Matt, his wife and three young children moved to their new family home in autumn 2018 after deciding it was time to find a bigger home. Matt explains, “We’d been in our previous home, also in Kingston, for over 15 years. It was just the two of us when we moved in and as our family grew we had extended out and up on the home, but with the kids’ hitting 6, 8 and 10 we felt we were starting to outgrow the home and as there was no more scope to extend we decided it was time to look for a bigger long term family home.
“We were happy in the area we lived and the children were settled in schools, so we started the search for something bigger in the same area and found this 1930’s built four-bedroom detached home. It offered us plenty of space and had the scope to extend so we decided to go for it.”
The couple were keen to future proof the home as the children got older and take advantage of the opportunity to extend as soon as possible to create a large open plan kitchen and living space where all the family could go about their different activities together.
“We had plenty of space upstairs but with the opportunity to add a single storey extension across the back of the house and convert a separate garage into a connected living space inside the home we decided not to waste any time. It was pretty much the day after moving in we got an architect involved to draw up plans for the extension and we were finally in a position to get cracking with the work just under a year later with all the necessary planning in place.”
The original house had a separate kitchen and dining room so by knocking these together and adding a large 10m x 4m rear extension the couple would create a wonderful open plan family space. Key to their design brief was introducing as much natural light as possible so roof lights, an extra large kitchen window and 4.5m long sliding patio doors were all introduced into the build design.
“We lived in the house while the building work took place, which was testing with three young children, starting with a make shift kitchen in the garage until this was reconfigured to become part of the home, giving us the room for a study downstairs.
“With building work progressing my wife and I started kitchen shopping. We had actually spent quite a lot of time specifying a bespoke kitchen design with a local company but we were thrown a spanner in the works when we were told that the kitchen could not be delivered to meet our end of year deadline, so very quickly we had to find an alternative as we just didn’t want to wait that long to have a working kitchen again.
“We eventually went with Howdens. They were able to work from our preferred plans to design us a very close match in terms of look, sizes and layout from their Tewkesbury range. We wanted something that was a very contemporary take on a shaker kitchen, and something that would stand the test of time using subtle colours.”
At the heart of the couple’s design palette was ensuring the space felt very light and natural and the choice of Dove Grey for the main units and a contrasting Slate Grey for the island achieves a stylish and effortless finish.
“We were careful to design the kitchen to include heaps of storage, hidden appliances and a large island that would have room for all the family to sit around. The finishing touch was handles from Armac Martin. We had a bit of a wait for these, and they were an investment, but it was worth it as they add a lovely bespoke touch to our design.”
When it came to deciding on flooring Matt was keen to have a uniform wood floor finish running throughout the ground floor.
“We had V4 Wood Flooring planks installed in our previous home and had nothing but a really positive experience in both installing and living with their floors. We did visit some local flooring shops to look at other options but to be honest, once we were decided on wood we thought why would we not choose V4 given our past experience.
“The home is 1930’s in build style and the old floors were a parquet style. They would need replacing and we liked the idea of going with a modern parquet style in the form of a herringbone pattern – it would be contemporary but still suit the original style of the home.
After comparing samples from the V4 Zigzag herringbone wood floor collection they eventually chose the Frozen Umber finish which delivers a warm, mid-tone oak surface featuring soft rustic grains and textures.
“V4’s Zigzag collection looked perfect. The block size was generous, not too small or too big, and they would also work with our planned underfloor heating system. Looking at tonal choice we wanted to avoid anything with orangey oak tones and loved the look of Frozen Umber. The surface combined lovely mix of warm and light brown tones but also has an almost grey feel to it. We thought they would be perfect to add subtle warm tones in the home and a bit of texture and character that would still appear light and contemporary.”
Matt ordered the floors from Oakwoods Flooring and the couple’s builder completed the installation. They now run throughout the ground floor of the extended home, greeting you in the welcoming hallway, running into the separate study and lounge and then through to the spacious and bright open plan family room they have created.
The spaces are finished in a light paint palette with Farrow & Ball in Strong White and Ammonite to complete the natural and spacious feel they wanted, and pendants and wall lights from Industville add a little vintage twist to the design.
The family room now gets flooded with natural light from the roof lights, large sliding patio doors and extra large kitchen window.
“We absolutely love the finished floors. They are the perfect tone, helping make the downstairs of our house feel bright, spacious and modern, just what we wanted for the home. The installation pattern and slightly rustic grains add depth and texture to the floors and the blocks are a perfect size. Installed over our new underfloor heating system they feel so soft and warm underfoot.”
“The space works exactly how we had hoped for us as a family. All five of us can fit around the island for breakfast, and in the evening the kids’ gather on the sofa around the new fireplace to do their homework while we cook. We’ve just ordered a large ten-seater dining table too so we also have a fabulous hub for socialising with friends.
“It was all finished just in time for Christmas and after a little break we are now working on the garden. When that’s finished it will all connect wonderfully with the inside space and large patio doors and we can’t wait to enjoy our first summer with the house and garden all completed.”