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Real home: a modern family home filled with quirky styling
Michele and Jim Stewart’s modernised family home is light, bright and spacious with quirky styling – reflecting Michele’s love of bold interior design
written on: 07-11-2018 16:45pm
Feature by Alison Gibb; photography by Douglas Gibb
After spotting a traditional 1930s bungalow with a large garden in a peaceful area of Edinburgh ten years ago, Michele finally persuaded her husband, Jim, to give up his much-loved country home for the conveniences of city life. "Jim could see the potential of this house – it was the perfect blank canvas for creating the free-flowing contemporary home we wanted in a convenient, central location."
There was plenty of space for an extension to house the living and dining space with a stunning garden view, whilst the loft was converted to provide three extra bedrooms plus a family bathroom.
The entire house was updated, inside and out, and Michele undertook the styling herself; "I originally trained as a florist but I enjoyed this so much that I’m setting up a homeware brand, QueenB Lifestyle."
When it came to the kitchen, the Stewarts continued with their contemporary approach and selected handleless cabinetry by modern manufacturer Leicht, with a bank of built-in appliances as a feature in the centre of the wall of sleek white units.
Being visible from the living and dining area, Michele wanted the detailing to be discreet, so chose an induction hob that sits flush with the work surface and an under-mounted sink with a mixer hot tap which keeps clutter to a minimum.
"We chose Kitchens International to fit the kitchen because of their reputation for precision when installing plumbing and appliances," Michele explains. "It has fulfilled all of our expectations – their designer really helped bring our ideas to life."
Michele designed the bedroom to be a fun space for guests. Seeing it as an opportunity to indulge her love of quirky wallpaper, she choose different geometric and floral designs for three of the walls and the ceiling.
The theme was inspired by her love of the artist Frida Kahlo, whose fearless use of colour has encouraged Michele to be bold in her own design work.
"Such vibrant choices in a small space was brave, I know, but friends who really did not feel confident in my style choice love it now – even my mum who is my harshest critic!" Michele laughs.
The master bedroom’s minimalist en suite was inspired by trips to Thailand and Bali, with the almost stark result greatly helped by the adjacent dressing room reducing the need for storage.
Designed as a highly functional wet room, three of the walls are floor-to-ceiling marble-effect tiles, with a large mirror spanning the fourth making the room feel larger and lighter.
The overall effect in all rooms, both individually and when considered together, is a carefully thought-out and creative design that perfectly matches the Stewarts’ personality.
Q&A with Claire Lovell, Sales Designer at Kitchens International
Can you tell us about the cabinetry? The furniture, Leicht’s Avance range in Frosty White, was chosen by Michele for its minimal aesthetic. The simple linear layout is perfect for a kitchen open to the living and dining room. It looks simple, but packs in as much as possible with extra storage above and below the appliance bank and long pan drawers on the island with clever inserts that house everything from crockery and cutlery to spice pots and aluminium foil.
How do you avoid clutter in such an open-plan space? The built-in pantry creates a clean kitchen look whilst everything, even freestanding appliances such as food processors and mixers can be hidden neatly and easily away. This design isn’t just for stuffing things in the cupboard, it genuinely makes life easier for the cook and once all the doors are shut the simple lines are pleasing and distract as little as possible from the otherwise glamorous décor. This clever internal storage solution houses two integrated dish drawers that are out of sight but still very accessible.
Why was the pendant extractor chosen? As well as being an attractive feature and providing lighting above the island, the pendant extractor was chosen because it is a ‘recycling’ model which, rather than sending the moisture, grease and so on outside via a duct, purifies the air through filters and charcoal before recirculating it back into the kitchen. The Stewarts couldn’t have ducting run from the centre of the room where the hob is located, so this was the most viable option.
STOCKISTS Appliances EX975LVC1E similar induction hob, £1,569; CT636LES6 built-in bean-to-cup coffee centre, £2,061; HB672GBS1B single oven, £899; CM656GBS6B compact oven with microwave £1,379; BI630CNS1B warming drawer, £529; KI81RAD30 built-in fridge, £1,139; GI38NA55GB built-in freezer, £1,269, all Siemens. Elica Juno pendant extractor in white, £834, Epicair. DD60SAHX9 Single DishDrawer™ dishwasher, £790 each, Fisher & Paykel. Fixtures & furniture, kitchen Leicht Avance cabinetry; Silestone Blanco Zeus worktop, both £POA, Kitchens International. Subline 500-U sink in Rock Grey Silgranit®, £POA, Blanco. Gusto boiling water tap in chrome, £294, Itho. Ferroker slate floor tiles; Globe Wall Bhutan slate wall tiles, both £POA, Porcelanosa. Feuilles de Luxe wallpaper in blue, £98 per 10m roll, The Loft and Us. Gloss dining table, £704, Just Interiors. Bedroom Similar Mcdowell wingback chair, £440, Wayfair.co.uk. Similar Chester chest of drawers in grey, £349, The Cotswold Company. Drawer handles, from a selection at Anthropologie. Rondo glass pendant lights, £59 each, Cotterell Lighting. Bxxlight light box, £410, PAD Lifestyle. Estate emulsion paint in Stiffkey Blue, £45 per 2.5L, Farrow & Ball. 3D wallpapers in designs TD31800 (on ceiling) and TD32100 (on wall behind bed), £POA, Today Interiors. Caprifoglio Tulipani wallpaper in Linen, £75 per 10m roll, Designers Guild. White & Green Waffle throw in white, £159, House of Fraser. Pistachio faux fur throw, £297; Pistachio faux fur cushion, from £57, both Helen Moore. Similar Christian Lacroix cushion, £110, PAD Lifestyle. Bathroom Mirror wall, £POA, Viewforth Glazing. Lounge bathtub; Urban C Waterfall wall-mounted mixer tap; Arquitect wall-hung WC; Maya Grey Stone Classico basin; Lounge basin mixer; Lounge waterfall style shower head; Lounge handset; Marmol Carrara Blanco marble-effect ceramic wall tiles, all £POA, Porcelanosa.
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