I love the property programmes on the TV – ‘Escape to the Country’, ‘Homes under the Hammer’, ‘Location Location Location’ – and I watch all of them whenever I can.
With so many properties featured and an equal number of characters looking to move home, it is interesting to see the one thing the house-hunters all have in common is their need for and appreciation of a good kitchen. Often referred to as the most important part of the property and the heart of every home.
The kitchen can make or break that important sale for the vendor or guarantee added interest from purchasers. On the property programmes such as ‘Escape to the Country’ the kitchen seems to be the one room that is crucial and I always enjoy watching the reaction of the prospective purchasers when they step into each kitchen.
The most popular style of kitchen appears to be open plan, preferably combining kitchen preparation area, dining and living area, but not all properties have the space.
One of our Beau-Port clients, living in a modern property in Hook, near Basingstoke, longed for such an open plan space and didn’t want to move, so decided to extend and improve, creating a very spacious open plan kitchen, dining and living area. This extension, the additional space, light and the stunning Shaker style kitchen designed by Beau-Port’s head designer Mark Johnson, has added a totally new dimension to the property and improved the owner’s lifestyle. This form of addition to any property can also add value to the property and will make it more saleable if owners decide to move.
Another Beau-Port client at Alresford, between Alton and Winchester, also extended their kitchen to include more living space, with a focal point central island combining work area, hob with oven under and dining space to one end of the central island – perfect for cooking and entertaining.
A clean white contemporary kitchen, another recent project from Beau-Port, also incorporated a similar central island complete with beaded lighting which the owner loves to use as background lighting in the evenings.
The new kitchen is one of the primary projects within the renovation plans of a 1970’s bungalow, set in the Hampshire countryside and the owner commented: “My wish list started with a central island, but something that was much more than the usual islands I had seen in other kitchens. I wanted a cross between a cocktail bar, sushi bar, food preparation area and also for somewhere for family and guests to sit and eat as well. I also wanted to be able to face family and guests while cooking, not with my back to them, so Mark designed the island to include a Mercury range cooker and extended curved breakfast bar with beads of light that run around the whole bar, which make me smile, look stunning at night and create a lovely atmosphere.”
Separate dining rooms seem to be less popular and we have a number of clients who have opened up their space by knocking down the dividing walls between the two rooms to create a more spacious feel to their homes without having to extend.