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Project Complete: Wandsworth SW18

March 21, 2014

Today we are featuring a project we recently completed in Wandsworth to update and enlarge a kitchen. Our clients bought their home from a developer who had added a basic kitchen to the property that didn’t work for the clients lifestyle. The space was very unimaginative with a simple L shaped kitchen in a very large kitchen living dining room. The brief was to create a social hub of the home for relaxing with friends and family.

After reviewing the existing units, and discovering they were still available from the supplier we decided it was pointless to rip them out and start again. We had a basic framework to start with, subtract from and add too. A large island was one of the main requests from the client and this has helped to define the kitchen area within the large space. The existing oven under the hob was removed to provide a new oven and microwave in tall housing, the existing hob was also replaced with an extra wide one to include a wok burner.

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To brighten the kitchen we replaced a small window with a large bi-fold door that allows the kitchen and garden to become one. As is typical of many London homes the property features a small courtyard that was cut off from the kitchen before the new door went in. The project also included laying a new walnut floor through out the kitchen and the larger living/dining area.

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Using our preferred natural stone supplier we were able to match the existing granite worktops to add a large feature top to the island unit. The island is used as a preparation area so we added electricity sockets on both ends to allow small kitchen appliances to be used. To finish the decoration we renewed the handles, added large globe pendants above the island and painted a feature wall in Little Greene Turquoise Blue.

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When you are planning a kitchen project it is often so tempting to rip everything out and start again. However, it often pays to step back, look at what you have and see if you can reuse it. Our client is delighted with their kitchen, they got a high-end look for a low spend and love it.

All photography by Paul Craig www.pcraig.co.uk

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Room of the Week

March 19, 2014

With the official start of Spring just a couple of days away our Room of the Week is a colourful yellow themed bedroom. At this time of the year gardens and parks are full of vibrant daffodil yellow and it is a great colour to use for inspiration when decorating in your home.

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The combination of yellow and grey in this room really works well to create a soft restful bedroom scheme. Yellow is a colour you need to be careful using if you don’t want your room to look like a child’s playroom, but it is a great choice for accents and feature walls.

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Louis Poulsen Toldbod 120 Duo

March 17, 2014

Lighting is an essential but often overlooked part of any interior design project. If you are doing a kitchen you’ll choose your cabinets, the appliances, the worktops and finally think “oh let’s just go with downlights in the ceiling” when it comes to the lighting. Given the mood enhancing qualities of light it really deserves more attention from the beginning of a project. During the first fix on a project your electrician needs to understand what lighting you want to allow the correct wiring to be installed then, rather than later at additional cost!

I’m currently designing a large open plan kitchen and the specification of the lighting is firmly up near the top of the list while I’m designing. The design incorporates a large 2.4m x 1.2m island which will in time, I imagine, become THE place that the home owner and their guests congregate so I want to make a feature of the pendant lighting over the island. The colour scheme will include light and dark grey cabinets with a soft grey limestone floor, but I also want to include subtle aspects of colour – cue the new colours in the Toldbod range from Louis Poulsen.

Launched last month the two pendants with the grey tones will work perfectly in this kitchen project. Adding subtle colour inside fittings is a great trick to add unexpected interest to your interior. Initially you will see the grey exterior but when you are sat at the large island the pop of orange or turquoise will hit you.

These pendants retail for a reasonable £180 and as well as the new Duo colour combinations it is available in 5 other finishes. Apart from using it over the kitchen island I also like the idea of hanging it in a cluster. It then becomes the perfect fitting for a tall hallway or alternatively use them to make a feature in the corner of a room. The full range can be seen on the Louis Poulsen website.

If you have enjoyed this post why don’t you head over to our page on Facebook, or follow me for my regular updates on twitter. Full details of all our Interior Design and Build services can be found on our website.  

Room of the Week

March 5, 2014

Today’s Room of the Week is a very glamorous bedroom where a mixture of dusky pinks and dramatic features are mixed with an faux precious metal wallpaper. The room has a vintage feel about it, this style is enhanced by the art work and the mannequin displaying a faux fur stole.

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Your bedroom is one room of the house where you should allow yourself to be more indulgent with your choice of finishes. The room should be all about relaxation, and using a few simple luxurious touches will help you achieve this feel. This doesn’t however have to mean spending a fortune, the simple addition of a feature wall of luxury wallpaper really lifted this room to a high end look.

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Room of the Week

February 12, 2014

Today’s Room of the Week is a modern kitchen with classical twist. I am currently designing a kitchen in this style for a home in Islington where the brief is for very modern appliances and technology teamed with cabinetry that compliments the traditional house. The kitchen below uses cabinetry with traditional style but in a very on trend palette of soft grey.

