Extension with Leicht Kitchen and Nigel Slater Inspired Folding Doors

A Victorian townhouse was brought into the 21st century with a new full width, 9 metre extension devised through collaboration with architect Keith Durham, that houses the kitchen and dining spaces. The premise of the project was to increase the ground floor space  giving better functionality to the house and to allow the family to experience a greater sense of freedom within it. Alongside the extension and kitchen shown here, our brief was to apply a smart townhouse aesthetic throughout in a refurbishment of the whole property.





The a wall of folding doors, and exotic and rich teak parquet flooring were integral to the clients wishes as they represented very strong and important aesthetics. Working with the charm of the original Victorian house, we wanted to produce a bright, modern, crisp space, that linked through from the original by using the warmth and detailing of flooring and joinery.





The kitchen design was devised alongside Martin Williamson of InHouse Kitchens, featuring Leicht furniture and Seimens appliances, and the top is a honed matt white composite stone top, which on the island wraps around the two ends. The bank of full height units in a brushed and textured copper oak cleverly conceals the integrated appliances whilst adding texture and substance to the room. The units are double thickness and appear in certain frames as a large mass. Units on the back of the kitchen side add a great deal of extra storage whilst consuming a small but light cloakroom and lavatory snugly separated from the living spaces. Patent double glazing along the one side of the extension floods light through giving that sense of openness that characterises modern living.  Ligne Roset furniture further enhances the dining space. In the far corner of the bank of units a tambour unit conceals a pull out coffee maker and other kitchen aids.















The folding sliding doors are bespoke joinery units made for us by Stuart Barr Joinery, informed by the look of the Nigel Slater bi-folds in Nigel Slater's Simple Cooking.
















The whole scheme was devised with the addition of a fireplace set into the existing chimney void. Initially it was to be a functioning proving oven but was revised to a multi-fuel stove for increased warmth and celebration throughout. Below shows the integrated scandi fireplace with valuable log storage space below. 








































For drama and purpose over the island we used three Circus pendents from Innermost. They are sprayed black on the outside with a copper gold look on the inner. Other lights used are under shelf task lighting  just above the sink area and on upper cheek of the ceiling, three discrete white Hero spot lights to add an extra degree of function.






































Below are examples of some of the design material we prepared and used for the process of client communication.








exterior view of side extension and bi-folding doors



The whole of the ground floor received further treatment, turning what was the old kitchen into a library and media space and upgrading the dining room into a more formal space for entertaining. For continuity the teak herringbone flooring extended throughout the whole of the ground floor complete with a  double edging detail.  The pendent lighting is a fabulous mouth blown crystal glass piece by design studio Atelier Areti named Kirschlag. Two lamps were commissioned and occupy this and the adjoining sitting room / library.  Both have differing lightly feather etched patterns and are exquisite with or without light.




































The round ceiling rose, as so often happens in these types of properties, disappears over time and it is often a great event putting them back as they add focus and elegance to a room.







































Upstairs we updated bathrooms, including this one shown with encaustic patterned cement tiles from Portugal, which we also adopted for the exterior facelift to the front of the property.








a north oxford house

Drawing room and dining room >

In this drawing room (a proper, first floor affair) light and the huge windows are all. We wanted to create a design that played with formal traditional drawing room style, and messed about with it, adding colour and fun. A huge element of the room is the floor to ceiling shelving structure, which is constructed from ash with an ebonised hardwood that delineates and configures the structure. This was designed to house various elements including books, objects, TV and media and a stereo with space for cd's. This was a one-off item which we created for the client. It holds your attention and commands the space that it lies in. There is an almost art deco feel to it, with the dark and light woods and polished finish.

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detail of shelving

The sofas were sourced from Fran at Liscious Interiors, and re-upholstered in striking fabrics in soft brushes cotton. The colours reflected the dining space but lifted and lightened. The Chesterfield grey sofa has a purple running through it and we applied very bright violet buttons to the piece and dressed with lime accents. The lime - or chartreuse - Chesterfield was very simply dressed and as such we reversed the colour works and had predominantly purple striped cushions in a deep velvet. 

A small day bed wrapped in a defined purple inhabits a space close to the book shelves and near to the distinctive sash windows.

A  balance between privacy and letting the light through was achieved by way of full length linen curtains with a silk floral motif running through, and a sheer roman blind that drops down (colourfully) to frost out the background, again in natural linen but with colourful stripes.

