The home you deserve: a kitchen renovation after the children have grown

When the children have grown up and fled the nest, or perhaps it’s more likely they have boomeranged for a little while; when careers are established and you have earned your dues, there comes a time where you can create the home that you have always wanted without compromise. Such was the case for the owners of Woodland House, deep in the Suffolk countryside, close to the River Stour in Middleton, prompting the extension and refurbishment of a lifetime.

This family home clearly holds a lot of happy memories, but when the owners of the house came to our designers for support with a kitchen extension, what was once made to accommodate the patter of tiny feet now had the opportunity to be a sophisticated space for adults to enjoy. The owners had a vision for preserving the raw, industrial features of the architecture, in a project that turned an upstairs kitchen into a double-height space that takes full advantage of the arboreous landscapes outside.

Modern family

Joining the project at a point where the basic kitchen space had been mapped out on the floor plans, our designers expanded on the initial ideas to really bring the owners’ vision to life. We sought to create a truly convivial space that could be a tranquil cocoon for sitting in solitude enjoying a peaceful morning coffee, but that could also morph into a vibrant place of familial togetherness and dinner parties with friends. Yes, this is a home where the children have grown and headed off to build their own lives, it’s now a place where the parents have earned the opportunity to express their own individuality and sense of self. However, it also remains a place where every family member can return and find peace.

Industrial chic & natural inspiration

Aesthetically, the owners wanted to create an urban warehouse feel, having maintained the exposed steels across the ceiling and finished them in a cool muted blue tone. In order to marry the industrial features with the sophistication of an adult environment and the comforts of home, we reflected the colour in the under-counter cabinetry, whilst adding complementary finishes, including a concrete effect on full height cupboards as well. Meanwhile, the flooring is a rustic, wooden herringbone, so that the whole space straddles the line between well-worn and immaculately sleek.

The large window at the end of the space is the focal point towards which everything is directed. The sunlight is in many ways the protagonist in this space, quietly creating a sense of calm and imbuing it with organic energy courtesy of the trees outside. Our designers maximised the environment and the way it interacts with the view using natural hues as well as surfaces that mirror the world outside, reflecting the light through a four-metre long island complete with storage, a bar area with leather stools, as well as a waterfall effect ‘Clamshell’ quartz countertop.

Form and function

Part of the enjoyment of a truly sophisticated home is the way it works, enhancing daily tasks and experiences and making even the smallest action a joy. That functionality was an integral part of designing this culinary space. Down one side of the kitchen the full height cabinets include two Siemens studioLine ovens – one with a built-in microwave and the other with combination steam-cooking.  Towards the back, a double sink includes a textured splashback formed of porcelain tiles with a wave-like finish that offsets the otherwise seamless surfaces. Everything here has its place and purpose, working harmoniously and with a sense of symbiotic ease.

Personal space

The finishing touches in this home are all about the family’s personality – nodding to its past as a place where people have grown up, but celebrating all that life has to offer now and in the future. An illuminated niche houses cookbooks and preferred liquors now that they no longer need to remain beyond the reach of little hands. Iron shelving has select ornaments on display, and the avant-garde print of Queen Elizabeth’s image imposed over the Union Jack adds personality, individuality and vibrancy to the room, ensuring that above all else, it’s part of a home.

Vision, process and personality

It’s not just the end result that’s of value when it comes to creating a home environment that reflects a lifetime of experiences, it’s also the process that it takes to get there. Our designers work hard to make that journey a joy, so that when it comes to living in the environment owners have worked a lifetime to achieve, it holds nothing but positive connotations. The owners of Woodland House said:

“We had been looking to unlock previously unused space in our home and create a contemporary open plan family kitchen and living area with loft style industrial overtones. The kitchen itself needed to blend with heavy steel and wooden structural features and the brief was to create a raw concrete look and feel, contrasted with modern dark blue facings.  George instinctively understood the brief and translated this in his initial drawings which were almost exactly what we had in mind. He presented his ideas in a relaxed meeting and worked with us, the installation team and other trades involved, to project manage the works within challenging time constraints and on budget. We have been delighted with the results and very impressed with Nicholas Anthony’s aftercare. We are more than happy with our decision to work with Nicholas Anthony and would have no reservations in recommending them.”

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