Maxine Brady is proof that you don’t need Gordon Ramsay around to suffer a kitchen nightmare. Maxine is an interior stylist from Brighton and shares her immaculate peppermint Victorian terrace house with her white fluffy dog, Teddy.
But it wasn’t always so pretty. When she moved in, the house had been empty for seven years and came complete with an overgrown garden, leaking roof, horrible 1970s staircase and orange pine floorboards. Then there was the kitchen…
‘The kitchen was awful. There was a bank of 1990s beige wall and base units, an awkward corner sink and drafty back door,’ Maxine says.
‘The fridge was positioned in a corner cupboard. It was so cold in the winter you couldn’t spend much time in here. In the summer, it wasn’t much better as snails would trail across the floor.
‘When I ripped out the kitchen, I could see that water had been running down the back wall from the bathroom above into the plug socket. It was lucky I didn’t electrocute myself when cooking dinner.’
For the last 20 years Maxine has been a creative force in the world of home design, working as a stylist, a TV presenter, art director, interior designer and content creator, as well as running her own award-winning blog.
Maxine bought the two-bed terrace house in Brighton in 2016 and loved that it was a renovation project she could get her teeth into.
‘It meant I could stamp my style on it and make it my own. Inspired by a trip to New York, I wanted my kitchen to have the look of the fabulous coffee shops I had seen over there. I knew that all the design details in a coffee shop would be hardwearing and stand the test of time.’
The 3D-effect tiled flooring was spotted in a location house for her styling work years ago, and she’d never forgotten it. ‘I worked the whole kitchen colour scheme around them.
I chose an off-the-peg kitchen but made it look bespoke with handles made from plumber’s copper piping. To save money, I made the scaffolding plank shelving and handles myself. Then I could afford to splash out on underfloor heating and integrated appliances.
To finish off the room, I went for a copper sink and tap. I try to marry style with practicalities and in the summer it can get pretty hot, so I’ve invested in a premium, super-quiet fan from Duux and it’s been a game changer when I’m cooking. I wanted a sleek fan that worked.’
Maxine fitted an integrated washer-dryer and slimline dishwasher, and had a window installed above the sink to create a view out over the garden and to flood the room with light.
A floor-to-ceiling spice rack was squeezed into a 6cm gap by the fridge freezer. ‘It saves me so much cupboard space. I also love the open shelving, which holds so much more than bulky wall cupboards.’
Maxine says that it proves that a small kitchen can be full of design features. ‘I use the walls for storage space, hanging salad plates up. I have kilner jars filled with pantry basics on the shelving unit.’
The kitchen is now a bit internet famous, appearing on home decor websites and in Danish interior design titles. It’s also one of the most popular rooms on her Instagram account, @maxinebradystyling.
As Maxine says: ‘Not bad for a little kitchen that cost me less than £6,000.’
Lava Light Grey 3D Rhomboid 25.5cm x 29.5cm Mosaic Tile
Maxine says: ‘I had seen these tiles nearly five years before I started renovating my kitchen, in a location house, and had them in mind for my own home.’
Exact tiles unlocatable. Buy this alternative for £9.99 from Tiles Direct.
Maxine says: ‘These green sage colour units are warmer than grey, and add a softer look to my home.’
Map on the wall of Manhattan. Maxine says: ‘It’s wrapping paper found in Oz on holiday that I framed up.’
Exact map not locatable. Buy this alternative Vintage City Map Of New York for £174.99 from Wayfair.
Moroccan Style Dinner Plate
Maxine says: ‘I got this from a holiday to Morocco.’
Exact plate not locatable. Buy this alternative for £65 from Bohemia.
Habitat Food Storage Heart Canisters
Use these sleek pots to tidy up your bits and bobs. Maxine says: ‘Contains dog food!’
Exact pots not locatable. Buy this alternative for £25 from Habitat.
Quadron Nicolas Copper Sink from Olif Designs
This copper sink is the epitome of industrial chic. Maxine says: ‘I added copper accents to match my DIY handles.’
Stoves Sterling 600MFTi Range Cooker
Maxine says: ‘I wanted a generous electric oven that slotted into my space.’
Terracotta Stripe Pattern Planter
Jazz up your plant game with this lovely terracotta pot.
Exact pot not locatable. Buy the alternative for £18 from George Home at Asda.
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