We strongly felt that this huge space did not need a central ceiling light, but to light the space with

soft accent lighting at lower level would create better intimacy and harmony in an evening. The Alega glass table lamps (designed by

Vico Magistretti

in 1970) sits on Platner side tables, each a stainless steel spoke framework with a glass top created by

Warren Platne

r for Knoll in the 1960's. 

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Platner side table with Alega lamp

The beautiful carrera marble fireplace is a focal point, its gas fire supplementing the classicv column radiators (in anthracite) we put in, and the alcoves either side are wallpapered with a fantastic

Jocelyn Warner

design. Period chairs were limed and re-upholstered in a funky silk, and an

Elizabeth Blackadder

piece catches the eye above the fire.

Dining Space >

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glass table reflecting the window

Previous to its present incarnation, this was a jumbled space, cold and dark and possibly with mixed use. In its present form we decided to change shape a little. Keeping the 'hand made element' we made something a little more formal i.e  an evening dining space for guests.

Our client wanted a dark, intimate and rich palette, but with linking colour from the drawing room next door. Assisted by our client the colour we chose was a plum colour, in a proper flat matte, not cold. It sits more in the red spectrum. This gives it a deep lushness that with the addition of evening candle light, brings in a grandiose quality.

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Add caption

Of the candelabra; it is hand crafted by French makers

Benoit Vieubled

and acquired through

Cameron Peters Fine Lighting

. Its artisan qualities shine out. Made from brass and copper and french glass yoghurt jars and crystals. It was further modified by myself with deft assistance by the owner, converting it from electrical to hold candles. Furthermore, it hangs by sash cord which is fixed via a pulley system and tied off near the dumb waiter. This allows the piece to be raised and lowered when necessary. Secondary lighting is via the picture lights overhanging the inherited pieces of our client.

On first entering the room from the hallway it becomes obvious that the dumb waiter is no longer functioning. Due to modifications in the past it had become a non viable restoration project. This left us with the awkward shape in the corner! As the owner wished to house some of his wine collection we decided that the best purpose of the woodwork was to turn it into a wine rack. I think this works especially well and looks rather neat and perfect as well as being architectural and fun.

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wine storage

The carrera marble fireplace needed extensive cleaning to the marble to bring it up to a gleam. The hearth was simply of limed concrete and as such was painted black. A writing bureau, hand painted by Maitre Allegre now sits in the alcove closest to the window.

A collage of mirrors that we collected from a host of places hang in a pattern above the fireplace.

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detail of candelabra with mirrors behind

Under foot, the carpet is a fine boucle in a light grey that adds a level of luxury to the rooms. It runs through the dining and lounge space and spills on through the hallway and staircase.

Below is a picture of the hallway with the dining space chimney wall framed in the antique mirror.

victorian terrace: funky lounge and a dj room


walnut alcove shelving and cast concrete fireplace
Yr: 2003+/-

The lounge that was created, presented a warm front that included the brown tan leather sofas and one-off walnut alcove units that flanked the chimney breast. There was also a cvo firevault fire.
The fireplace as part of the one-off aspect that we like to throw into our projects was designed and created by rogue-designs.  It's made from concrete, parts of which were cast in-situ. It appears to float due to the shadow detail that we applied to it.

The walnut floor is a feature to the whole of the ground floor - approximately 96sqm. 

The vintage lighting again, was sourced through a supplier in London. 

The image above the fireplace was from a collage that i made and had blown up onto a foam panel. 


The space known as the DJ room, is situated between the kitchen and the lounge. The room housed the owners record collection. A functioning glitter ball was also attached to the ceiling. A discreet spotlight activated the spinning ball when switched on.  

No speaker cable was visible due in part to it all being housed behind the skirting boards. speaker points were then dotted around for increased flexibility. 

The dj console was created by rogue-designs, especially to house the dj decks with a space under for other electronic equipment. It was sprayed in a gloss lipstick red. As it was a feature to the space it warranted a stand alone quality.



bespoke dj deck









colourful tiles- a North Oxford house: Living room

We worked in this area along side the kitchen (see north oxford house: kitchen) area.

