While most families do up the spare room for the arrival of a new addition to the family, Jay and Shital from Buckhurst Hill decided to go one step further and collaborate with us to breathe life into their home situated in a gated community in the heart of Essex. The five-month project began in early 2018 and involved remodelling and styling multiple rooms to ensure they were equipped to handle the demands of a new family. A brand new fitted kitchen, renovation of the loft to accommodate a guest bedroom with bathroom and office study, along with major restyling of the master bedroom and update of the family bathroom as well as two other bathrooms and a cloakroom toilet, all these additions were designed with the newest addition in mind - the children’s nursery. The colour palette of this revised eleven-year-old terraced house is a combination of neutral tones in soft greys and taupes, with an accent colour of pink and teal as you ascend the house. Valspar Silver Thistledown throughout the house connects each room and floor, culminating with the introduction of a striking Farrow and Ball Hague Blue in the loft study.
Jay and Shital moved into their new home over six years ago, after living with family and working in finance and corporate banking for several years to save towards this large-scale renovation and realise their dream family home. We introduced various family-friendly features to the house, beginning with kitchen which features electric underfloor heating under hardwearing porcelain washed concrete tiles - durable, comfortable flooring that can handle the demands of any toddler. Additional baby products tend to dominate most family kitchens, so extra storage and preparation space were incorporated into the redesign, starting with a Himalayas white and grey marble-effect quartz countertop and splashback; an affordable and practical alternative to expensive marble which can stain easily and isn’t heat resistant. This luxury addition ensures the kitchen remains elegant while handling the daily baby food preparations. Other small touches like installing an under mount sink with a Franke boiling water tap are specifically designed to save time for parents who need to sterilise baby equipment on-the-go and also help speed up their cooking preparation. The new fitted Kutchenhaus kitchen features higher cabinets, a pull-out larder and a swivel corner cupboard, all designed to streamline and add the vital storage needed for a growing family.
In each of four bathrooms, we installed wall-mounted toilets and vanity units, along with moving all the exposed plumbing back into walls and under the floor to create an extra 20cm of valuable floor space. The family bathroom has a beautiful Lusso Stone bathtub with hand shower unit and chrome douche - a feature the family wanted to have in every bathroom. Warm walnut colours introduced with a wall-mounted walnut vanity unit with a marble top and countertop ceramic sink, complimented with a Habitat wooden mesh bath mat, Zara Home bathroom accessories and touch-sensor illuminated LED bathroom mirror cabinet from iBath UK. We paired the Carrara bevelled marble feature tiles arranged in a brick format with slate grey porcelain floor and wall tiles. Increasing the size of the tiles adds the illusion of extra space along with hiding the old plumbing under the flooring and pushing back the toilet service area into the wall by several inches. The downstairs cloakroom is an excellent opportunity to experiment and have some fun design wise and features Carrara marble herringbone tiles offset by light grey grouting. We added a large copper framed mirror hung by a leather strap to introduce more light into this small space.
Even though the nursery is the most significant addition to the Buckhurst Hill family home, the room with Juliette balcony door features durable, yet low-cost furnishings and a neutral backdrop which can be adapted or be changed easily as the child grows older enabling the space to withstand the daily wear and tear of a child's play area. The 'Safari Dream' theme features bright sky blue tones, cloud wall stickers and many exotic animals on the walls and by the crib. We resprayed the handle fixtures of the Mamas & Papas bed, wardrobe and changing unit furniture and replaced the silver eyelets of the Dunelm blackout curtains in brass to match the new serene colour scheme. ‘Coolest Kid In Town' artwork by Desenio and quirky 'Bubble Gum Blowing Animals' cotton canvas illustrations from Ivy and Wilde breathe life and subtle humour into the look of this adorable new nursery.
I like to describe the vision for the top floor of the house as a marriage of all the themes that run through the entirety of the home. The loft space provides much-needed sanctuary for Jay, the father-to-be who previously only worked at home from his dining room table. The arrival of a new baby required a dedicated space to encourage him to focus enjoying his paternity leave and duties as a new parent. The bright loft space was an opportunity to build his dream study, so we selected a Belgravia sideboard unit and Darcey desk from Made.com, finishing off the look by setting the office desk against a Farrow and Ball Hague Blue feature wall and a Wayfair butterfly tan leather armchair tucked into the corner for when he needs a break from work.
The study leads directly into the guest room designed for the impending arrival of the in-laws. This room carries on the blue, grey and brass theme and includes a reading nook under the window complete with Dunelm midnight blue velvet scallop armchair. The adjoining guest bathroom was altered by removing the existing bathtub and replacing it with a fully glazed, cut-to-the-eaves, walk-in shower. Using large concrete tiles for the floor and walls allowed more space and helped the couple keep within budget. Small touches like the Cheval floor mirror from Woodpecker Interiors and the gold metallic paisley cushions from Maison Du Monde help reflect the morning light which pours in from the skylight windows. This room offers a dedicated, permanent space for any family guest, no matter how long they stay for, providing comfort not just for visitors but for the couple themselves who will need all the support they can get with their new-born arriving this summer.