Once an apple and pear orchard, the Edwardian-constructed build oozed potential to become a family home. Decades later, when the Bricken family moved in, they decided to add even more space to the 2,200sqft property, with plans to maximise the 1,100sqft basement area.
"They decided to dig out the basement area in order to add a cinema room, gym, wine storage and laundry room," bespoke furniture designer Barbara Genda tells us. "They also wanted to extend the ground floor across the rear of the property to create an even more generously sized kitchen-dining-living space. Internal dividing walls were removed in order to maximise the open-plan feel on the ground floor, whilst the first floor was reconfigured to create a master suite, by converting an unused bedroom into an ensuite bathroom." The project in a nutshell
The home: An Edwardian terrace house in Chelsea, London
Who lives here? Kathryn Bricken, founder of gourmet cookie dough company Doughlicious, her investment banker husband, Dan, and their three children.
As a woman who's made her fortune from cookie dough, it makes perfect sense the she loves cooking, and both she and Dan adore entertaning. With that in mind, "they wanted to create a welcoming space with lots of natural light", Barbara tells us, "as well as an open feel and easy access to the garden, so they can spill outside on warm days". It was also essential to guarantee the kitchen would offer plenty of storage; its streamlined and sleek design ensures the space feels clear, rather than cluttered. The marble-wrapped island is sat opposite a unit that 'functions as a bakery centre', which houses all of Kathryn's professional kit and is her go-to work-space when she's developing recipes.
With the original walls stripped away, the Brickens decided Crittall-style doors between the cooking and living spaces would be essential for zoning the open-plan area, without obstructing the flow of natural light that streamed in from the garden.
Barbara also worked on the master bedroom in the stunning home, where Kathryn and Dan were keen to create a 'serene' feel. "They commissioned me to design a whole wall of wardrobes," Barbara tells us, "so they can put all their clothes away and keep all the clutter out of sight, too".
Special mention must go to that newly-developed wine storage area, nestled in that reconfigured basement zone. The walnut shelves and cubby holes were all custom-made by Barbara, offering a practical way to keep the wine ready for drinking as and when required, as well as creating a good-looking feature in an otherwise empty space.
Barbara's advice for anyone who is considering investing in their own custom-made furniture? "You'll get on average 30-40% more storage from a bespoke piece of furniture in comparison to a design you can buy off the shelf," she reveals. "Built-in solutions should never be the aim, per se; rather, ask yourself what you need to store and accommodate and decide, only then, what solution(s) is most appropriate for the space."
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