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MAYLAND| A flexible family space

When seasoned renovator, Gaby Roberts, and her husband Simon saw a plot of land become available in their dream location, they were quick to make the purchase and begin work on building their dream home. Having renovated their previous property, Gaby knew exactly how much work would be involved. But with a blank canvas, the prospect of creating their perfect family home complete with their dream kitchen was an opportunity too exciting to miss.

With 5 children between them, aged 13-26, and their pet dog, Rocky, Gaby and Simon’s home needed to be flexible, nowhere more so than the kitchen. With the freedom of starting from scratch, Gaby had a strong sense of what she wanted, having learnt a lot from the renovation of their previous home. “In our last home, we had a beautiful living room, but we never used it as we spent all our time in the kitchen-diner. So here we decided to combine the living, dining and cooking areas into one large space big enough to accommodate us all at once” explains Gaby. “Some weekends there can be seven people here, and at other times it’s just the two of us, so the design needed to feel comfortable in all scenarios.”

The breakfast bar features a river-washed timber top and statement stainless steel drum and was originally designed for Gaby and Simon to enjoy midweek breakfasts together. However, in the kitchen planning stages Gaby pointed out that even at weekends with the full family at home, everyone is coming and going and breakfast happens in stages, so the breakfast bar quickly became top of the wishlist. Along with the breakfast bar, Gaby’s wishlist was quite specific. It included; an island large enough to prepare food, plenty of storage, and a tap that could generate boiling and filtered water.

The 2.5 x 1.2m kitchen island, though not central in the room, is very much at the heart of the design. With plenty of food prep space and within easy reach of the fridge and larder cupboard, the island is the main cooking space in the kitchen. The configuration of the kitchen island places the induction hob so that when cooking, you naturally look out over the room. This enables Gaby or Simon to enjoy the company of family at the breakfast bar, dining table or living area whilst cooking, without sacrificing any practicality. The larder cupboard, nestled in the corner of the room, is where Gaby keeps all the items she frequently uses, with plenty of drawers and cupboards elsewhere to store everything else.

This is Gaby and Simon’s second Davonport kitchen. Having opted for Davonport in their previous home, choosing the kitchen for this project was easy. “As a former estate agent I know how a kitchen can date” explains Gaby, “So I wanted the classic, timeless look Davonport specialises in.” The Mayland style has just the right balance of classic style with a contemporary edge. When it came to choosing colour scheme, both Gaby and Simon wanted something with a New England style, that felt classic. They chose ‘Balboa Mist’ and ‘Graphite’ for the island (both Benjamin Moore), but the most important thing for them was that the kitchen was hand-painted. “We decided on a hand-painted kitchen for its elegant look and because we can change the colour in the future if we want something different.”

Having now completed their dream home project Gaby is thrilled with the result, especially so with the open plan kitchen; “now it’s finished I just want to relax and enjoy it”.

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