HOUSE BEAUTIFUL SAYS...
‘Black and white is a classic combination that can be updated with colourful
accessories. The layout makes the space more open and sociable.’
What prompted the update?
The kitchen is at the front of the house and there was a separate dining room next to it. About four years after we moved in we built a conservatory at one end of the dining room, which we used a lot during the summer for relaxing and eating in. But one space, either the conservatory or the dining room, was always empty and that seemed a waste. As the children got older it became even more important to spend mealtimes together and it made sense to knock down the dividing wall to create one open-plan space.
How did you progress from there?
We engaged a builder that we’d worked with before and trusted. He had an 18-month waiting list, so we used the time to do some product research and gather design ideas.
Tell us about the new layout
With the removal of the dividing wall, we considered swapping the kitchen and dining areas, but there was so much pipework in place for the original arrangement that it didn’t make financial sense to do so. I was happy to continue with the sink overlooking the front garden and we added a central island for extra storage and to create a breakfast bar.
And the style you wanted?
Contemporary and clean, simple and unfussy. My main focus was keeping the space light and choosing designs that would
look good for years to come. I love the appearance of large-format floor tiles and I’d seen some at a friend’s house that I knew would be great here. They’re polished, so they reflect the light and they really help to make the space flow.
What about the cabinets?
We were certain about our builder but it was much tougher to find the units we wanted! I went to lots of showrooms and was inspired by some of their ideas but I was fixated on things like the quality of the units, the shine of the gloss and the way they were constructed – I became a bit of an expert.
Were the appliances difficult to choose, too?
We’d had Neff appliances without a moment’s trouble in 18 years, so that was an easy choice, and we kept our old fridge-freezer.
Did you bag any bargains or splash out on treats?
Our dining table was a brilliant find, costing just £20 on Ebay, and we also snapped up four dining chairs for £130. However, we did splash out on two wine coolers to go under the island, one for red wine and the other for white.
How do you feel about your kitchen now?
It’s fantastic that we can all be in here together and the room is used and enjoyed by us all every day.
CONTINUED OVER PAGE
A combination of grey and white reflective units keeps the look sleek, while the polished floor tiles help reflect more light