Bespoke Shaker style kitchen sits well in its contemporary eco-home
Surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in Hampshire, the Budd family's new eco-home looks as though it has always been part of the landscape. Using traditional materials on the exterior of the impressive new property, gives it a sense of timelessness, yet as soon as you step into the hallway and see the striking contemporary staircase, you are in no doubt that you have entered a very modern, up to date home. The property has many ecologically sound, energy saving features including rainwater harvesting, solar panels, exceptional insulation levels and underfloor heating.
Pauline and Rod Budd had seen the sign for Beau-Port Kitchens and Interiors showroom as they passed through Bentworth, where the company is based and they wanted to use a local company to design and install their kitchen. Beau-Port has had considerable experience in designing kitchens for properties that have not yet been constructed and for those still under construction, head designer Mark Johnson commented: "It is always best to get a kitchen designer involved at an early stage of any build project, whether it is a simple extension to an existing property, and even more important for early involvement if it is a new build as it makes sense to design from the inside out."
Pauline and Rod had visited a few kitchen showrooms, but decided to use Beau-Port as they were impressed with their enthusiasm for the eco-house, it's architecture and what the couple wanted to achieve with their new property. "We like the fact that Mark really embraced all aspects of the project and had experience working with builders and how he was able to adapt his design as the initial design evolved during construction. For example I had wanted the hob to be positioned up against a wall but because of changes in the build it needed to be moved and Mark's idea to put the hob into a central island has really worked well, as I can cook and see and talk to guests at the same time."
Another recommendation from Beau-Port was for the installation of a Falmec TwisterE.ion Air Purification System with LED lighting, in place of a conventional extractor hood/vent. Pauline Budd commented on this aspect of the project: "We got very excited about this new way of extracting cooking smells, which most people mistake for a really elegant over island light, it is so beautiful yet discreet at the same time and looks so good with our Shaker style kitchen. It is so much better than some big lump of an extractor hood in the middle of the room. As an open plan kitchen, living, dining area we didn't want any stale cooking smells and this really solves that problem. I tested it by cooking lots of onions and my husband couldn't smell a thing in the living area. It is also an air purifier and works well with the built-in ventilation system in the house."
The Budd's decided on a bespoke Shaker style kitchen as they wanted something classic that they felt would not date and Pauline Budd commented: "The doors are built so well and we can always repaint it in the future to give it a different, new look. The pull out drawers in the cupboards are brilliant for heavy crockery, with corner cupboards ideal for pots and pans. I particularly love the granite tops that Mark picked out for us which have some natural sparkle in them and a beautiful flowing pattern and the way it fits so well around the Belfast sink. The Farrow and Ball colours of the units also work well, with the darker Dovetail colour on the island and London Clay on the other units."
One of Pauline Budd's favourite sections of the kitchen is the hide-away drinks area, complete with mini-sink housing a Quooker boiling tap, illuminated by stylish beaded lighting and with a wooden roll top shutter to hide it all away when not in use. "I really love the drinks area it is magic, so easy to make drinks with hot water on tap all the time, no need for a kettle cluttering up the surfaces and it has been very useful, particularly when making hot drinks for large numbers of thirsty workmen!"
Pauline also loves to entertain family and friends and had the need for additional oven space with two Siemens ovens including a multifunction microwave and steam oven, plus a warming drawer incorporated into the Shaker style units. An induction hob sits on the island together with a gas wok ring, which Pauline feels is useful in the case of power cuts and for cooking up a quick stir fry.
One of the things that influenced Pauline and Rod Budd to use Beau-Port was seeing the Shaker style kitchen in the company's 2000 sq ft showroom. "We had also decided that we wanted a limestone floor and it was good to be able to see the limestone floor in this particular kitchen display in the showroom and to see how it would all come together in our new home," continued Pauline Budd.
The other area that impressed the Budd family was how the Beau-Port team worked so well with their site foreman. "Rob came to install the kitchen and he was brilliant and he and our site foreman worked so well together with no problems at all. We were able to trust him to just get on with the job and he took a great interest in the house and loved it," commented Pauline Budd.
The Budd's site forman Karl commented on working with Beau-Port: "They were great to work with. Usually we have to reschedule our work and clear the area for kitchen fitting whereas both Mark and Rob worked with us, which was good for us all and the best outcome for the customer. I hope I shall work with them both as much as possible in the future."
With all new build projects a budget has to be agreed. "We thought the cost of our fabulous kitchen was very good value for money. Other competitor's kitchens were more expensive and not as good quality. Should I live long enough I know it won't wear out! There are so many things I love about our new kitchen and we appreciate it more and more each day.
We are very pleased with the completed kitchen and have already recommended Beau-Port. It is so good to work with a local company as it works for everyone and we know Beau-Port will do a good job for those we recommend them to." said Pauline Budd.