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Character Building

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Character Building

When buying a new house, adding our own personal stamp on it is key to creating a home full of warmth and love. Transforming what was originally a modern, minimalist kitchen into something full of character was top of the list for @everybodysbuildingdaybyday and family in their arts and crafts-style Surrey property. The house is only 10 years old and comes complete with lots of levels and zones for various activities. When the family moved in, they knew immediately that they would have a project on their hands with a wish list that included high ceilings and plenty of natural light to let the greenery of the garden and forest outside feel a part of the inside, too.

‘My ambition was to create a light, airy, cool, homely feel,’ explains owner Tim, ‘where life can happen. We do lots of entertaining but we also needed the space to be practical for a family of five as well as the dog and cat. The fact that we live in the countryside also meant that when it came to the flooring, we needed something that would last and survive the mud from the forest.’

The solution was to combine classic Shaker cabinetry in a pale green painted finish with the honey tones of large format Cipriani Limestone floor tiles from Artisans of Devizes. As well as offering a practical, easy-clean surface underfoot, the stone brings natural organic beauty into the large open-plan area, reinforcing the outside-in appeal of the sociable space.

‘We wanted flooring that would bounce the light around, be lovely to walk on in bare feet as well as being practical and beautiful,’ adds Tim. ‘We knew as soon as we saw this stone that it was the one for us. The colour is warm and homely yet cool, light and airy at the same time and the kitchen now feels more of a creative and inspiring place to be, whether for cooking, doing art or chatting over a cup of tea. With three children there is always lots of activity and noise. We wanted the backdrop to reflect the character of the house but also to be calm and practical with lots of natural materials and open, usable spaces. We live in this room, which is now calm and welcoming. Now the whole family can be in one space doing different things, independent but together.’

The new utility area is functional and fun, with Artisans of Devizes’ Terrazzo Pavia decorative floor tiles adding instant impact as soon as you enter the room. The family wanted a French scullery feel, where all sorts of daily chores and activities could take place, from cleaning the dog and the family’s wellies to washing paintbrushes and cutting flowers. The combination of open and closed storage along with a large butler sink, washing machine and tumble dryer keep everything in one place, with shelving for muddy boots, a hanging laundry rack and copper overhead lighting all enhancing the classic look. With flooring being one of the most important choices when it comes to creating an overall effect within a room, it’s clear that this family have got it just right.