The challenge for the designers of this stunning new-build home in West London was to create an interior scheme that turned the house into a home. Commissioned by a developer to sell soon after building works were complete, the modern property sits at the end of a row of white Georgian stucco houses.
Within the six-bedroom home is a vast basement level that houses an open-plan kitchen overlooking a courtyard, a separate pantry and an adjoining dining and living area. Bespoke kitchen and furniture designer Martin Holliday of Chiselwood Ltd and architectural interior designer Rina Patel of Vastu came on board to give the space a stylish and characterful feel.
‘We worked from the architect plans, reconfiguring rooms and partitions to find the layout we felt would work best for the people who would potentially live here, with an interior scheme that would best enhance their lifestyle,’ says Rina.
Built on the site of a 1950s property, the new build stands out for its stunning contemporary exterior. ‘The council insisted on a modern design,’ says Rina. ‘So we chose fixtures and fittings throughout the interior that reflect the modern exterior, but that also feel unique and timeless.’
The design team strove to include eye-catching materials that felt tactile and comfortable. Early in the planning stages of the kitchen, Rina flew to Italy to source bookmatched slabs of marble (where slabs taken from the same block are alternated and polished on opposite sides to create an eye-catching pattern) for the splashbacks and worktops.
Meanwhile, Martin collated the materials for the cabinetry, and mapped out a layout that included two islands. ‘The island near the courtyard is in a sociable zone. It houses tableware and has bar stools, and there’s a coffee station nearby,’ explains Martin.
‘Then there’s a more practical island in the cooking area. This is also near a pocket door, which discreetly opens to reveal a pantry – ideal for entertaining and when the owners want to keep the prep work and mess behind closed doors.’
Martin strove to create a unique look for the cabinets. ‘We researched unusual materials and chose this bespoke handleless Caleidolegno herringbone veneer with copper detailing,’ he says. ‘We spray metal finishes in-house and copper was used to give a warmth and complement the veneer. The cabinetry is enhanced by carefully positioned lighting above, below and within the joinery.’
The marble used for the splashbacks and worktops helps tie the scheme together. ‘The elegant wave that runs through the marble creates an organic feel and echoes the copper used elsewhere,’ adds Rina, ‘and the drip-effect wallpaper, on the wall opposite the ovens, has a coppery sheen too.’
Q&A with Martin Holliday, founder and design director, Chiselwood Ltd
What challenges did you overcome? The room was in the basement and accessed down a spiral staircase. The large Sub-Zero refrigeration had to be craned in and it took four men to carry the other large appliances down. The extraction was also difficult due to the basement location and the run of the cabinetry, and we needed specialised ducting to cope with the Wolf cooking range.
What’s the most successful design feature? The unusual herringbone veneers and copper detailing make the kitchen unique. Having the pocket door that leads thorough to the pantry also works well. A Kohler sink, Wolf hob, Sub-Zero fridge, freezer and wine cooler are also housed here. These can then be hidden away when entertaining.
Can you tell us about the lighting? A lighting specialist from Lutron installed the system throughout the house. In the kitchen area, there’s lighting in the coffered ceilings and we installed similar LEDs in the furniture, which also throws light onto the cabinets and flooring to create a welcoming feel.
What’s your top kitchen-design tip? An L-shape or triangle that incorporates the main cooking area and sink means the cook doesn’t have to walk too far to get to anything. Be sure to have a budget in mind when you start planning your kitchen to help the designer get the best value for money, and have a wish list of things you want the room to achieve.
Photos by Adelina Iliev.