Before and After
Before and after shots, the “ta-da” at the end of a project though rarely will a client not witness the progression of the project. Nonetheless they illustrate perfectly how underwhelming spaces can be transformed through interior design, making them easier and more pleasurable to live in.
West Sussex Family Kitchen Diner
We should come clean – this in fact our own kitchen. After 9 years of living in a sea of inherited clashing blues, the summer of 2018 saw the start of our own project, the extension of our kitchen. Flexible family living was right at the top of the wish list. We love to entertain and family dining is really important to us. My own personal wish list also featured a space which would support me from a sensory perspective. Having permanently lost the sight in my left eye in 2012, I needed more light and more space around me than our old kitchen was providing. We opted for a Symphony kitchen, fitted by David and our son, Cameron. The worktop is Bianco Macaubas Quartzite and the tiles are Lakestone from our local tile supplier, The Tile People in Haywards Heath. The lighting is on 4 circuits; 2 for the main downlights, one for under cabinet and then an LED strip around the roof light. A flexible lighting scheme is especially important in a multi-use space like this so that light levels can be adjusted for cooking, home work or relaxed dining.
East Sussex Entrance Hall and Staircase
Our client had moved from a modern house and wanted a contemporary country interior for their new 5 bedroom/3 reception room home but they were also keen to include some more traditional features. In terms of colour scheme the brief was that it had to be calm and restful and flow from room to room. A selection of putty shades formed the base palette with varying accent colours in each room. The hall leads on to the dining room, sitting room, study and also the large kitchen with the family room beyond.
The structure of the building was relatively unchanged though we replaced the existing and rather clumsy oak staircase with beautiful bespoke walnut stairs. The house demanded a much more elegant staircase than the existing rustic oak and importantly one which would set the tone for the rest of the house. The oak floor was also overpowering and not in line with what the client wanted to achieve. The large format floor tiles used in the hall were taken through into the kitchen and family room. Everywhere else was the same neutral and luxurious deep pile carpet. Console tables from Michael Northcroft Furniture, wall lights from Heathfield & Co and feature wallcovering, Strawberry Thief from the Pure Morris range by Sanderson.
East Sussex En-suite Bathroom
This master en-suite bathroom was not decorated to our clients’ taste and did not make use of the potential space and light that was available. Our brief was to start from scratch, remove the old bathroom and design a luxury bathroom that would accommodate a double sink and vanity unit, bath, toilet and most importantly a large and well designed shower enclosure. Our clients wanted a light and airy feel, not overly modern but also not too traditional. Their love of wooden panelling was a large influence in the design as well.
Starting with the structure of the room we identified that the skeiling either side of the dormer window (which were fully boxed in and only hiding a soil pipe vent) could be removed. By removing the boxing I was able to maximise the natural light and the design options the larger space afforded. The existing bath was enormous and required Olympian agility to get in and out of and the client’s priority was to have a large shower. The space created by losing the boxing was perfect for the re positioned bath, the large shower sits in the corner allowing plenty of space for the Porter vanity unit. The Devon & Devon mirror works beautifully over the double sink.
Surrey Master Bedroom
The owners of this luxury apartment in Surrey were looking for a complete interior design refurbishment after some extensive fire damage to their home. Wanting to be bold with the colour and patterns we selected a Cole & Son floral damask for the wallpaper which works perfectly with the James Hare silk cushions and the beautiful Linwood Fabrics velvet on the ottoman.
Lindfield Master Bedroom
This master suite with dressing area and en-suite was a great space but not being used to its full potential. The client wanted it to be a sanctuary and much as they loved their children, a place for just them. The space afforded a King size bed but required bespoke bedside tables to allow for the wider width. Wall lights were used rather than bedside lamps to free up space for books and morning tea! Skeiling storage was built in to every available corner which did not visually encroach at all on the footprint of the room, being painted the same colour as the walls. A love seat in the dressing area provided a place to sit other than the bed and the ottoman additional storage. Full length black out curtains and pelmet ensure that the morning sun does not make for early waking.
Lindfield Sitting Room
Having lived in the US for a while and worked at the Cranbrook Art museum in Michigan, our client was keen to bring some of the Saarinen colours into their sitting room scheme. These earthy tones work perfectly with the brick tones of the fireplace. Seating had to be deep enough to suite the height of the man of the house so we turned to our supplier Whitehead Designs for the perfect height and depth sofas. Additional footstools provide extra seating for guests as well as more relaxed TV watching. Art Deco touches were added with the dark wooden trim on the tub chairs and the black band contrast leading edge on the linen mix curtains. The pendant light is simple, sympathetic to the scheme and provides a good flood of general light; the table lamps and floor lamp add depth and warmth.
Lindfield Kitchen Diner
Our brief was to transform a galley kitchen, dining room and conservatory into an open plan kitchen diner and in doing so make the most of the gorgeous Sussex views at the rear of the property. Our clients love entertaining and are very family focused. Interior design does not always involve structural changes but in this case it was vital. By removing the internal walls we completed opened up the space. The old kitchen and the dining room areas formed the new kitchen and the rebuilt conservatory the dedicated dining area with Velux windows and large bi-fold doors. As a north facing room is was important to use warm tones throughout to ensure the space did not feel cold. The trick with open plan spaces is to consider all uses of the room and their associated storage and lighting requirements. The multi-circuit lighting scheme enables the correct mood to be created whether for cooking, entertaining or home work. This well-proportioned family living area added substantial value to the home on eventual sale.
The thought of hiring an interior designer is one that had never occurred to us, despite more house moves than we care to count. When we were looking for a home where we could settle for a good few years we fell in love with the spacious open plan design of the main living areas of our new home. After over a year of trying different layouts and playing with colours we were still unable to make the most of what is a great space but that had issues. It was about this time that I met Jacqui through a networking event. We immediately hit it off and, having heard what she did, I expressed my many concerns about the space to her. This was the start of an amazing journey for us.
Jacqui and David make a great team and between them they have led us on a journey to arrive at a fabulous suite of rooms. David’s eye for design has made practical storage solutions also be stunningly well designed and beautiful. The other pieces of furniture blend perfectly and we know we would not have got close to the same result if we had embarked on this by ourselves. The fabrics, colours and textures tend to be Jacqui’s domain and she has challenged our own favoured schemes to produce something that is stylish, practical and stunning to look at. We were relieved of the chore of hours of trawling through catalogues in search of inspiration and were presented with just a few options carefully tailored by our brief for us to make a selection. It made the whole process far more pleasurable than I anticipated. And now? We have a beautiful, elegant space that is also practical enough to stand up to two young boys and a menagerie of pets.
We are thrilled and would definitely recommend the designer touch especially from HomeSmiths.