A Secret Laundry Room Is Hidden Behind These Kitchen Cabinets

A Secret Laundry Room Is Hidden Behind These Kitchen Cabinets

By knocking through walls and reconfiguring the entire space, Gemma Miller – who lives in a three-bedroom Edwardian house in Surrey – has been able to design a kitchen that works perfectly for her family’s lifestyle.

Gemma kicks off House Beautiful‘s brand new video series, One Room Renovation, which explores incredible before and after room transformations, with a focus on space and layout, materials, and details, all in the hope of inspiring others to become their own interior designer.

Watch Gemma’s kitchen renovation in the video above.

Gemma (@myrenoromance) renovated her kitchen during lockdown in 2020 and the results are spectacular. She opted for a subtle two-tone kitchen; the tall cabinets are a muted ivory-cream colour and the lower cabinets by the cooker and sink are light grey. Gemma prefers a minimalistic, streamlined aesthetic – her inspiration for this kitchen design was Japandi (a fusion of Japanese and Scandinavian design) mixed with mid-century modern – all accessorised with greenery and brass accents for a stylish and refined look.

house beautiful's one room renovation gemma miller

‘Renovating during the pandemic was really stressful,’ Gemma recalls. ‘Because we were renovating in lockdown we ended up buying the kitchen from an online supplier and I actually had to design the kitchen myself with their software which they provide, so I now know how large cupboards and cabinets are.

‘We knocked out the kitchen and dining room and rearranged quite a few things. We changed the back windows to French Crittall doors and we changed the back door to a slimline window by the sink. We’ve added a lovely island and we’ve got a lovely dining room as well.’

house beautiful's one room renovation gemma miller

Storage was another key consideration for Gemma and here at House Beautiful you know how much we love a good storage solution. Hidden behind the tall cabinets is a breakfast cupboard (impeccably styled, may we add) but the biggest reveal is the secret laundry room; it’s definitely one of the cleverest uses of space we’ve seen. And, as it’s out of sight, it doesn’t interrupt the flow of the kitchen.

house beautiful's one room renovation gemma miller

House Beautiful

What we love:

• The perfectly curated breakfast cupboard: ‘I’ve got the tiles in the breakfast cupboard all around so it helps with any splashes,’ Gemma says. ‘I used those tiles and actually designed a tile shelf, which I think looks wonderful.’

• Speaking of which, the DIY tile shelf is Gemma’s creation and her favourite feature – and it’s one of ours, too.

• It’s always in the details, and we love the brass handles on the cupboards and brass trim around the tall cabinets.

• The herringbone engineered wood flooring really grounds the space and works in harmony with this neutral interior, creating instant warmth.

• The slimline window adjacent to the sink is a gorgeous feature – here’s to more natural light.

• The family dining area, which looks out into the garden, is zoned to create its own area but still works in harmony with the kitchen design.

• From colour matching at Valspar in B&Q to sourcing a sink from eBay, Gemma shopped around to find cheaper alternatives, which is particularly essential if you need to stick to a tight budget – knowing where to save and where to spend on your kitchen upgrade is key.

• The practical USB plug sockets along the side of the kitchen island is a brilliant feature: ‘We don’t have any appliances out on the surfaces, so when we do need them, the sockets are so handy, with USB plugs for charging phones, laptops and iPads,’ Gemma explains.

• And in a similar vein, central to the design is the wood-effect tiles on the kitchen island, and it’s giving us major Scandi vibes. We also love the incorporated breakfast bar and stools.

• However, there is one particular space that tops the list – Gemma‘s hidden laundry room. Behind the unassuming cabinet doors lies a walk-through laundry area where you’ll find a washing machine and tumble dryer, plus a medicine cabinet and decanted laundry supplies neatly organised on a shelf. ‘It’s a secret hideaway, you’d never know it’s here,’ Gemma adds.

How much did the kitchen renovation cost? £8,989.07.

Top tips from Gemma’s kitchen renovation


  • Extend existing windows or add glass panels to doors to maximise natural light
  • A built-in breakfast cupboard or coffee bar is a great way to keep clutter at bay
  • Soft neutrals will create a calming atmosphere, whilst an injection of colour is more invigorating.


    • Use the same tiling in multiple areas to create a cohesive look
    • A quartz worktop has many benefits: non-porous, durable, easy to clean and less susceptible to staining
    • Exercise caution when selecting materials – too many contrasting metals or surfaces can rob your design of continuity.


      • A brass trim adds a luxe look to built-in cabinets
      • Forgo plastics and supermarket packaging by decanting everyday kitchen essentials
      • Browse eBay, Etsy, or vintage markets to find the most unique finishing touches.

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