‘We knew when we moved here that our whole house would need complete refurbishment – it was very dark and old-fashioned.
‘The kitchen, especially, was dated with badly fitted units and the colour scheme was dull and gloomy.
‘It was also relatively small for a large property, which was not ideal for our family of five, and the similarly poky separate dining room was rarely used.
‘We wanted a large, open-plan space.’
The owner: Katherine Dodds, a full-time mum, and her husband Ian, who works for IBM, live here with their three children, aged from eight to 14
What we did
‘Deciding to make do because of all the upheaval that would be involved, we put off renovating for a few years while the children were young. When we were finally ready to start the work, we decided to refurbish the rest of the house first and then finish the project by extending the kitchen/dining areas.
‘A local architect we hired drew up the plans for the ground floor, including a new kitchen and dining area. As the space was going to be extended, we needed to apply for planning consent, so when this was granted without any hitches, the work began.
‘We already had a team of builders in place, as they had been working on the rest of the house. The two internal walls were removed first, to unite the kitchen, dining room and over-large connecting hallway. Then, the new space was extended out into the garden.
‘It was amazing how much room had been created and also how light the interior had become; the space was completely transformed. We could really see its potential but, although we were originally going to put the kitchen where it had been before, when we saw the space, we decided it was going to be too small. So, we swapped them around, creating a large kitchen and a more intimate dining area. We also had a cloakroom and shower room built just off the kitchen, so the children can come in from playing sport and not trail mud through the house.
‘I had a definite idea of what I wanted for the design of the kitchen – painted, framed cabinets in a quite classic style, which I’d seen in several magazines. The previous kitchen had a chimney breast where the cooker had been housed and I really liked the idea of recreating this in the new design. I also wanted a large island including a seating area and a pantry of some description. A friend had recommended a local kitchen company run by Dean Hunter, so I approached him with my ideas. I visited his showroom and we worked on the design and layout together, discussing our requirements.
‘Dean came up with a couple of plans, which we narrowed down to the final design incorporating my wish list. Colour-wise, I didn’t want to just go with white; I really love colour, so I spent quite a lot of time looking at swatches for something striking, but not overpowering. I chose an off-white and a light blue for the walls, and painted the island unit to match. The colours work really well with the work surfaces, which are a composite, also in an off-white, all made in one piece. In the dining room, I opted for a fitted carpet and one papered wall, to give a more intimate feel. The furniture we chose is quite solid and chunky-looking.
‘The work took 15 weeks from start to finish, which was on schedule. As we kept our original kitchen functioning until the last minute, it was all pretty painless and we can’t fault our brilliant builders. Now that we have a beautiful kitchen, which we all love – and the rest of the house is finished, too – we can finally relax into family life.’
|Furniture & accessories||2,500|
|Walls & floor||£1,362|