It is a wonderful room with lovely aspects to all sides; the double doors linking to the kitchen, a beautiful fireplace, huge windows to one wall and double glass doors to the front garden. There are privacy shutters and the light enters the room in really pleasurable way. 

lounge view with duncan grant tiles set into the fireplace

It was very exciting to continue with the themes that we set up in the kitchen and utilise them in a different way. This project was all about a modern take on the arts and crafts movement; taking traditional ideas about handcrafting and applying modern techniques and designs. We attempted to make no single item stand out, but make sure that alll the items within had uniqueness. The flooring from kitchen continued with white oil wax throughout. The application of the oil wax is a very time consuming process that requires a lot of attention and many layers are required over virgin wood. At the heart of the room is the 'Arne' sofa by BB Italia, its almost 3m long and strikingly curved. We didn't want the formality of the kitchen area to impede and direct the shape and function of the lounge and so to break free from the restraints of linear sofas (which tend to inhabit the area along a wall!) we plumped for this sofa with its gentle curves and low profile, so as not to restrict the views outside. The fireplace has vibrant hand-painted Duncan Grant tiles set in - an interesting and quirky contrast of highly traditional grand carrera marble and rustic art and crafts most likely dating from the early '20s and injecting a little bit of Charleston to the house. Around the fireplace - we constructed units that have carved panels for frontage. The images I conceived as small narratives, where nature and industry are intermingled in some way. A bird flys by electrical wires or a tree grows up through a broken, abandoned chair. The units were sprayed green to co-incide with the kitchen colours, both symbolise the power of nature to overcome industrial adversity.

In front of the sofa; a wonderful commissioned piece by Amy Kent. A handmade rug designed around lines and shadows in pavements.




the lefthand unit; 'silver birch'

sparrow about to land (detail)


A fascinating detail, the legacy of the old house were the victorian servant bell pulls, visible immediately next to the Carrera marble fireplace.

Along the line of the cornice we again brought through the Album system of lighting i.e. suspended cables that extend from one side to the other with lighting modules positioned as required.

detail of one of the light module


There was a real emphasis on lighting - whilst the suspended Album lighting was dimmable, floor and table lamps were used to create task and gentler lighting. The lamp that you see in the main image above is the Secto floor lamp by finnish designer Seppo Koho.

Shelving in the shapeof English Walnut (unplaned), still with a sawn appearance and with waney edge was used to mount the electronics. 


A mural in the reverse tonal range was created on the closing full height panels, representing helibores. We painted the mural on the walls behind the shutters, so that when they are open, the effect is somewhat abstract; when the doors are closed, the picture becomes complete.



Above one of the walnut units (left in picture) we framed a marimekko fabric image for the owner. The style slotted in rather well. More marimekko fabric appears on the sofa cushions which we created. The addition of random vintage buttons to the cushions adds extra interest.





















































All in all the scheme has some amazing features that sit well in this natural, artistic environment.




a grown up living room - victorian house

Victorian House living room  

features: cast concrete fire surround with wood detailing, stained piranha pine box shelving, dark stained flooring, double sliding curtain rail, danish rosewood sideboard, architectural light shade, handmade radiator covers.

We chose to use an organic and muted colour range complimented by the use of dark stained material (including the floor), textures and subtle tonal changes to create an intimate room with a quiet aspect. We promptly got to work on a fireplace design, and hand cast a simple white polished concrete piece with stained wood mantle.  A large L shaped grey corner sofa provides flexible seating. The vintage Danish rosewood sideboard from our lovely friends at The Modern Warehouse sits on the back wall against striking wallpaper.

Opposite, on either side of the chimney breast, there is a configuration of dark stained display boxes of differing sizes. They are like a sliding rule - each pair amounts to the same space, separated by the chimney breast. We used the wallpaper at the backs to set off the objects within, and create continuity with the feature wall. The large oak table with two slate insets is the owners own.

Above the fireplace is a very striking mirror which the owner purchased from a gallery in the Czeck republic. Its strong features also informed the design and it adds a great focal point to the room.

The cut perspex pendant lamp is designed by Louise Campbell for Louis Poulsen, titled 'collage', has 3 concentric white perspex rings which have been laser cut with a floral motif. When the light is on, it creates a wonderful flecked floral pattern around the room, especially when the light is subdued. As there are many strong design elements in the room, the light shade doesn't actually dominate, it rather delicately absorbs with colours.  In fact it tends to sit in the background until lit when it takes on its splendour.

The ceiling rose that you see, is a beautifully crafted plaster reproduction of a heritage piece that was installed as part of the design.We felt the ceiling looked rather sparse without it. While it wasn't evident that a ceiling rose had been there previously, the room has fine original cornice molding, so it sits perfectly well, and creates focus and mixes the old and new with the contemporary chandelier.

Two pairs of curtains, one sheer linen for privacy, the other a thick raw weave cotton for warmth, are full length and hang on a double bay window pole  in brushed steel (a piece of clever engineering) It is finished off with hand blown glass finials. Small touches against large bold pieces help to create little surprises that enhance the experience.

Below are a few detail shots from the room.