“Grey is the Queen of colours, because she makes everyone else look good”

What a fabulous kitchen to have repainted set in the hills above Marbella with stunning views of the sea. A hunk of a home kitchen! The family wanted to keep the elegance & luxury lifestyle look but give it a modern twist.

A beautifully constructed, traditional style kitchen made a little more contemporary to suit the lifestyle of the new owners – a bespoke kitchen big on detail but a whole lot sleeker & more seductive now.

I’ve been working on behalf of http://Www.berkeleypropertygroup.com, a Marbella Construction Company who are carrying out extensive modifications reflecting more of a Scandinavian design in much of this luxurious villa.

They contacted me initially via email as an option to repaint the kitchen as an alternative to replacing. The kitchen ‘fits where it sits’ in this lovely house & my quote to paint the kitchen cabinets was accepted after a site visit & survey.

Berkeley Property Group building team took one wall down above worktop height to open up the kitchen to flow with the large dining & lounge areas. Increasingly kitchens are no longer stand alone rooms but part of family ‘living’ spaces – this immediately made a classic-style kitchen feel more modern.

The clients wanted the ornate Island unit with its corbels, flutes & large panels to form a dramatic, rich centerpiece & chose RAL 7016 ANTHRACITE GREY for this & for the newly formed peninsular. Stylish & practical, this deeeeeeeeep grey is colour of the moment for internals & externals! It works with just about any colour palette but has just a hint of blue I think, though it looks almost black at the dinner party end of the day.

PURBECK STONE was chosen for the peripheral cabinets – the shy more retiring with the sleek & seductive!

RAL 9017 TRAFFIC BLACK was picked for the island countertop.

The bulk of the painting work was onsite with this one – all those scrolly, swirly/twirly fiddley bits are a joy for a kitchen painter to do. A combination of finely cut brushes used to smooth out the curves on the rounded pilasters & a mix of fitch & artist’s brushes to bring in the detail in the cornice & dentil molding. The plate rack unit was a labour of love to refinish – normally one or two of the dowels slip out to give access to the back but the previous painter had glued these back in place! Slim fingers & oodles of patience were required to successfully complete it!!

The kitchen is an expensive custom build & around 15 years old – much of the ornate details, the pilasters, heavy corbels, fluted corners, dentil molding etc are reminiscent of Clive Christian style kitchens & though ‘traditional’ lend themselves to being repainted in modern colours. This was always going to be a combination of the Greys, it was just a question of how ‘grey’ the deeper tone would be! I mocked up several large colour sample boards & the final selection was made by Zoom call with the owners in the kitchen.

This amount of detail requires a LOT of work to restore to showroom standard. After 15 years of use there are always edges to repair, dents & knocks to fill together with the usual work of properly preparing the substrate for the new kitchen cabinet paint system to adhere to.

Even though this had been repainted before its still essential to thoroughly clean, sand & prepare the kitchen before applying the first adhesion primer, undercoat & top coats.

Care is also taken to protect the floor, appliances & work tops – in all, this project took a full 3 days onsite to properly mask/cover the floor & new porcelain worktops & do the all-important prep before the painting could begin.

The doors & drawer fronts were carefully numbered & removed to be refinished in the workshop. Handles, hinges & hardware are ALWAYS completely removed to ensure a professional, clean & crisp finish & thoroughly cleaned before refit.

Painting the large Italian Copper canopy nearly broke my heart BUT it didn’t suit the Scandinavian theme running throughout the villa. I researched heat resistant metal primers & the canopy was thoroughly cleaned & prepped before applying a 3-part paint system which required a minimum of 12 hours curing times between coats. The dentil molding above it would be the first job of the day, then gradually work my way down! The success of projects like this is very much in knowing where to start & when!

Painting the Island’s wooden countertop beneath actually DID break my heart! This is a solid piece of Oak but once again the clients wanted the sleek, smart theme to be carried throughout. Refinished in flat matt black – RAL 9017 TRAFFIC BLACK – it’s about as black as black can get. They say that “without black colour has no depth”!!

We did remove the rather dated brass rail from the wooden work top & successfully filled the resultant holes. A decision was made to keep the brass foot rail at the base of the Island & this was also polished before refitting. Details ‘maketh’ the the newly painted kitchen.

To replace both these items would literally have cost 1.000’s – properly applied paint really can change anything!!

Berkeley Property Group finished onsite at 16.00 daily so I would then continue painting in my workshop to keep the project running on time – twice I did request to stay onsite longer in order to finish specific areas.

New handles were being fitted so the original handle holes were filled prior to painting.

We pride ourselves on a bespoke approach to refinishing from start to finish & so a carpenter from my husband’s firm http://Www.joebayley.com did the refit.

Hand built kitchens like this often mean that the doors fit the ‘hole’ they came from hence careful numbering at the beginning. This ensures a smooth & professional installation & expert adjustment. These are the finishing touches that are so very important. New handles were also carefully measured & installed.

Kitchens with this much detail are my favourite thing to paint so it was with a tinge of sadness that I closed the door for the last time on the way out!

Good communication was also key on this project as I was ‘hired’ by Berkeley Property Group on behalf of their Swedish clients so essentially interpreting their wishes through a professional intermediary. Mobile technology means that numerous progress photos/videos can be shared & Zoom calls made for any important decisions.

From the photos you can see how the kitchen ‘flows’ with the energy of the house, its smart & functional yet retains all of it’s original elegance! We helped to make this house more of THEIR home & so it now begins a new kitchen story, more of a Swedish kitchen & definitely right up there as kitchen goals!

Do you have a kitchen in need of a repaint? Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we’d love to work with you.

Written by Samantha Bayley