Rachel Blumsom and her husband moved into the Surrey home in summer 2019. Built in the 1970’s to appear as a more dated 1930’s style gable ended house, the house was always planned as a project and the couple couldn’t wait to start the transformation.
Rachel explains, “We were definitely on the lookout for a project home where we could put our own stamp on it and when this property came onto the market we could see the huge potential it offered. Inside it was very tired and dated and we were keen to completely transform the layout to make larger family friendly spaces. There was also scope to extend meaning we could create our long-term family home.
“Design wise we had very clear ideas, wanting to create a Hamptons inspired home where décor is kept light and bright with a whitewashed but sophisticated feel and clean lines create a naturally calming feel.
“Also key to our design plans was to create what I like to call a ‘lifestyle’ house. I wanted the home to feature large open spaces that got used, rather than lots of smaller, disjointed rooms. Our young son and dog make this a busy home and we wanted living spaces which would bring us all together and also be great for entertaining.”
The couple started making plans around how they could reconfigure and extend the home. They were agreed on completing a large double height side extension at some point in the future so decided to focus on the open plan kitchen first so they would have somewhere finished and a space to use when the major extension work started. This room would also lead out to the garden and important to the design and layout was making sure the inside and outside spaces connected naturally, introducing materials and a colour palette that would harmonise with the outdoors.
“There was an existing kitchen and dining room and by knocking through the adjoining wall and adding a rear extension within permitted development rules we could create a lovely open plan kitchen space that would lead out to the garden so we got cracking, starting with instructing a builder.”
Preparation began with some major re-wiring and plumbing work and then the extension started to take shape as Rachel turned her attention to the kitchen and flooring.
“We have had Howdens kitchens in the past and have always been delighted with them so I headed back to look at their latest ranges. I was keen on a shaker style and something that would be nice and light in the room. I opted for their Chelford range in Dove Grey and chose a Carrara Marble Quartz worktop from Weybridge Granite and Marble in white with subtle veins running through it.
“Flooring wasn’t quite so easy to agree on. We knew we wanted wood floors, we both work for Blumsom Timber Centre so the beauty of real wood products is firmly ingrained in our psyche. We looked at so many options from lots of different suppliers, we probably just confused ourselves. The kitchen was progressing fast and we had to make a decision and one where the floors would be available quickly. I asked my builder for his advice and he was quick to recommend V4 Wood Flooring. When we visited their website we could see they offered a great range of stocked styles plus had their V4 World showroom not far from us in Woking.
“We headed over and were extremely impressed. The showroom was a fantastic space and it was so useful to see the large format samples to get a real feel for how they would look in the finished space. The lighting in the showroom was also spot on to give a true to life feel. Our kitchen space would be flooded with natural light from the bi-fold doors and extension roof light we were installing so it was important to know how the floors would look in natural lighting.”
The couple eventually chose Urban Nature Fired Brick. The boards offer a warm natural oak surface which is also rich in rustic grains and texture. “I loved the generous size of the planks which would enhance the feeling of space in the room, and we also felt that a rustic floor with character would add some warmth and texture into the design, as well as being much more forgiving for a busy house, especially with our little sausage dog and his claws.”
The couple installed the wood floors as a floating floor over Wood’s Good Eco Gold underlay. Made from recycled tyres the underlay provides a solid base which also protects the wood floors from any rising moisture, and the extra cushioning in the underlay adds a nice soft feel underfoot.
The room was finished in a brilliant white Johnstones paint, with simple white skirting to match the windows and doors. The clean lines and light colourways are enhanced by the warm oak tones of the wood flooring.
“When I chose the wood floors I was really keen to find something that would blend naturally with any other wood finishes we introduced into the room, and the natural oak tones of Fired Brick does that wonderfully. We made our bespoke dining table and the oak table base, along with the fireplace lintel and bar stool tops all blend effortlessly to create a harmonious feel to the room. I sourced the pendant lights on Ebay and Tolix style bar stools from onlyhome.co.uk and added in Vitra chairs that we already had. It all works perfectly.”
The finished space is now a perfect place to spend time as a family with welcoming and calm Hamptons infused interior design at its core, delivering a light and spacious room with a natural connection to the outside. The bi-fold doors, sourced from Origin, extend the room into the rear garden and the kitchen sink area enjoys a bright view out to the front garden.
“We are so delighted to have this room finished and absolutely love the wood floors. The rustic appearance is beautiful and so practical with the dog and our son. They add a lovely element of character to the room and really do seem to get better with age.”
“The team at V4 were so incredibly helpful and nothing was too much trouble which really impressed us. As we chose UV Oiled floors we have added a raw transparent oil from OSMO to give them extra protection around the island and sink which was super easy to apply with a brush, following their instructions carefully. It hasn’t changed the appearance of the floors at all but makes sure they are extra protected from kitchen spills.
“Now we are taking a short renovation break as we wait for planning permission for the double height extension, but we feel more relaxed about this now knowing we have this room finished to retreat away in when the next phase of building work starts. That extension will create a large lounge and dining room, plus add to our space upstairs, and we plan to continue the Urban Nature Fired Brick wood floors throughout the downstairs of the finished home to create a seamless flow throughout all of the rooms.”