroe and Russell Whitehead who run 2LG – a leading London interior design studio – walls came down, the bedroom was downsized and moved to a different part of the property, the bathroom shifted position, and the kitchen became the focal point of a much larger living space. The only aspect of the apartment that didn’t move was the front door.
“Ever since I discovered Neptune, I wanted a Neptune kitchen. They’re just perfectly my vibe – all four collections really – but the Suffolk’s simplicity was the one that got my pulse racing. Those cabinet fronts are just perfect,” said Pip. His brief was that he wanted “an Instagrammable kitchen”. Pip also put together a mood board that was a bit sixties (to suit the age and character of the building) and a bit rustic Victorian kitchen. Gold and brass were a big theme, as were mid-century shapes. “It was a bit of an unusual brief and I had no idea how it was going to be achievable, but it’s exactly what I wanted. Like, exactly,” Pip continued, grinning.
Using two complementary green tones – Sage and Moss – the Suffolk cabinetry is instantly calming. “I love green. I think it’s a really grown-up shade and a touch more interesting than grey. It’s a great backdrop for other colours too. The two colours mean that I can shoot it from both sides and show different angles – ideal for my Instagram goals!” The same greens continue into the open-plan living room so the whole space is connected.
Pip very much wanted a butler’s sink, an island and marble to be a part of his new kitchen. “I’m so happy I’ve got all of my wants and more. I knew if I wanted polished marble work surfaces I’d have to embrace its natural tendencies to stain easily, which I have, but I love it so much that the moment I see a mark I’m on it with a cloth. Marble does that to you. But was I expecting a larder as well? Absolutely not! I didn’t know it was coming. We went through the design and they go ‘and the larder will go here’ and I put my hand over my mouth and was like ‘oh my god, what?’
“My kitchen is amazing. I’m head over heels with it. The quality is to die for, the cabinets are so much more than cabinets, and the styling is dreamy (sometimes I just stare at my Lee Broom lights and candlesticks). It’s a proper place to cook. I have an island! It looks good. It feels good. I have a dining table too. A dining table AND an island, in my one-bed London flat. And I have all my cookbooks in one place. That’s no easy feat in a small space, and yet it doesn’t feel small somehow. It’s so light and spacious. My Neptune kitchen has done the unthinkable.”