Vin­tage pieces add char­ac­ter to this mod­ern kitchen, which was con­verted from a garage

House Beautiful (UK) - - CONTENTS -

Turn­ing part of a barely used garage into

a spa­cious kitchen-diner that clev­erly com­bines old and new has been a project

close to Lynn He­witt’s heart

Lynn He­witt, 42, a mar­ket­ing man­ager, hus­band An­thony, 45, a the­atre devel­op­ment direc­tor, and sons Tom, 11, and Greg, eight, live in a four-be­d­room 1960s town­house in Hamp­ton, Lon­don

What was the old kitchen like? Small and cramped. It was part of a wider prob­lem with the lay­out of the house, which is spread over three storeys. The kitchen was on the first floor at the back, next to the liv­ing room, but as it was sep­a­rate from the liv­ing room, any­one in the kitchen felt iso­lated in there. The large space on the ground floor, which was mainly garage with a util­ity room and play­room at the end, wasn’t be­ing used very much at all. As we have off-street park­ing, we didn’t need the garage, and this cre­ated an ob­vi­ous op­por­tu­nity for us.

Tell us about your so­lu­tion As the boys got big­ger, we de­cided they needed a good-sized room each and one of the three bed­rooms on the top floor was smaller than the other two. We didn’t have a spare room for guests ei­ther, so we de­cided to turn the old kitchen into our be­d­room and use the small­est be­d­room as a guest and of­fice space. Com­pletely chang­ing the ground floor would give us a large kitchen-diner with access to the gar­den, which was ideal for our dog, Crum­ble.

How did you progress? We talked it through with a struc­tural en­gi­neer, and re­alised we could take a big chunk off the garage and ex­tend out to make one big room with a kitchen-diner and an area to re­lax, which was just what we wanted. We chose a builder we knew and trusted, Marcin at Re­furb and Ex­tend, and were all set to go in Septem­ber 2016.

Did it go smoothly from there? No! We thought it would be straight­for­ward as we were only go­ing out 2.4 me­tres, so there was no need for plan­ning per­mis­sion. How­ever, af­ter the work had started, we dis­cov­ered the ter­race was sub­ject to re­stric­tive covenants and that meant we had to get per­mis­sion to ex­tend. Af­ter a bit of de­tec­tive work, we man­aged to track down the great nephew of the orig­i­nal de­vel­oper and he gave us per­mis­sion to go ahead, but it caused a six-week de­lay.

How long did the whole project take? Around four months for the ba­sic build. At Christ­mas that year we had a huge, dark space with boarded-up win­dows, but the builders rigged us up with a tem­po­rary kitchen. Since then we’ve taken our time with the decor and fin­ish­ing touches.

How did you deal with the light is­sues? As it’s a long space with no win­dows at the side, it was im­por­tant to get as much light in as pos­si­ble. We’ve got bi­fold doors across the back and a large rooflight, plus spot­lights and wall lights.

Were you tempted to go for a white kitchen? It was a con­sid­er­a­tion, but I was keen on grey units and we found a lovely pale shade that was re­flec­tive. I was also al­ways plan­ning to mix retro pieces with the con­tem­po­rary kitchen and grey just works so much bet­ter for that than stark white.

How did you de­cide on the colour scheme in the liv­ing area? I wanted a vi­brant shade to set off the units and found the teal blue paint and match­ing wall­pa­per at Far­row & Ball. The wall­pa­per’s called Enigma, and is in­spired by Alan Tur­ing’s ma­chine, so the geo­met­ric pat­tern ap­pealed and I love the colour. I then started search­ing for ac­ces­sories in the same shade, such as place­mats and tea tow­els.

WALLS Pick­ing a paint colour that is al­most iden­ti­cal to the units has given the whole space a uni­fied feel

TOP TA­BLE The G Plan din­ing ta­ble, spot­ted in a lo­cal an­tiques shop, has a per­sonal link for Lynn. She tracked down teal place­mats and crock­ery to co­or­di­nate with the walls

SIDE­BOARD Lynn chose retro fur­ni­ture from a sim­i­lar era in the same colour wood so they don’t clash CHAIRS Opt­ing for of­fwhite has kept every­thing light and bright. These are wipe-clean, too

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