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Farmhouse challenge in the Hope Valley

Living in a 400 year old house has always presented its fair share of problems.  Introducing a new modern kitchen to replace the 1970s eyesore would have to add to the old house’s charm but not overpower it.  We weren’t keen on an ersatz country kitchen as it wouldn’t feel authentic.  So instead we decided to adopt a minimalistic and modern approach to the design which would be sympathetic to the rest of the house and all of its quirkiness.  Mary Major and her team were invaluable in reaching a definitive design.  Although we had a very fixed aesthetic in mind we had no idea about combining form with function.  Mary had a tremendous attention to detail and her aim was to create an efficient work space.  She came up with solutions to problems and small inconveniences I never realised I had.  Everything from the positioning of the hob on the large central island within arms reach of the pantry and fridge, positioning pull out drawers for herbs and spices on one side, and oven gloves and tea towels on the other.  She also recommended the BORA hob with its extractor fan which is hidden within the actual hob surface and doesn’t detract from the island’s impact.  Creating a “bar area” alongside the one side of the island allows the cook and any guests to enjoy all social interactions while cooking.

There was nothing that DKD could not assist us with, from sourcing a builder and engineer for the internal structural alterations to the stone mason and kitchen fitter.  All were of the very highest standards and completed their tasks within the allotted time and with a superb attention to detail.  Mary has a great eye for colour and her recommendations of specific colour combinations (Farrow and Ball’s Elephant’s Breath and Tanners Brown) created a muted and subtle space, which looked like it had always been there.  Most importantly the kitchen fits seamlessly with the rest of the house.  There is nothing jarring about either the colour or design and this creates the perfect backdrop for the artwork, which adorn the walls.

The kitchen is made by the ingenious use of lighting.  Mary was very skilled in the placement of all the lights so as to create a sparkling yet warm space. Other than the oversized central island, my favourite design feature are the recesses painted in Farrow and Ball’s Tanner’s Brown.  This creates depth and with the clever positioning of lights the silver sculpture and art deco bowl are bathed in dappled light.

I cannot recommend the DKD team highly enough.  Mary has the unique ability to take what’s inside her client’s brain and put it on paper.  She is very collaborative and very quickly tunes into her clients tastes and aesthetic sensibilities.  With her guidance we have created a space that we never thought possible and it far exceeds our original expectations.  Efficiency, simplicity, function, subtlety and beauty: we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

Tam Malaczynski

Hope Valley

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