Kitchen of the Week: A London Architects Sky-Lit Compact Kitchen

We love every inch of this compact 14-by-10-foot kitchen in the Peckham neighborhood of London. Designed by architect Jonathan Nicholls and his partner, Alex Randall, a lighting designer, it occupies the rear extension of their Victorian home. While many architects find the experience of designing their own home an existential nightmare, Nicholls found it be quite the opposite:

As an architect, working on your own house is great fun. Because of time constraints, I didnt get a chance to do full, proper drawings, so a lot of the time Id scribble some plans on the wall at night for the builders to interpret a few hours later, he told The Modern House. Because it was our own house, I could experiment a lot more with things I wouldnt risk at work.

Nowhere is that playful spirit more on display than in their artful kitchen.

Lets take a tour. (To see the rest of their house, see the listing at The Modern House.)

Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: When the couple moved in five years ago, the kitchen was on the top of their list of rooms to redesign as they both love to cook. Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: The cabinets are one of Nicholls experiments. We werent entirely sure how it would turn out, but its beautiful, he said of the engineered-ash plywood joinery. Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: The most whimsical feature in the kitchen, though, may be the skylight that not only funnels in natural light but also offers a glimpse at the wildflowers growing on the roof garden. Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: In lieu of upper cabinets, a single wall-mounted shelf holding cooking tools and decorative touches extends across the length of one wall. Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: A stainless steel sink with an integrated draining board. (See The New Art Gallery: 12 Favorite Kitchens with Paintings on Display.) Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: Steel and glass doors by Crittal usher in even more natural light from the patio. Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: Limestone tiles extend from the entrance, down the hallway, and into the kitchen. The rest of the house enjoys oiled-oak floorboards. Blenheim Grove London Kitchen of the Week by Jonathan Nicholls of Hayhurst & Co. Above: The patio just beyond the kitchen has a surprisingly tropical feel thanks to a palm tree and bamboo. (See 10 Things Nobody Tells You About Bamboo.)

For more plywood kitchens, see: