Large orangery with two roof lanterns and painted joinery in dark Walnut

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With three distinct ‘zones’ now taking centre stage in the family home, this open-plan kitchen and diner orangery shows how good design and quality craftsmanship can create something extraordinary.

Although close by to the boutique shops, theatres, and restaurants of Royal Tunbridge Wells, this 6-bedroom family residence is very much a countryside property, with the rolling Kentish fields visible beyond the swimming pool and tennis court. The clients, who loved the external characteristics of their home, had their minds set on an orangery from the very beginning rather than a conservatory or flat-roof extension. Their primary desire was to have a kitchen and dining space that was suited for entertaining large gatherings. Unfortunately, the interiors were rather typical and didn’t reflect the grandeur of the exterior, with rooms that felt a little bland and pokey. A spectacular glazed orangery would be the perfect space to lead from the existing kitchen, adding to the property’s welcoming exuberance.

The new orangery now sits prominently overlooking the beautiful gardens and grounds, and inside the room feels light, spacious, and functional. We removed internal walls and opened the interiors into a 37m² open plan living area, adding three distinct zones to the house: a snug, a dining area and a private home gym on the far side. The clients particularly like the improved flow throughout the house, achieved by completely altering the internal layout. With so much additional space, there was also room to incorporate a new walk-in pantry next to the kitchen.

Two breath-taking timber roof lanterns allow sunlight to stream into the room below throughout the day, with decorative Ogee moulding on the underside rafters. With their clean lines and symmetry, they are architectural masterpieces crafted from knot-free engineered timber. The decorative ball finials are made from resin so they have a long lifespan, as opposed to solid wood which can crack over time and become exposed to rain and moisture. Powder-coated external aluminium cladding matches the roof cappings, making the roof lanterns maintenance free.

The clients commissioned Humphrey Munson, a firm renowned for their exceptional cabinetry, who designed the modern kitchen complete with a bespoke rectory table and five-oven AGA range. We fitted Pendant droppers to the underside of each roof lantern’s octagonal kingpin, and Pendalier supplied the topaz-blue light fittings. Underfloor heating makes the room feel warm and comfortable during the colder months. To keep the space well ventilated and cool, we fitted the roof lanterns with several electronically operated automatic roof vents, which include rain sensors and thermostatic controls and work by drawing the warm air up and out.

During the summer, the garden is a tranquil setting for family meals outdoors, with four sets of double doors that can be opened to provide easy access to the kitchen. We fitted all the doors and windows with Oil Rubbed Bronze ironmongery, including a multi-point lock on the doors, which on locking engages three bolts into the slave door and two into the frame, with two mushroom bolts pulling the door tightly shut.

Having specialised in bespoke joinery for over thirty years, we know that timber is a highly attractive, sustainable, and durable material, providing that we specify wood with the correct qualities. We construct all our garden rooms and orangeries from engineered timber, featuring Accoya® on the external layer. Accoya® is a durable and robust material which does not shrink or swell, so the joints, panes and frames of the orangery remain in the same position. What’s more, Accoya is made from fast-growing, sustainable FSC® or PEFC™ Radiata pine and is carbon neutral throughout its entire life cycle, so it is kinder to the environment than slow-growing hardwoods or human-made materials like uPVC.

The clients chose the dramatic Walnut shade for the interior joinery, to complement the dark Portobello wood of the kitchen cabinets. We spray-applied the cut components with three coats of water-based microporous paint in our workshops to leave a flawless finish. We consistently use Teknos products as their high-quality paint systems help to protect the joinery from UV exposure, weather conditions and fungal damage. The joinery will need a quick wash with soapy water and a cloth on a biannual basis, and the paint should maintain its fine finish for up to 12 years before repainting is required. By combining the durable qualities of Accoya® with the longevity of the Teknos paint, the timber structure will last for 50 years or more.

Perfectly suited to entertaining and open-plan family living, this bright and light kitchen and dining space have entirely transformed this premium residence in the heart of Kent. Contact Us today to order a brochure, speak to a member of our team, or arrange an appointment to visit one of our Essex showrooms.

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