In the kitchen with architect Mel Bax
When Mel Bax, of architectural practice Mel. Architect, set about extending the dark, narrow kitchen in her Victorian terrace, she was keen to create a family friendly space that was cosy, colourful and inviting – anything but a bare box on the back of her house.

With the project completed and our Antique Brass switches, hardware and lighting in situ, we stopped by to see and hear more.

Watch our interview with Mel above or keep scrolling for the highlights. 
‘Architecturally, we wanted to be sensitive to the Victorian terraced house itself but include some modern traits as well.’

‘Externally, we took inspiration from over the road: they have these beautiful arched windows on the first floor. So, I incorporated them into our extension.

‘Internally, I was so scared of it being a big bare box at the back of the house. So, we were looking at a traditional checkerboard floor, but being north facing, I thought black was too stark. We used green and white terrazzo instead (a bit more contemporary, with a bit more warmth).

‘I also knew I wanted bright, bold frames for the windows and doors, and that’s where the red came from.’
‘I chose the cupboard handles and knobs from Corston because of how high-quality they are; they have a really lovely weight to them when you interact with the joinery. We’ve also got the lights and switches as well.’

‘I chose Antique Brass because it’s a living and natural finish that will evolve with the kitchen over time.’

‘I think architectural details are incredibly important because when they’ve been considered properly, you can walk into a space and sense a feeling of comfort and enjoyment.’
An extra serving
Keen to find out even more, we asked Mel to answer a few extra questions off camera. Here’s what she had to say…

What was your main challenge?
‘Time! It can be frustrating when you’re not moving quickly, but every stage of the design process is important and takes time.

‘You can't just dress a blank box. You need to start at the beginning – considering the space, light, layout, the shape of the windows and doors, the floor, tiles, fixed joinery, the surfaces you touch, the ironmongery, light fittings and colour choices.’

Why red for your window and door frames?
‘It’s a punchy, bold shade that works perfectly with the traditional London stock brick externally, and the green and white checkerboard floor internally.’

Any other projects planned?

‘Yes, lots of client homes, and we’re about to replaster and redecorate all our own bedrooms too.

‘We love the quality and weightiness of Corston products, coupled with the choice of finishes – it makes them perfect for projects of all different styles.’

Photographs X: Emily Marshall