A light touch
A new extension featuring lots of glazing has turned Camilla and Ian Pond’s dark, impractical kitchen into a welcoming space
An extension with extensive glazing turned Camilla and Ian Pond’s dark kitchen into a welcoming space, plus shop the latest copper designs
things come to those who wait, aware something Camilla is all too of as the stylish kitchen extension to her family’s Victorian home has been 20 years in the making. Having bought the house when their eldest son, Rory, was just a baby, Camilla and Ian have gradually updated each of the key spaces. ‘The house was in such a poor state of repair when we first moved in,’ recalls Camilla. ‘All the original features, such as the fireplaces, door handles and stained-glass windows, had been torn out. Bringing the house back to life has been a slow process as a lot of the work required was quite expensive.’
Four years after moving in, the couple updated the old kitchen with new units and a lighter colour scheme, however, the changes did little to solve the property’s awkward layout. ‘The kitchen and dining room felt too
small compared to the rest of the house, and as the rear of the house is north facing it was quite dark,’ says Camilla. ‘We lived with the kitchen as it was for a long time, but what we really wanted was somewhere with a feeling of space and lots of light. Last year we finally took the plunge and decided to redesign the rear of the house.’
After being put in contact with architect Elke Dittrich, of Dittrich Hudson Vasetti Architects, Camilla and Ian drew up their wishlist for the space. A sociable layout was a key priority, so Elke suggested replacing the old kitchen with a wider extension, and also knocking through to the adjoining dining room for a more open-plan feel. Fullheight windows and doors combined with several rooflights resolve the issues with natural light, while the wooden frames bring extra warmth to the new room. ‘Camilla and Ian wanted an extension that would work with the existing Victorian house yet give it a contemporary edge,’ says Elke.
With planning permission swiftly approved, work soon started and project manager Simon Heckford, of Oasys Property Solutions, ensured everything ran to plan. ‘It took around 12 weeks, but it wasn’t as much of an upheaval as we’d feared,’ says Camilla. ‘Our builder made a temporary kitchen in our living room with most of the appliances and some of the old units. Although it wasn’t the most attractive solution, it meant we could carry on with family life as usual.’
The new kitchen has sleek handleless units in complementary tones teamed with contemporary worktops – a sharp contrast to the more traditional style Camilla had originally envisaged for her extension. ‘Visiting my local kitchen shop was quite an eye opener as I suddenly saw how a more modern style could work really well in this new space,’ she says. ‘Once I had seen the ceramic-effect black doors with a copper glaze, I knew I’d found the unique effect I was looking for. All the units are trimmed with walnut- veneer grip rails, which blend in with the dark walnut breakfast bar, too.’ To enhance the copper effect on the doors, Camilla has accessorised with statement pendants over the island and a copper wall etching made by one of her friends.
The windows are one of Camilla’s favourite features in the room, and built-in electric blinds are a sleek finishing touch to the space. ‘By day they are completely hidden, but with the flick of a switch at night the blinds lower over the windows to give us the privacy we need,’ she says.
Although the couple went over budget, they don’t begrudge the additional expense needed to transform the once-dreary kitchen into a light-filled, open-plan layout. ‘It’s amazing the impact new windows and lighting can have on a space,’ she says. ‘We spend so much more time now in the kitchen, whether it’s cooking or socialising. It makes me smile every time I walk in here.’
The windows and doors by Velfac are a real feature, but muted grey electric blinds from Marialina can be closed when privacy is needed. Copper pendant lights, Cox & Cox. About a Stool black bar stools, Ambiente
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Left The Velfac glazed door at the end of the kitchen leads to the path and lawn via matching metal steps oak Flooring runs through the kitchen and dining area, enhancing the open-plan Feel
Right The island has a stainless-steel sink by Franke, Blanco galaxy tap and integrated Siemens dishwasher. Caesarstone worktops, Bradburys of Bristol. Boen Oak Animoso matt lacquered flooring, Oak Flooring Direct. Milano Aruba vertical radiator in Anthracite, Best heating