Real Homes: My Dream Kitchen
David and Sue Bullett wanted the kitchen of their Hengrave home – a floor-to-rafters barn conversion – to combine clean, contemporary design with creature comforts. Cambridge kitchen company Nicholas Anthony made their dream reality, as Sue tells Velvet
Firstly, tell us about your property. . .
We bought the beautiful complex of redundant farm buildings in 2012, full of cows and bulls! Built in 1856, the barns were the original farm buildings to Hengrave Hall Estate.
Having built two houses and converted a barn in the past, we had a good idea of what we had taken on - but not quite the scale.
What was your vision for the new kitchen?
It took over a year to get planning, so in between working on the barns we used the time to search for our dream kitchen. We wanted the kitchen to be central to our home, so we knew we had to put a lot of thought into it. We wanted a modern kitchen and liked the industrial look, but wanted something softer and comfortable.
What made you choose Nicholas Anthony for the project?
We’d looked at various kitchen companies, but the minute we walked into Nicholas Anthony we were met by Sue Humphries, the kitchen designer, and were taken by her knowledge of their products and her confidence and willingness to listen and work with us. Together we were able to come up with the kitchen that we really wanted. The barn is really contemporary, but we have retained a lot of the character, keeping existing materials where possible.
Tell us about a couple of the bright ideas Sue had for your kitchen.
The kitchen space is quite large and we knew we wanted a central island which could be used for seating as well as for cooking. Sue wanted to create a sort of floating island effect and, together with a supplier for the steel support, came up with the design for the island.
We have our own electrical contracting company - DNB Electrics & Solar Installers - and with David’s lighting design ideas and the clever use of LEDs under the island and sink area, it resulted in the perfect focal point in the kitchen.
How would you describe the new kitchen?
It’s beautiful! It really comes into its own at night, with the Rako lighting system allowing dramatic or subtle lighting effects perfect for entertaining.
What are your favourite features?
There are so many. . . The seven-metre-long island, with its Neolith Iron grey ceramic worktop, containing metallic elements that catch the light. The extra-large porcelain flooring tiles by Porcelanosa. The amazing extra-large Thomas O’Brien pendant lights that we imported from the USA; we had them powder coated locally, so they match the colour of the units. Our amazing Gaggenau ovens - two conventional, one steam combination and the warming drawer - all chosen with the help of Sue, sending us to Let’s Do Lunch events at both Miele and Gaggenau showrooms in London.
Has the end result lived up to your expectations?
The end result exceeded our expectations and three years on, we love our kitchen just as much as the day we moved into the barn. If we ever took on another project, we would not hesitate to have a Nicholas Anthony Kitchen again. Not only did they make sure that we were happy with our kitchen, they also wanted to be happy with it - we can’t thank them enough.
A family-run business founded in 1963, Nicholas Anthony specialises in the design and installation of high-end, ultra-contemporary as well as classic and traditional kitchens,
bathrooms and home interiors.
The company prides itself on offering the world’s best leading brands - Siematic, Gaggenau, Miele, Subzero-Wolf, Siemens, Walter Knoll, Occhio and Dornbracht, to name but a few – while its Signature Range offers an extensive portfolio of door styles, bespoke finishes and textures to infuse individuality into each project.
Designers at Nicholas Anthony will demonstrate the visual and technical benefits of the new room using plans, elevations and pictorial views alongside detailed descriptions about materials. The aim is not only to design beautiful kitchens and bathrooms that perform well, but also to design rooms that are an extension of the user’s personality.
Nicholas Anthony is at 121 Chesterton Road, Cambridge CB4 3AT. See nicholas-anthony.co.uk and call (01223) 368828 for more.