Tape—Not Paint—Transformed This London Kitchen Into an Italy-Inspired Paradise
That’s what we call la dolce vita.
Published Jun 16, 2023 1:48 AM
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Is it our Instagram algorithms, or does it seem like everyone is either sailing around Lake Como, strolling the winding streets of Sicily, or taking refuge from the Mediterranean sun under cabana umbrellas? It was the latter that inspired antiques dealer Dorian Caffot de Fawes and his husband, Thomas Daviet, an interior designer, to wrap all their cabinets in bright yellow stripes.
The idea came from the towels and umbrellas at Hotel Il Pellicano on the Tuscan seaside, where the couple vacation every year. In Sophie Donelson’s new book, Uncommon Kitchens, the duo shares the secret behind their cheerful space in London: painter’s tape. The surprisingly affordable upgrade (you can find a roll on Amazon for just under $4) started with equally budget-friendly IKEA base units. Caffot de Fawes and Daviet both stand by the concept’s durability—and reversibility. In the book, they give their advice for making the DIY project work for you.
Choose Your Color Wisely (or Don’t)
As Londoners, the couple was craving a daily dose of cheer. “We needed a bit of sun here,” Caffot de Fawes says. “The moment you enter the house you’re welcomed with a splash of sunshine.” The real genius behind the tape is that it’s so easy to remove that you can change the color or nix the design completely whenever you want.
Go Vertical to Slow Down the Eye
The two recommend keeping the pattern going from top to bottom. “Horizontal stripes are called racer stripes for a reason,” Caffot de Fawes says. Though the happy hue catches your attention immediately, the orientation is actually calming.
Match the Tile and Stripe Width
The two doubled down on the tip, above, and chose to run the ceramic tile of the backsplash vertically as well. When mixing materials, they say it’s helpful to have a pleasing consistency that makes it look like a harmonious single line.
Overall the maintenance is as easy as the installation because the washi tape almost never needs replacing, but areas that are prone to more wear can be simply peeled away and reapplied. Just keep a few spare rolls on hand.