Designer    Case Study 30 May 2013

Streamlining Country Living: Surrey homeowners retain the luxuries of the country minus the clutter

A new build property with a long list of demanding requirements made for a challenging, but ultimately rewarding, bespoke design….

Ambitious new home building often demands a fair bit of patience, but the owners of this ultra-modernist villa were determined to do everything necessary to bring about success with a project that they hoped would enable them to retain all the luxuries of country living but with a de-cluttered, streamlined lifestyle.

The home itself was a long time in the making. The owners had spent quite a while looking for the right plot to build their own home. They eventually found a 1960s bungalow in a good, secluded position in Surrey and set about knocking it down and building a beautiful modern house on the site.

The family previously lived in a very old manor house so their new abode represents a complete change of lifestyle. Key to the overall build was a space that brought the outdoors into the home in a number of ways. The kitchen was an important part of this, with large windows and a free-flowing open design which was created to give a real sense of light and space.

The owners chose Chamber Furniture to make this space work, as they knew about the company’s reputation for bespoke creations. Managing Director Scott Nicholson was tasked with helping to make this house a home, designing and supplying all of the kitchen cabinetry, worktops and appliances, as well as an integrated home office niche in the living area.

A minimalist aesthetic style was important throughout and Nicholson used a number of processes to make that happen: “We installed discreet downdraft ventilation to remove clutter from sight lines, and concealed multiple cooling and cooking appliances behind over-sized furniture doors and retractable mechanisms to keep cleaner lines.”

The kitchen features bookmatched American black walnut and a subtle pearlescent mink grey lacquer cabinetry. Polished taupe quartz worktops – similar in tone to the matt floor tiles – and a back-lit opaque glass splashback were all chosen to add some warmth to the space.

The design was completed with Gaggenau appliances throughout, as well as a Quooker boiling water tap for convenience – and to remove the need for a clutter-inducing kettle.

It is a suitably high specification for a kitchen scheme that had to do justice to the bold modern style of the architecture which envelopes it and which itself has some real stand-out features. Dyer Grimes Architects’ clever design for the house means the first floor appears to ‘hover’ over the kitchen dining area and swimming pool with no visible support columns. It makes for a unique space that has already earned it some out-of-the-ordinary levels of attention – the property has played host to film crews from a Bollywood film and a pop video.

It also boasts impressive green credentials. Great emphasis was placed on constructing the home in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way. A tough sustainability target was set; to generate 20 per cent of the energy required by using renewable energy sources.

Energy efficiency has been maximised through the incorporation of solar hot water collectors on the roof, a highly sustainable drainage system and an air source heat pump which circulates heat around the entire house.

There are also some neat, less obvious touches that set the house apart. As well as a glass sided swimming pool, the laundry chute that runs directly from the bedroom area to the utility room is a nice little practical touch that makes one domestic task that much less hassle.

But it’s the kitchen that makes this architectural statement piece a real home. Nicholson says: “The simplicity of form and scale of the installation works well in context with the super-sized crisp architecture.”

Chamber Furniture |

Dyer Grimes Architects |

Published in Designer Kitchen & Bathroom Magazine