Integrating a kitchen and living area shouldn’t mean sacrificing practicality or comfort. Here’s a stylish space that has it all

Realising that her family had outgrown the kitchen and breakfast nook in their Illovo, Jo’burg home, Belinda Booth decided it was time for an update.

“This room originally included a TV area that didn’t work, as people leaving or entering were frequently walking in front of the screen,” explains Belinda. “In addition, the experience of sitting in front of the fireplace in winter was lost because it was in competition with the TV opposite.”furnished kitchen“What I had in mind was a casual bistro-style environment where family and friends could connect around a large table not just for meals but to read, play games, watch TV or enjoy a chat and a cappuccino,” she explains. Belinda approached interior designers Robyn Pirie and Antoinette Rapitsi of Kuki Jeanne Design to assist with the revamp. A half wall running the length of the counter defines the kitchen area and effectively conceals any untidiness on the work surface behind. Built-in cupboards were installed along one wall to accommodate bar fridges and storage and the counter is equipped with a coffee station and a drinks tray. “This way everyone is free to help themselves,” says Belinda.Kitchen with island Continuing the country feel, Robyn and Antoinette paired an extendable wooden dining table from Block & Chisel with chairs slip-covered in linen. An unusual wrought-iron light fitting also bridges the kitchen and dining areas.

“This space is now the heart of our home. In summer we open the doors onto the verandas on both sides,” explains Belinda. “At night we spend hours chatting comfortably at the table without the need to move to sofas especially now that the TV is positioned above the fireplace.”

*The Ambiente Luce light fitting is from The Light Shed, the chairs are from Block & Chisel and the rug is from The Gatehouse at Mavromac.  Dave Pearson of Woodrit Carpentry installed the kitchen. The counters feature Caesarstone and the splashback tiles were custom made by Kt Tiles.