The desire for a welcoming family space and acute design sensibilities, led Dan and Lorraine Counsell back in time, to a look that embraces the past and the future
Spurred by the needs of their growing family (Holly, eight; Noah, six; and Sebastian, four), Dan and Lorraine Counsell’s move to the genteel streets of Hove inspired their choice of interior design. The grandeur of the Regency, Edwardian and Victorian homes around them influenced the couple to return to the Victorian values innate in the architecture of their home – craftmanship, natural materials, and architectural character. ‘We inherited a fairly modern kitchen, and a recent extension that felt distinct from the rest of the house. We had huge bi-fold doors, but they let in draughts and rain. With no skirting, and small roof windows, the whole space felt cold and unwelcoming,’ says Lorraine.
Creating a space as appropriate to family cooking as it was weekend entertaining became a focus, so Dan and Lorraine contacted Design Interiors. ‘We really liked their designs, so they did some drawings for us. With the children getting bigger, we decided to renovate the loft instead. Then, we realised we would need to take a chimney breast and lintel out of our son’s bedroom before we could start the kitchen, and thought we may as well work our way down from the top of the house.’
It was while renovating the rest of the house that Dan and Lorraine discovered the characteristic Davonport style. ‘We’ve used some of their units in the bathrooms because it’s that timeless, classic look we wanted. So, they made sense for the kitchen itself.’ The cabinetry has been further enhanced with a bold colour choice that has enough classic reference not to date. ‘Dan is a software developer and keen photographer, so more design-orientated. I’d seen the colour I wanted, and Lee was fantastic about hunting down just the right match. He was also great at sourcing all the finishing touches.’
After living with a cold, dark kitchen extension, Dan and Lorraine wanted the new space to convey warmth and light. New underfloor heating was topped with a limestone floor, laid throughout to unite the rooms. The bi-fold doors were scrapped in favour of hardwood casement windows and French doors, painted in soft Farrow & Ball Lamp Room Gray, were put in instead, additions that feel more sympathetic to the period in which their home was built. ‘We only ever opened the bi-fold doors a handful of times. We just don’t have the weather, but we open the French windows all the time.’ A multi-functional unit houses the TV peripherals, shelves, and storage for the logs to fuel the alcove woodburner. ‘We’re the only people we know that can’t wait for winter, so we can turn the underfloor heating on and light the woodburner,’ laughs Lorraine.
The combination of distinctive Holkham cabinetry by Davonport and striking Mylands Bond Street paint has the stature and style to effectively fill the imposing space, and cleverly provide all the storage a family needs. Walls in Farrow & Ball Dimpse Modern Emulsion, and high ceilings in their All White Estate Emulsion provide a contrast of light, without feeling stark. The Silestone Blanco Orion 30mm double bevel-edged worktop and upstand complete the smooth and soft play of light around the room.
Kitchen from Davonport start from £35,000.
Photos by Darren Chung
Article by: Kate Rowe