The original house and initial plans
Our original kitchen and dining area was situated within a previous extension, but the room had quite low ceilings and rather small windows, meaning we couldn’t get a very good view of the garden over which it looked. Our main motivation to extend further out onto the terrace was to really open up the back of the house so the garden would feel like an extension of the kitchen area.
I spoke to a few suppliers, but only Westbury could fully interpret the ideas in my mind – they listened carefully to my ideas, provided a huge deal of valuable insight, and the design they came up with was the closest to what I was trying to achieve in terms of the layout and style of the room.
The building work for our orangery extension ran throughout the summer months and was completed by the end of September. I’m glad we had the work carried out during the warmer months of the year as this gave us a great excuse to enjoy plenty of BBQs outside in the garden when the sun was shining. The Westbury team did an amazing job, ensuring that there was minimal disturbance to our family life while the work was underway, despite having to temporarily relocate the kitchen into the sitting room.
How we use our orangery extension
Extending our home in this way has created a multifunctional open plan space which can be used for lots of different activities. In fact, it has become the room where we spend the vast majority of our time and really come together as a family. The orangery houses a sofa and two chairs which are huddled around the fireplace, so we often sit here in the evenings to relax and unwind whilst cooking dinner in the adjacent kitchen area.
The fireplace is a real focal point in our extension. We do have a telly but it folds out away from the wall, which suits us perfectly for catching up with daily news while cooking but we prefer to use this area of our home for socialising rather than watching the television. I have three growing sons who also love to use the room, but I suspect that’s probably because they can also be close to the food here!
While we were coming up with the initial plans for the extension, we quite liked the idea of incorporating a spiral wine http://www.health-canada-pharmacy.com cellar into the kitchen design. But, it was Jonathan at Westbury who suggested that we utilise our side-return to include a temperature-controlled cupboard that now serves as a fantastic wine cellar – come – additional storage area for small appliances and cooking utensils. In hindsight, this provides us with a far more convenient storage solution than a spiral cellar could. I think there is enough room from ceiling to floor for more than 200 bottles of wine in an area that would otherwise be wasted.
The wine cellar is in a prime location, right next to the kitchen, which is a real boon when it comes to entertaining friends. I often hear of home wine cellars being located within the garage of a property, which would not be easily accessible for us, so I’m thankful that ours is centrally located near the kitchen and bar area. Whenever we invite guests over, everybody ends up congregating here, it’s great!
A light and spacious room
We get an enormous amount of gorgeous natural light flooding into the kitchen now thanks to the two perpendicular roof lanterns. Our garden is west facing with lots of leafy trees and the roof lanterns really open up the room, creating an invigorating atmosphere for us to look up into the sky and take in the surrounding landscape, away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
I specifically wanted our garden room to be fitted with classic french doors rather than bi-folds, and when the doors arrived, we were extremely surprised at just how ginormous they were! They are much better than we could have imagined, and their grandeur allows for an additional flood of light into the room. We specified for the panels at the foot of the door to be replaced with glass so that our two Tibetan Spaniels can lay on a mat and keep watch on the(ir) garden – they absolutely adore watching the birds and foxes.
From the outset, I had a pretty good idea of how I wanted the room to look. I chose a neutral colour palette which really opens up the room, giving it greater dimensions of space and light. We used the Stone collection from Paint Library to complement the various areas of the space – number 1 for the ceiling, 2 for the walls, 3 for the kitchen cabinets, and 5 for the bookcases.
This palette allows us great flexibility to refresh the soft furnishings in the room as often as we like, which we love to do. Sometimes we’ll come home with a nice new rug, a piece or artwork, or some cushions that have caught our eye, and give the room a mini makeover to reflect the season’s trends.
We chose Farrow and Ball’s Pointing on the doors and windows, and after some deliberation, we decided to have the exterior of the orangery painted with Westbury White in order to complement this and match the white paint of the house.
The best thing about our orangery
The best thing about the orangery is how it has opened up the back of the house – the enormous windows make it possible for us to properly appreciate the garden whatever the season.
I would definitely recommend Westbury to others and have done so many times since the completion of our orangery. All the staff were very accommodating, a pleasure to work with and they really went above and beyond expectations to bring our vision to life.