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Profile: A New Build Home in The Country

A striking mix of steel, white, carbon and oak drapes this contemporary kitchen with character
   EKBB Magazine  |  written on: 18-12-2021 18:15pm

After living next door to an increasingly dilapidated cottage for 17 years, Jo and Dave Reeves were suddenly presented with an interesting opportunity. “We had always loved the next door spot with a garden of nearly an acre and its beautiful views of surrounding farmland, but the cottage was empty and it had gradually fallen to ruin,” explains Jo. “Then we heard that it was going to come up for sale, just at the time we had decided to move house. We couldn’t face redecorating for the fourth time! We also wanted a bigger garden, now that Dave is semi-retired.”

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Quick View

- Owners/residents: Jo and Dave Reeves

- Designer: Mark Johnson, design director of Beau-Port Kitchens

- Style: Rustic, industrial

- Kitchen feature: Catching the eye is a large island clad in 100mm polished stainless steel, finished with a breakfast bar in textured painted oak

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They moved quickly to purchase the Surrey site, with a plan to demolish the old cottage and build a new home themselves, despite having never tackled a project on this scale before. “It was exciting,” recalls Jo. “We had only renovated homes prior to this, but we’re not afraid of trying something new.” So they sold their existing home, moved into a rented property in a nearby village and after calling upon the advice of Jo’s brother-in-law, builder and local architect, Louise Bonnington, set to work.

In order to minimise the impact of the new build on its surroundings, Jo and Dave chose to set the house into the slope of the land, with three bedrooms on the lower floor, an open-plan kitchen on the first floor and master bedroom above. It was designer Mark Johnson of Beau-Port Kitchens that they called upon to produce their kitchen. “We wanted to create a statement in the large space,” explains Jo, who chose an industrial-inspired stainless steel island as the focal point of the design. “It’s handsome, chunky proportions suit the scale of the room and we love the contrast of the textured, raw-look oak breakfast bar against the sleek steel.”

The drama of the island and beauty of the crafted oak beam structure is offset by an L-shaped run of handleless cabinetry. “We wanted something fairly simple to create a calm backdrop,” she explains.

Q & A – Mark Johnson, design director of Beau-Port Kitchens

- How did you begin the design?
Jo and Dave chose the stainless steel island to make a stylish feature in the room, so that was the starting point. It is custom-made at over 3m long, with an integrated sink, seamless worktop and side panels that sweep to the floor, making it an eye-catching design. To add more interest and provide a soft and warm contrast to the cool steel, the attached breakfast bar has a painted and distressed oak effect finish, to work with the warmth of the solid oak floor and beams.

- Can you tell us about the wall furniture?
Picking up on the drawers in Snow matt lacquer on one side of the island and Carbon on the other, the base units are finished in the same white. The wall units in the same Carbon are designed to tie the look together, reflect the line of the adjacent ‘letter box’ window, and provide more storage. The handleless design is clean-lined and contemporary, in keeping with the linear island, while the slender black granite worktop echoes the monochromatic look.

- And the cooker hood?
In a large open-plan room, the ducting required for a conventional extractor hood above an island can be unsightly. This Twister design however has a stylish black aluminium finish and integrated LED lighting, does not require ducting, is easy to install and uses an ionisation system to purify the air.

See more of the house

Credit: Paul Craig (Images), Amelia Thorpe (Words)
Published: As featured in EKBB Magazine, Issue 243, July 2016

Also read
Profile: From Victorian Farm Building to Ceramics Studio
Profile: An Eco-Friendly Cooking Space for the Whole Family

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