This two-tone Cornell kitchen in Partridge Grey and Porcelain belongs to Kelly Gaston, the woman behind Aspirational living, a mindfulness and interior blog with the mantra, 'Take control, design your life, invest in you.'

When we were invited along to Kelly's home in Stockton-on-Tees for a chat about how she came to own her dream kitchen, we couldn't resist a tour.

What's the story behind your home?

"With two previous house renovations under our belt, my husband and I bought this house with the intentions of it being our forever home. It had all the space we wanted for our two boys, and had so much potential to be sculpted to exactly what we'd dreamed of, but the journey was going to be huge. It was clear the rooms hadn't been decorated for over 15 years, so we had to plan our time and money carefully, to prioritise which rooms to bring to the 21st century first!  

"We moved in and started renovations in May 2015, when it was decided we should tackle the kitchen/diner areas first. From there, we've been steadily moving from project to project, planning carefully so that each room reflects what we've been picturing. It's a difficult process that's still ongoing in some parts of the house, but I'm so happy with how far we've come and I love the results so far!"  

What was your inspiration for the kitchen layout?

"We had always discussed how amazing it would be to have an open plan kitchen/dining room so that we could all be together while preparing meals, and so we had a great space for entertaining. When we moved in, the room was split into separate kitchen and dining spaces, so we knocked through to make the room one. This gave us space for the beautiful island and extra seating which is ideal for breakfast time with the boys. 

"The overhead mantle was also a deciding factor for the layout, as we wanted it to stand as a stunning central feature. I'm so happy at how it turned out." 

Why did you choose this style?

"A country style kitchen with traditional cornice detailing had always been in our plan. We wanted a space that was classic with warm colours, with features that weren't too fancy so they wouldn't end up dated. Initially, we had intended to have all of the units in Porcelain, but after seeing examples of two-tone designs in the showroom, we couldn't resist changing up the colours and adding Partridge Grey. 

"Of all the kitchens Second Nature had to offer, Cornell was the perfect style for us. It's elegant timber door gave us the country feel we'd been searching for, and we were able to change out any elaborate detailing that wasn't to our taste."

What made you pick Second Nature?

"After visiting quite a few showrooms in the local area, we decided that Court Homemakers Limited in Stockton-on-Tees was the retailer for us. Their customer service was amazing and the showroom was beautiful, with Second Nature kitchens on display for us to get a feel of what we would like. The team really thought outside the box, and helped us to envision the kitchen mantle, and to finally decide to create the open plan space. We're so grateful for their help and would highly recommend their work. 

"Although Courts had other kitchens on display, it was Second Nature that blew us away. We found the kitchens to be great quality and great value for money- the best combination. I wasn't going to compromise on quality, so was so happy to find a brand that offered both." 

Have you always been interested in interior design?

The short answer would be yes! I've only really explored the interest since buying our first house, but I've loved planning and following through with room renovations, and it's been all the more fun in our forever home! I recently wrote a post for Aspirational Living about planning your dream kitchen, and can't wait to write more interior content as our home renovation continues. 




To see how Kelly's kitchen looked before the restoration and for advice on planning your dream kitchen, visit Aspirational Living

Interested in visiting a Second Nature showroom? Search for your local specialist via our website.