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Real home: sumptuous summer spaces

A lesson in how to make the most of natural light
   Hannah Caton  |  written on: 23-07-2019 10:00am

The project in a nutshell


Location: Oxshott, Surrey

Designer: Hill House Interiors

What was the design brief? Complete renovation, update to suit the changing family dynamic of two grown up children

As summer rolls in and evenings stretch out, so begins the season for al fresco entertaining and making the most of the long hours of natural daylight.  The owners of Hill House Interiors’ latest scheme are now enjoying their magnificent garden in the heart of Surrey. Finding the right arrangement that caters for casual weekend BBQ ‘s and formal dinner parties can be tricky. The designers at Hill House Interiors have worked hard to fulfil both functions whilst maintaining the character of the original building.

Making the most of the outdoor space is the beautiful pergola. It offers something a little more special than the normal open-air patio. Andrew Martin cushions complement the bespoke linen table runners, and the addition of the chic accessories and classic florals elevates the dining area to another level of sophistication.



“Outdoor entertaining should be an extension of the home”, comments Helen Bygraves, co-founder of Hill House, “and when guests retire to the more relaxed seating surrounding the fire pit after dinner, they can lounge on the soft cashmere throws from the formal drawing room, which work just as well outside as they do indoors.”

Glass doors from the orangery lead into the open plan kitchen/diner/living space. This open plan living space is perfect for a family with two growing teenage children living at home. A grand central island and breakfast bar are the focus of this luxurious space, enhanced with bespoke cabinets and kitchen units designed by Hill House in collaboration with master craftsmen Pedini.



The unused adjoining drawing room was changed into a multi-functional entertainment space that better suits the family's lifestyle. A staple of wish lists everywhere - a home bar - was incorporated as an extension of the main seating area.



Perhaps the biggest transformation during the project is the dramatic entrance hall, opened up to the floor above with a split glass-panelled staircase. Soft Silka carpets run down the stairs and blend seamlessly with Jerusalem crema grey marble flooring. Whilst the chandelier over the first-floor galleried landing makes a dramatic statement.



Helen explains, “The hallway is the first thing guests see when they enter a home. All the principal rooms lead from the hallway and need to continue to delight and impress, hence the formal drawing room comes with a bespoke lacquered oak bar, and on the first floor, the super-size master bedroom with luscious en-suite and walk in dressing room equals those enjoyed in the most exclusive world-class boutique hotels. “

 "The client loved our transformation so much, she has already briefed us on another property which we will be starting imminently!”

And a last piece of advice? “Bring your interior designer in from the very start!”

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Hannah Caton


Hannah is the online writer for KBBArk, providing the latest scoop on all things interior. She's always on the lookout for the latest trends and most beautiful re-designs.