Although the recent fashion in kitchen design has seen the introduction of the handleless kitchen and a widespread use of high gloss doors this style is not always appropriate. More than any other room the kitchen is the one where you need to think long term, will the high gloss red units you love today still look good in 5 years? A traditional style however doesn’t have to mean old fashioned! Many of the modern must haves of a kitchen can easily be combined with a traditional style. Plain English make beautiful kitchens in the traditional way using techniques that date back to the 18th and 19th Century. Handmade in their Suffolk warehouse their kitchens feature wooden runners, and baskets made from willow – while combining the latest must have kitchen appliances.

A traditional stone is required for this project so we have specified a honed limestone from Artisans of Devizes. Limestone is one of my favoured finishes for kitchen projects but people are often afraid of using it due to maintenance horror stories they have heard. The reality is that if your stone is properly sealed when laid it will keep on looking great for many years to come. Limestone is a porous material so this sealing process is essential. The limestone chosen for our current project actually has the advantage of natural veining which does help to make it easier to maintain.

With a combination of soft grey cabinets and this lovely limestone this project should certain deliver to the brief. Watch this space over the next few months as this project starts to take shape.

This room was originally featured in the extensive galleries of House to Home. Take a look over at their website for room inspiration, and be sure to check back here every week to find which one of the rooms has been showcased.

Brabantia ‘Designed for living’

February 10, 2014

Having acquired my first Brabantia bin back in around 2002 it’s great to have been involved with the company professionally over the last few years as they have expanded their range away from bins and into homewares. Back in 2011 we saw the introduction of the Get Together range which I love and use daily in my own home. Last year they held an international design competition to Pimp our Print and I helped to judge the many entries to find a new design for Brabantia to use on products. The winning design ‘Pauline’ can be seen below.

Brabantia have now announced ‘Designed for living’ where they are building on the success of the last few years and aiming to enhance their reputation as a global interior design brand. This initiative will see their range expanded further as Brabantia aims to give the simple products we all use in our homes daily the designer edge, with a new logo, new product designs and all delivered in a contemporary colour palette.

Over the next few months expect to see new products that will make the daily chores that little bit more pleasurable by using good design and fun colours. These laundry bags take a rather mundane item and add colour to transfer it – pop the red or the yellow one into your children’s bedroom and  they’ll love to use it, no more clothes on the floor!

I’m really excited about the new range of stackable glass jars that have been added to the Brabantia range. They are available in 4 different sizes and the good news is that the glass is not only dishwasher safe but also heat-resistant and microwave proof. With a 10 year guarantee the glass jars will provide you with years of smart storage. Also the new colour palette of Light Grey, Light Mint, Dark Mint and Dark Grey will work so well in the modern contemporary home.

It is obvious that Brabantia is a brand to watch as they introduce the new products through the year. Head over to their website to take a look at more of the new ‘Designed for living’ homewares available from April. I’m planning a kitchen makeover with the new products – especially those glass jars and the minty metal range you can see on the website.

Nature’s colour schemes

January 31, 2014

While travelling last week I realised that often the purest colours schemes can be found in nature. For stunning scenery the landscape of Norway takes some beating and the combination of colours is often phenomenal. I thought it would be a fun challenge to use snaps taken in Northern Norway and replicate the colour scheme. Using regular paint colours from Farrow & Ball, Little Greene and Dulux I have recreated the colours seen in three landscapes.

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This lake view was taken near Sørkjosen at the start of the majestic Reisa Fjord. The steaming lake was frozen around the edge and a sea mist was also present as daylight started to vanish at around 2pm. On the lake shore a fisherman’s hut was being used to dry locally caught fish.

To create the colour scheme seen at the lake I’ve used the Farrow & Ball palette with the featured colours Sky Light, Pitch Blue, Plummet and Black Blue. These colours combine to recreate the atmospheric mood experienced at the lake.

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Near to the village of Storslett the main E6 road runs around the coast of this stretch of Northern Norway. With temperatures averaging around minus 10 °C at this time of year the water from the local hills froze in October and will remain frozen for another couple more months, The different minerals in the water produces an amazing spectrum of colours when the water is frozen.

This focus of this colour scheme is icy neutrals with the darker shades representing exposed natural stone. I have used Dulux colours for this scheme with Nordic Spa, White Mist, Sophisticated Sage and Rich Black featured.

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High above the Fjords I stopped on the coastal road to admire the far stretching views over snow covered hills. At this time of year the sun never rises above the horizon so the pink blue haze was the only colour on an otherwise white landscape. This scene was definitely one of the highlights of the visit, the natural peace that the snow brings was amazing to experience.

The palette of colours from Little Greene was used to recreate the snowy scene. The colours in the sky touch the whole landscape so a warm glow appears despite the freezing temperatures. Little Greene colours Shirting, Whisper, Angie and Bone China Blue are featured for this colour scheme.

When planning your colour scheme for your own home you don’t always have to follow the latest trends or research endlessly to choose your colours. Take a look at your local neighbourhood, or find a favourite snap from your holidays and you will be amazed at the wonderful colour combinations you can discover.

All photography: Andrew Dunning – APD Interiors

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