This was yet another beautiful home to work on. The existing house had its original features and layout intact, which for the most part was fantastic. However, a negative aspect of these older period homes can be the disconnect between the living spaces, especially the kitchen, and the garden. This house has a wonderful back garden, but it was cut off from the kitchen / living area by a large fireplace and a utility room. Our challenge was to open up the kitchen to the garden whilst retaining a utility room.
The design solution was simple. We switched the positions of the utility room and kitchen. The kitchen was moved to the very back of the house and the utility was located towards the centre of the house. This required the removal of a large chimney breast and stack from ground level, through the first floor and through the roof. Removing this chimney had the added advantage of freeing up additional space in the rooms over the kitchen. Large double doors plus glass screens were installed in a new opening in the rear elevation and other window and door openings were modified to cater for the new layout. These new openings were particularly challenging because they needed to be made in brick walls.
The finishes were kept classical, though the choice of colours is modern. The black and white tiles from the original entrance hall were matched and extended into the new utility and cloaks space. The effect is that the house appears to be in the original configuration. There is no sense that the kitchen is a modern addition or that it has been relocated.
The space in which we worked received the full suite of retrofit works to make it comfortable and efficient. The kitchen is bright and warm where it had previously been dark and cold. Draughts in this part of the house are a thing of the past. The lighting is improved and the heating works perfectly.
The Finished House
This house remains a wonderful, classically proportioned period house with all the features that make these houses so desirable. Its one weakness, which was the kitchen / living, is now transformed to provide the owners with a comfortable kitchen / living space that perfectly compliments the rest of the house.