Cathy Brittain and her husband moved into this typical 19th Century cottage in Borrowash, a village on the outskirts of Derby, some 15 years ago.
Originally built as a two up, two down home typical of its era, it had previously had a small double height extension to the rear and the family had also completed an additional small extension at the back to create a bit more family space ten years ago.
The couple went on to have four children and about four years ago they began talking about how they could further improve the downstairs space to create more family orientated living.
Cathy explained, “We loved the cottage and didn’t want to move so decided to reconfigure the space to make it work for our family. We had carried out a small project to give us an additional family room at the back of the house not long after we moved in, but this space, along with the kitchen and dining room, all remained unconnected and we actually ended up spending most of our family time crowded around the breakfast bar in the kitchen.”
“We knew the space could be improved, and with some reconfiguration a large open plan living area could be possible. We spent several years planning the renovation. We wanted to get it right and create a look and feel that we would be happy to live with for many years to come.”
After a few years in the making, work began in June. To create the open plan space they wanted the first job was removing the dividing walls between the existing rooms. Windows were also changed which immediately allowed more natural light to fill the space and make it feel really spacious. They were also able to connect a covered outdoor veranda to the back of the kitchen, installing new doors to provide an additional connection to the outdoor space.
“We had spent a lot of time researching kitchen styles. Given the nature of an older building, along with several rounds of reconfiguration over the years, it really needed a bespoke kitchen that could be built around non standard walls and structural changes. I’d been scanning websites like Houzz and Pinterest for ideas and fell in love with the idea of a painted wood kitchen style with a modern twist.”
Cathy contacted local bespoke carpentry company Incite Interiors in Draycott. They typically produce traditional oak cabinetry but were happy to take Cathy’s design ideas and create her perfect family kitchen design.
With the kitchen commissioned and the overall colours and furniture styles for the scheme chosen, the next crucial decision was flooring – a key element that would bring the entire space together.
“We knew we definitely wanted real wood and I was leaning towards solid block parquet floors. However cost and potential installation and maintenance difficulties worried me, so I began researching engineered parquet options. I visited my local flooring specialists, Spondon Carpets, and as soon as I saw V4’s Zigzag display samples I knew this was the style of floor that would finish off the space perfectly.
“We selected Frozen Umber from the collection. I liked that it felt modern and light, but still maintained some natural grain and character which added darker, warm tones. It produced a lovely overall mid-tone which would work with both the light and dark interior colours we had chosen for the space.
Spondon carpets installed Zigzag Frozen Umber herringbone oak blocks throughout the new open plan space in just a few days, including preparation of a new sub floor to level out where walls had been removed and floors levels were at different heights from past configurations.
With a simple and tongue and groove installation profile the Zigzag blocks allow for easy installation and are extremely versatile, offering a choice of laying patterns.
“We really love the floors, they complete the space and everyone always compliments them. They have also been really easy to clean and seem to require very little maintenance. We are delighted with the finished project. Now all the hard work is completed we are able to just relax and enjoy more family time together in our lovely open plan space.”