Food for thought

Food for thought
June 24, 2024

When chef and author Clodagh McKenna got the keys to her London townhouse, she spent two months living in the property to get a feel for the space before moving out to begin the renovations. The project would involve gutting the whole interior and redesigning the layout to make the house work both as a home for Clodagh and her husband as well as an inspiring and comfortable place to work. As a chef appearing regularly on ITV’s This Morning, writing a monthly Sunday Times column and creating plenty of delicious recipes, it was important that the kitchen would be a practical as well as aesthetic space.


Prior to starting any work in earnest, @clodagh_mckenna spent hours looking in magazines and scrolling through Instagram and Pinterest to find inspiration and decide on a style. Creating a kitchen mood board really helped bring her ideas to life and with ideas and images for wall and floor tiles, paint colours, patterns, textures, woodwork, accessories and appliances, she was able to see which elements worked together to create her perfect kitchen.


For this heart of the home, Clodagh chose our Avebury Ceramic Burnt Caramel tiles for the walls, a glazed brick-style design that takes inspiration from old Wiltshire cottages but with a modern twist. ‘For me, these are the essence of food,’ she says. ‘As I spend most of my time in the kitchen, these tiles were probably the most important pick for me. I love them because they remind me of old-fashioned beautiful French kitchens but they also have a new, contemporary look. There’s something so warming about these burnt caramel tiles and when I am in the kitchen, that’s exactly the feeling that I want. That warmth, that feeling of old and new and I know I am going to love looking at these every day when I’m cooking and baking up lots of delicious dishes.’

To complement the wall tiles, mustard yellow paint colour and dark wooden cabinetry, the flooring is laid with our Swanage Limestone in a tumbled finish and is also a perfect blend of traditional and contemporary style with its elegant, softened effect.

In the master bathroom, the overall effect is one of being transported to a luxury Italian spa. Clodagh once again chose our Swanage Limestone in a tumbled finish for the floor and tiled the walls in our Petite Porcelain in Gloss White and Gloss Olive. The washed pastel effect has a realistic handmade feel that reminds Clodagh of Tuscany. ‘The Gloss Olive is the absolute colour of the best olives that you can eat,’ she says. ‘It makes me so happy!’ The tiles cover the walls from floor to ceiling with two walls in white and two in olive to combine warmth with freshness thanks to the contrasting tones. 


Moving to the guest bathroom with its soft pink scheme, Clodagh wanted to create a magical golden hour experience for family and friends. ‘There is a beautiful light that comes in through the window in the evenings so this is what inspired the theme,’ she explains. For the floor, she selected our Marlborough Terracotta Arabesque and for the walls, our Fondant Ceramic Rose. Our traditional terracotta is available in multiple shapes and is hardwearing and durable, perfect for bathrooms, while our Fondant ceramic tiles with their sugary, textured matt finish, bring to mind the creations of master pâtissiers, perfect for chef Clodagh and her beautifully renovated home.