Originally, the property was formed from two farm buildings creating a confused layout that, although large, offered only one room to accommodate the kitchen, dining area and lounge. The room itself was of a reasonable size and shape with beautiful feature windows, yet insufficient in space to provide for these functions.
The proposed solution suggested two extensions to the room; a ''sun room'' style formal dining room accessed via an existing double doorway, and a lounge projected from the gable wall. The brief for the existing space then composed of a large kitchen, suitable for the size of the property, along with informal dining and, if possible, a lounge element to the room also.
In developing the brief it was clear that something spectacular was desired but there were clear divides within the couple concerning a traditional or contemporary approach to the interior. Through discussion we agreed that the layout was the overriding priority and that it may then steer us toward one or the other style. From further conversations we agreed that the cooking/dining/dinner party/entertaining scene was really important, and in fact a bar area would also be very useful. With this in mind we realised that overcrowding the space with furniture, and then people would create a poor user experience and so a very light, spacious feeling room became the brief. One where you could appreciate as much of the space as possible, whilst achieving all the desired function - and at the same time creating an intimate mood. A brief full of contradictions, but therein lies the challenge!
With the crux of the brief being to subtly load the space with a fairly large kitchen, dining feature, bar and lounge aspect (however small) without appearing overcrowded, I focused the design concept towards a contemporary solution. One that centred around a substantial, multifunctional centrepiece featuring a monolithic projection (see steel drawing) which transitions the user from food prep/cooking and serving onto the dining in a fluid form, whilst simultaneously retaining a high level of visibility of the space, particularly combined with the floor deliberately specified with a reflective finish.
Care was then taken to load the gable wall with the mass storage, yet attempt to have this storage feel light. The concept here being that only the necessary elements are specified as full 60cm deep, the remaining bulk sat back and formed from a bank of cubed cabinetry from which the feature pieces project. When viewing the wall we then naturally see the projecting items as the plane of reference and the bulk recedes somewhat.
A luxury palette of warmth and light, with contrasting materials and textures was formed to create the comfortable, relaxing ambience sought. Particular attention was paid to lighting interactions, which allows the space to function particularly well in an evening/entertainment setting. The comforting and relaxing atmosphere created here is what finally brought the couple together and allowed Mr D to eventually let go of the cottage style kitchen he envisaged!