When Sarah and her husband Martin moved into their 1920s semi-detached home 15 years ago, they had always planned on completely renovating the space. After a brilliant renovation, the couple has created a beautiful home, that with the help of interior designer and Sarah’s twin Sister, Emma Fishman, was complete with the perfect personal finishing touches. When discussing the brief of the project, Emma explains:
“The old kitchen was very cramped and limited because of the old chimney breast which was taking a lot of the room. By removing the old chimney breast, Sarah was able to reconfigure the layout and move the range cooker and the large fridge freezer to better locations in the space. Sarah and her husband Martin had always wanted a window seat and quite last minute asked the builder to push out the existing window frame, to create a cosy seat area, constructed from a timber structure. They also removed the door frame from the hallway, taking the opening up to the ceiling. Just by making these small changes the room looks and feels so much bigger as well as being a more practical space now. The new herringbone floor helps too, and reflects Sarah’s love of rustic style and creates a really homely feel.”
In keeping with the couple’s love of rustic style, they choose V4’s Smoked Oak Strip Herringbone, from the Tundra collection. This 100% Certified FSC floor is milled to perfection to create a stunning geometry throughout this home. Brushed and UV oiled, this floor is not only hardwearing but also filled with an abundance of character, perfectly capturing the warm and earthy look Sarah and Martin wanted. To further add character, the couple opted for the free of charge modification of a Cross Sawn Effect, a small detail that had a brilliant bespoke effect on the design.
Emma recalls “A rustic wooden floor was always on their wish list but when they started looking at different laying options, they fell in love with the herringbone pattern and felt it takes the floor to another level. Adding a herringbone pattern elevates the look in the kitchen and gives the floor added interest.”. Whilst Sarah notes “I picked smoked oak because I was after an interesting grain with a warm tone. I liked the floor because it was a matt finish. There are lots of other similar floor types, but they have a gloss finish which doesn’t appeal to me. The flooring we selected was just perfect”.
When it came to the interiors, Sarah and Martin’s ideas stemmed from their personal style. Sarah explains: “I didn’t really use much inspiration from other sources because both my husband and I had our ideas. I had pre-bought the green wall tiles for a while from a Mexican handmade shop and we re-used our stainless-steel units to save on costs. We changed the kitchen worktop to iroko solid wood surfaces to get a warm feel. With regards to rugs, I love an Aztec look so went for geometric patterns for floor rugs and runners”.
However, one key design concept was to create a seamless flow between their home and their beautiful garden, Sarah’s favourite area of their home.
“The inspiration to the home was to create a modern warm feel to the house with as much natural materials as possible. We don’t have a large house, but we wanted to create something gorgeous with what we have. I love our garden the most as we have built a lovely garden room. We have a stream running through the garden with a bridge. With regards to our house, we think the “feel” of the house is the nicest and visitors often say what a homely and cosy house it is. Colour is very important, and we wanted to echo the gorgeous colours in the garden. You can’t go wrong with using colours from your garden.”
Continuing the theme of connecting the home to the outside, Emma notes “They love the combination of the rustic wood flooring and green walls and feels it reflects the colours of the outside. Sarah and Martin are fortunate to have a large garden which they love and bringing the outside in was important, introducing earthy shades contributes to the homely feel in the room. Sarah and her husband Martin love the combination of the rustic wood flooring and green walls and feel it reflects the colours of the outside… bringing the outside in was important, introducing earthy shades contributes to the homely feel in the room.”
One design feature that greatly adds to the homely and inviting décor is the window seat. With beautiful cushioning and a lovely view of the garden, Sarah explains how this last-minute plan became her favourite seat in the house.
“The window seat was the central part of the plan but only very last minute. We had a brain wave to push the window out to create a window seat very late in the day. My husband, who is an architect, drew up the plans immediately and gave them to the builder. We re-used the original window and got an upholsterer to make up a seat cushion using some beautiful velvet fabric we had lying around. My husband designed bookshelves either side to house our many cookery books. I have to say this window seat is my favourite place in the house and I sit here to work. The many different greens from the garden are immensely relaxing and it’s lovely how it complements the kitchen.”
In addition to creating a relaxing space, the window seat also accompanied many practical changes in the home, interior designer Emma explains:
“The kitchen had to be more practical. A new layout has meant they have been able to double the storage space without extending the room. Sarah wanted the space to feel as cosy as any other room in her house and continued the use of green hues and rustic wood into the kitchen to flow from the rest of the house. Open shelving means Sarah gets to display all her handmade crockery and colourful prints and her velvet cushions in the window seat area makes it the perfect place to perch”
Overall, Sarah loves her floor, explaining “what I love about the flooring most are its warm tones and amazing colours in the grain. It’s not uniform in colour which I absolutely love. It’s a lovely interesting warm finish”. To learn more about our Tundra Herringbone Collection, click here.