‘We had just bought our house in 2008, with the intention of remodelling it, when Ian’s company relocated us to Hong Kong, so our plans had to be put on hold for a few years,’ explains Gillian. ‘The property’s traditional style appealed to us as a family, and it had a lovely, happy feel about it. We had no trouble renting it out while we were abroad, even though it was a little tired and parts of it needed updating.’
On moving back in 2011, Gillian and Ian realised that they had two choices: undertake a serious renovation project, or move to another property. ‘We were used to living in a big, modern, open-plan space in Hong Kong and liked the easy, laid-back feel of a contemporary home,’ says Gillian. ‘However, we loved the location and it was close to the boys’ schools, so we felt that staying put and turning the house into a space that worked for us was the right thing to do.’
Their initial design included a basement garage, for which they gained planning permission, but there were potential issues with damp and drainage, so the building companies they asked to tender for the job weren’t interested in taking it on. The second set of plans included a loft conversion and a two-storey side extension to gain two more bedrooms – and make five of them en suite – plus a new garage and second living room on the ground floor.
A single-storey extension at the back of the house was also included to make better use of some wasted garden space and give them the room they needed for a larger open-plan kitchen-diner linked to the existing dining room.
Even though having more space was the couple’s main requirement for the kitchen, they found it hard to visualise the best layout and asked Cris Sega, designer at Edmondson Interiors, to work with them on the project. The renovation started in July 2014 and took around eight months to finish.
The owners: Gillian Roberts, a homemaker, and her husband Ian, who works in finance, live here with their sons, Lewis, 20, Gregor, 19, and Cameron, 15
The property: An extended 1930s detached house, with seven bedrooms
The location: Sevenoaks, Kent
What they spent: The couple’s kitchen project cost around £72,000
Rooflights and clerestory windows, from Micron Windows, let in plenty of light but hide an uninspiring view. The island includes a Liebherr larder fridge and Fisher & Paykel cool drawer.
A sloping roof adds wow factor, while bi-fold doors by Micron Windows link to the garden. Bespoke units from Edmondson Interiors are finished with a mix of Bianco Eclipse quartzite and Obsidian black quartz worktops. The Meridian grey porcelain floor tiles are from Naos.
A small undermounted stainless-steel preparation sink – for similar, try Franke’s Rondo – has been set into the island with an Abode pull-out spray tap for rinsing fruit and vegetables.
At either end of the kitchen, tall units, painted in Farrow & Ball’s Cook’s Blue, house a Gaggenau built-in steam oven and combination microwave, all sourced through Edmondson Interiors. The handleless units are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pavillion Gray, with a section of the island in Cook’s Blue to match the oven units.
- Kitchen: Edmondson Interiors, 01580 212934, edmondsoninteriors.co.uk
- Glazing: Micron Windows
- Flooring: Naos
- Appliances: Aga, Fisher & Paykel, Gaggenau, Liebherr, Miele