Despite having never built a house before, Diane and Peter Robinson were determined that there would be no half-measures when it came to designing and building their brand new home in Cambridgeshire. “We wanted a very modern design – a big, open-plan space,” explains Diane. So when architect Gary Johns drew up his plans, even he suggested they sit down before he unveiled his designs. “I think Gary thought we wouldn’t be brave enough to go for something really contemporary, but we both loved his drawings and couldn’t wait to get started on the build,” she says.
Over an eighteen month period, the five bedroom, five bathroom house took shape. Built in the large garden at the rear of their former 1950s home, which they sold during the process, the new property is spacious and filled with natural light. And the room in which that natural light is most evident is the ground floor kitchen and dining area, which spans the entire width of the back of the house, complete with three sets of two metre sliding glass doors and four metres of bi-fold glass doors – that’s about ten metres of floor to ceiling glazing (plus a picture window). “It’s a beautiful big space with views of the garden and the nature reserve beyond,” says Diane, who enjoys watching the extensive tree planting – and occasional pheasant strutting across the lawn.
Fitness instructor Diane and banker Peter both enjoy entertaining, so, when it came to the kitchen, their priority was to create a space suited to socialising. After meeting design consultant, Sue Humphries, at Nicholas Anthony, they began to develop plans for a contemporary kitchen, in keeping with the modern design of the house, with a well thought-out layout. “I knew we would use the room a lot – I enjoy cooking, especially baking – and so it certainly wasn’t going to be a show kitchen with ovens that were never used,” smiles Diane.