Would you look at that picture? I mean, just look at it! I don’t know what I’m more jealous of, the roaring fire, those views of the Chiltern Hills, the enormous sliding doors, the rug or the parquet floor, or the kitchen this connects to. I also wish my houseplants looked that good as well. The list could go on, to be honest.
The lucky lady, who justifiably has got a huge smile on her face, is homeowner Susie McKechnie, founder at Susie McKechnie Interiors. She lives in the six-bedroom new build with her husband Andrew and children Aidan, 14 and Isla, 11.
Sat by the crackling fireplace, Susie tells me they took on the challenge of creating their dream home after Andrew persuaded her to go and look at a 1940s house in a village just outside of Tring.
They were blown away by the potential of the plot, and quickly set about plans to knock the house down and start again.
Susie asked for the kitchen to face the sunniest side of the house and have access to the garden, but she also wanted to enjoy the spectacular scenery across the valley – hence all the fabulous glazing.
However, she went against the grain a little when she decided she didn’t want a large open-plan kitchen-living-diner – and was in fact after a separate lounge instead – a decision she says she hasn’t regretted at all.
(She admits it’s a great way to hide from dirty dishes and noisy appliances! I hear ya!) Bespoke steel glazing and a drop in the floor level has ensured there’s a decent separation, but that it still feels open and light.
For the kitchen itself, Susie discovered The Shaker Kitchen Company online after spending lots of time researching. She knew she wanted a dark Shaker style and finds drawers far more useful than cupboards, so put in as many as would fit.
In terms of fixtures and fittings, she was adamant that the sink wasn’t going to be on the island – due to it ending up getting messy very easily – and a range cooker adds a more traditional feel. For the décor, she is a fan of monochrome looks, moody hues, and brass handles so went for a deep navy on the units. The flooring then injects a sense of history to the newbuild.
The family often have the garden doors opened wide on warm days, and as the living space has a terrace with valley views, they also regularly open those doors right up too.
It really feels like the house is now a part of the beautiful landscape that they’re incredibly lucky to have surrounding them. Now the interview’s over, it’s time to get roasting some marshmallows over that glorious fire. If you need me, I’ll be here…
Photography: Malcolm Menzies
Feature image: Susie enjoying the fireplace and the view