The house was a bland, beige box when we first moved in,’ says Erica Davies who relocated to the North Essex countryside from London, with husband, James and children Charlie, seven and Lila, five, less than two years ago. ‘But it was bland with potential. I loved the light and the space and knew what we could do. The kitchen was dark and led onto a conservatory, which was too cold in the winter and too hot in summer. The first thing to do was to knock through and put a roof on so it would become part of the whole space.’

Fashion editor and blogger Erica has a huge following on her social platforms, including Instagram, so when she was publicly mulling over her options of what to do next with her kitchen, Herringbone Kitchens took note and got in touch with a speculative email. ‘It was serendipitous,’ says Erica. ‘We had gotten our extra finance through that day and were just about ready to sign on the dotted line. At Herringbone they got my style instantly and knew how to achieve the details I wanted. I also loved the fact that they are a family run business which is very much what I’m about too.’

In terms of design, Erica says she had always loved the simplicity of a Shaker kitchen, but saw it teamed with a dramatic inky blue combination. ‘We wanted our island to be slightly larger than the previous one so we could fit two stools underneath and also a wine fridge – very important!’ she says. Other ideas came from all over. ‘I’m lucky to visit a lot of amazing restaurants and hotels with work and am drawn to great design generally,’ says Erica. ‘I think a lot must have gone in subconsciously, because I was really decisive about my use of colour. The cabinets were always going to be blue, the rug was going to spark a bit of pink elsewhere, my stairs are bright grass green so I wanted the sofa to bring that through into the room; so it all started to come together. Essentially I wanted it to be a fun, inspiring space that we could all relax and socialise in.’

Has Erica achieved the dream look she was going for? ‘More than that, it has changed our lives,’ she says, ‘I used to walk into the kitchen and feel a bit down, make dinner and leave as soon as I could. Now I’m working from the table, using all the space and it’s exactly the kind of feel I wanted to achieve.'

The Rye kitchen from Herringbone Kitchens starts from £20,000.
Photos by: Malcolm Menzies

Article by: Ciara Elliott