After almost a decade of living in their Victorian ground-floor flat in Bristol, homeowners Katharine and Adrian Jarvis needed more space to raise their family. Here, Katharine tells KBB journo Amelia Thorpe how the project came together…
“The kitchen was dark and cramped, and situated at the front of the flat, so I spent all my time running backwards and forwards to keep an eye on the children in the garden,” recalls Katharine. So, the couple decided on a rear extension to create a larger space.
The plans for the extension
What was the starting point?
We noticed that the roots of a Scottish pine tree in the garden were beginning to push up some paving stones close to the house and became worried they might cause some structural damage. We had never much liked the tree. It was full of spiders and wasps and blocked lots of natural light, so we decided to remove it. This made room for a rectangular single-storey extension on one side of the house with enough floor area for a kitchen.
Did you need to apply for planning permission?
As the house is in a conservation area, the first stage was to gain permission to remove the tree. This wasn’t difficult once we had explained the potential for structural damage and that it wasn’t an unusual species or particularly old. Our neighbours were also in favour, as it blocked much of their light, too.
My sister-in-law, who is an architect, drew up the plans for the extension, which was to be in a complementary style to the house and be built in the same Bath stone. Our neighbours, including the three flats above ours, were all on side. So, the planning process was straightforward.
How to apply for planning permission? Click here
The inspiration for the white kitchen
What was your vision for the new white kitchen?
I had a firm idea of the classic, timeless look I wanted – a calm backdrop for busy family life. We chose the steel-framed windows and doors to add some contemporary style and frame the beautiful views of the garden. The huge skylight floods the room with natural light, which flows through to the living-dining space in the original part of the house.
What led you to John Lewis of Hungerford to design the kitchen?
We wanted to use a local supplier and I often walked past the showroom in Clifton Village. I had grown to love the look of the furniture and appreciate its quality. So I made my mind up quickly, especially as the team were so helpful and easy to work with. We chose the Shaker in-frame cabinetry for its classic style to suit the age of the house, with burnished brass details for a warm, contemporary touch.
The design process of the white kitchen
How did the white kitchen design develop?
Inspired by Scandinavian style, the walls are clad in a stoney off-white tongue-and-groove panelling. This adds depth and texture and helps the furniture stand out. The cabinetry is painted in Flour, a warm off-white from John Lewis of Hungerford’s own colour collection.
The shades blend beautifully with the combination of natural materials: Carrara marble worktops, a white-oiled countertop on the island and warm grey limestone floor tiles. The dark steel frames of the glazing bring in extra definition.
Click here for wall panelling ideas for your kitchen
Can you tell us about the kitchen layout?
Adrian and I love to cook and entertain. We operate an open-door policy in our home, so friends are always dropping in and out. It was important to us to create a kitchen with maximum preparation space, which is why we don’t have any barstools at the island. We can devote the entire surface to chopping and serving.
The focal point of the room is the cast iron Esse range cooker, which I love for its radiant warmth and homely look. It has a big induction hob and a hot plate, three ovens and a grill. So, it works very well for family-size cooking.
We have lots of storage in the base cabinets and a bi-fold unit for small appliances, to hide away the microwave and Thermomix multicooker. This meant that we didn’t need any wall cupboards, which I felt would have cluttered the space.
As originally told to: Amelia Thorpe | Photography: Ryan Wicks