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Helens room with a view

Livingetc Best Room of 2012
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Helens room with a view

If a dream space for you is a room with a view this has to be the best ever (in the North West of course, a beach view in Barbados would be a touch higher on the list I think!!!), as from every side there is a view! The room is for a large family and they have loads of space to avoid being on top of each other. The table and chairs sits in front of a large glass window that fills the end gable of the property with view across their outside patio area down onto the paddock for their horses. Just around the corner of the patio is an outside heated pool with a hot tub incorporated. So on sunny days the doors open back and the outside space works with the inside. The kitchen then sits in pride of place in the centre of the room with the sink under a large window looking across their garden and onto field where the horses roam and beyond that is a field full of live stock, we have even seen deer roam across. You then turn to a large central island with view across the valley which twinkles at night with lights of the distant village and stars. The island has a social bar so family and friends can sit around chatting as the drinks and meals are prepared, or used for casual snacks or work on the lap top.
The kitchen houses some dream appliances which include a 36inch wide fridge plus an 18inch wide freezer incorporating ice and water dispenser. The sink has a tap that lights the water up as a bit of fun and a boiling hot water tap to make cooking quick and easy. The ovens include a combination steam oven, combination microwave, two ovens and two large warming drawers, either side there are pullout food pantries. The island has a large induction easy to clean and quick hob with a motorised extractor that lifts out of the worktop to act as a splash back and to make it even more efficient it curves over the hob a little to aid catching all the steam and grease. Other small and helpful features are concealed recycling bins and lift up socket columns.
The large window behind the island has a sparkly stone window sill to match the breakfast bar so it can be used as a seat and it is used by family all the time, they pop cushions on it from the sofa and can sit watching the wild life outside or watching people in the pool and hot tub.
The final part of this room is the TV and L shaped sofa, again here we have an L shaped window with fabulous views, this looks down the back of the property and you can see who is coming to the back door so very sociable again. Family coming to this door can be waved in with a smile and no running about to see who is there. In the corner of the sofa area is a coffee and drinks bar, this has a built in Nespresso coffee machine with a bowl of capsules to make preparing a proper coffee easy and the cupboards below house all the tea, sugar, cups and mugs, a small sink provides the water and a boiling hot water tap is also here for Tea and hot chocolate. Keeping the drinks out of the main kitchen has made the whole space work well as they don’t get under the cooks feet when they are making drinks. So a coffee is made and then you sink into the sofa for a relaxed moment in what is a very busy household. This couple have two sons, two daughters, a dog and two horses’ people are coming and going all the time but it always feels so relaxed as the space allows everyone to function without any stress. The girls love their horses so a home where they are seen and have their own stables is their dream and all visible from the most used room is a dream come true, the boys all love the big fridge they walk in and stare into it. They grab things and sit around the bar or flop onto the sofa. At the entrance to this room to the right of the coffee bar there is a full height chalk board and the family have a tin of coloured chalk and all leave messages to each other too.
It has been such a pleasure to watch this family move into this room and see how well is all works for them; their last house was so small that they were on top of each other and every task felt so strained now there is so much fun in the room.

The final thing to touch on is colour and materials, we have worked with two tones of purple as this is Helens most favourite colour she has loved it all her life and dreamt of having a purple kitchen too, her car and phone are purple and she has even been known to have purple streaks in her hair. It was so special to work with someone with such a passion for a colour and we used the white and black worktops to keep it subtle. Then the final touch was the lime green to make the space fun and help bring the outside colours in. The wallpaper in the TV area is hard to photograph as it is metallic two tone and changes from lime green to purple thanks to the clever design work of Zaha Hadid, it has added that extra special element.

I hope you love this space like the family do I have designed this from nothing as there was nothing here we stood at the side of the old property and talked about a room with a view in all directions and this is what we have managed to achieve.
Hope you have had time to read my thinking and understand why this is a perfect large family room.

Diane Berry – Diane Berry Kitchens Ltd