Time for a change
PUBLISHED: 12:34 13 October 2008 | UPDATED: 15:32 20 February 2013
Bob and Chris Allen's long-serving kitchen at their home in South Woodham Ferrers was in need of a new look once their children had flown the nest. The result was a dream come true
LIKE many homes, the kitchen has always been a social space for the Allen family, with various friends of the couple's grown up children, Victoria and Graham, visiting frequently.
'The room always served us well,' recalls Chris, 'and we often commented on what a useful space it was. We have lived in the house for many years and bought our family up here, but once they had more or less flown the nest, we thought it was a good time to overhaul the place, especially the dated kitchen.' It was just the style of the room that Bob and Chris had grown tired of and they were keen to bring it right up to date.
The couple made a list of things that they really wanted to put into the new room, such as an American-style fridge and an easy-to-clean induction hob. They also wanted to keep a small dining table in the room so that they could continue to enjoy informal meals there. 'We wanted to get away from straight lines and wooden units,' explains Chris. After seeing what was now available the couple decided in favour of soft curves and a more fluid look for the room. Bob also wanted to incorporate metallic finishes within the kitchen to give a professional bistro atmosphere.
Bob and Chris' took their ideas and sketches to a local kitchen retailer and settled on the Linea range from German manufacturers RWK. The couple chose a selection of wall and base units, some with similar curved door fronts to the ones that they had imagined for the room, in a brushed steel finish. The couple also chose a run of work space to the left of the De Dietrich induction hob that Chris had chosen and planned a great combination of units to flank the American-style fridge that had been top of Bob's list of wants. Finally, Bob and Chris settled for a granite work surface.
A lovely surprise
With all the decisions made, work began in earnest. 'We tried not to look too much so that on completion all the features would seem like a lovely surprise,' smiles Chris. The kitchen was installed in just a few weeks thanks largely to the preparation and planning that Bob and Chris had put in early on. They eagerly watched as the new appliances went in and the work tops were finished off and fitted on site. In the final days of the transformation, Bob and Chris went shopping to treat the room to a new dining suite and a beautiful crockery set by Denby. 'We didn't want to put our old stuff back in,' says Bob, 'so besides the table from Dansk and the new China we did splash out on some stainless steel saucepans and accessories. 'Although there were a few of our own ideas incorporated into the room, the kitchen company really did us proud. If I was asked if I had a favourite bit, I honestly couldn't comment,' says Chris. 'I just love it all.'