A total re-design transformed Kate Barnes’ kitchen into a light, fresh and sun-filled space
– with the best views of her gorgeous garden
A beautiful garden is many a city homeowner’s dream, so Kate Barnes felt especially lucky to have a secluded oasis, filled with lush plants, a pond and mature trees at the rear of her west London Victorian terraced home. The only problem was — she couldn’t see it. ‘The ground floor of the house was very dark with a number of small, wall-divided rooms, complete with a kitchen and old-fashioned ‘lean-to’ at the back,’ explains Kate. Stand in any of those ground floor rooms, including the kitchen, and you’d be hard pressed to see that there was any garden at all, let alone such a verdant one. ‘I wanted to open up the ground floor to bring light into the house, give it a fresh and contemporary feel, and to be able to enjoy the garden,’ says Kate, who called in the team at Holloways of Ludlow Building Services to start work on the project, after following up a recommendation from a friend. Sarah Nelson, Director of the building services’ team, explains. ‘We knocked through the two front rooms to create one large space, demolished the old lean-to and knocked the back of the house down, then replaced it with a wrap around extension at the rear, built over the side return,’ she says. The result? A very open feel to the ground floor with views all the way through to the garden from the front door, and a kitchen almost doubled in size.
Above Zingy pops of colour in artwork and furniture add character to the fresh clean space
Left The tall Miele wine cooler provides safe storage with precise temperature control
Right Simple white handleless drawers have segregated dividers to keep cutlery organised
‘I wanted a contemporary kitchen with a svelte, minimalist look — the ‘less is more’ approach, to make the most of the new light and bright feel in the room,’ explains Kate, who commissioned Giorgia Vainutyte, designer from sister company Holloways of Ludlow Bespoke Kitchen & Joinery, to design the kitchen furniture. Giorgia responded with an elegantly simple and balanced design, featuring two Corian-wrapped and seamless islands that form the focus of the room. ‘Many of our designs ‘float’ around a central island, but in this room there was enough space and it made sense to include two,’ explains Giorgia. ‘One has a sociable side for bar stools, with views over the garden, plus a sink prep area, and the other has the hob, so Kate can enjoy the views herself when she is cooking.’
A wall of flush-fitted tall cabinets, opened with simple vertical finger pulls, creates a streamlined run of appliances and storage. An ECO-fire is positioned directly opposite to create an inviting and eye-catching feature, while more warmth is added by a walnut media section, built close to the dining table, for contrast and to ‘zone’ the entertaining area of the room. ‘We wanted to add some warm features into the room, to add atmosphere — it was important that the all-white look didn’t become clinical,’ explains Giorgia.
It was a major project, and Kate had to move out while the work was being carried out. ‘I would advise anyone else contemplating something like this to be prepared to spend lots of time focusing not just on the big issues, but on the small details too. It can be stressful, but also a lot of fun,’ she says. ‘I really feel the hard work has paid off. I have been able to entertain so much more now that I have a kitchen that makes it so easy. And most of all? I love the light and the feeling of being able to walk freely through the ground floor of my home and really enjoy the garden.’
Above Folding, sliding glass doors, pushed to one side, allow an easy indoor-outdoor flow
Below A walnut media zone adds warmth and provides entertainment within the dining space