When working with the KWD team on the interior design elements for Beechwood, I knew I wanted to create a classic yet modern property that was airy and breezy. And as this would be a home for my growing 13-year-old boy and my 11-year-old girl I needed to create a functional floorplan where every space was usable. The KWD team got to work bringing my vision to life.
The key foundations for creating a modern farmhouse feel really started with the flooring throughout the house, from the tiled floors in each of the bathrooms and the laundry, to the carpet in the bedrooms, to the timber flooring in the kitchen and the living areas and the rugs that would become a feature in key rooms.
I wanted to bring the outside in with shades of green, grey, white and terracotta which are all courtesy of Mother Nature and all leaning toward a modern farmhouse aesthetic. I also wanted to showcase some incredible hard finishes that KWD has developed and test them out for myself, like the hand selected European Oak flooring from Italy. This soft, light timber with minimal knots and without distinct grain creates a subtle foundation for the furniture, furnishings and accessories in each room.
When it comes to laying timber floors, there’s no-one better than King Brown Contractors. Explains Rodney King, “When selecting your new timber floor, the visual impact will vary depending on the colour, the finish and the width of the floorboard. Working with a designer like KWD is really helpful because they understand how materials work, how durable they are and how they will wear or age over time, and they understand the issues involved in doing a perfect installation.”
We wanted to install carpet in all of the bedrooms and on the stairs. Sisal carpet was the natural choice as it’s a favourite of ours at KWD and is part of our core KWD range. This natural fibre is environmentally friendly and ideal for those with allergies, and whilst it’s not soft and luxurious underfoot it creates a look that I personally love. It’s easy to care for and allows other materials within a room to shine.
Rugs are also very important in the KWD world. A design feature, rugs are a piece of artwork for the floor and can elevate a room and make a statement.
From bespoke handmade rugs in wool or silk, to patterned woollen rugs to wool/viscose blends, selecting the perfect rug can make all the difference between an ordinary room and an extraordinary one. And rugs aren’t just for timber, try layering them on carpet for a beautiful textural effect. For the living areas in Beechwood I knew our tartan wool rugs would be perfect for creating a cosy modern farmhouse feel and that they would feel gorgeous and soft underfoot.
When selecting the floor tiles for the kitchen, my ensuite, the powder room and for my children’s bathrooms, I knew I would find the perfect designs from the beautiful range of tiles which I have worked on importing with Earp Bros and National Tiles.
I didn’t want the materials I used throughout Beechwood to feel new – achieving an aged feel was so important. Like hand-ageing all of the external stone and having it hand-chiseled, using old terracotta tiles from Earp Bros that look aged and featuring handmade tiles from National Tiles that are perfectly imperfect – all of these elements contributed to the lived-in look I wanted to achieve.
When it comes to tiling, we always recommend Henry Kaderoglu of Master Tiling. He is an old school gentleman who takes such pride in his work. He’s been a certified tiler for over 24 years and has never changed his business name or phone number, so that his clients can remain in contact with him if they ever have any issues – but they never do of course. He works on interior and exterior tiling with all sorts of materials from porcelain and marble to granite and travertine.
“My sole aim is to have very happy clients,” says Henry. “You have to be very patient to be a tiler and take great pride in your work to ensure every detail is perfect, that nothing gets broken and that everything is clean and neat. There’s no point in having the most beautiful tiles if they are not perfectly laid.”
THE WINDOW FURNISHINGS…
When specifying window furnishings for clients we choose to work with supply partners and manufacturers that we know we can rely on to provide the best in design, quality and customer service. Anthony Lynch from Lynch’s Window Fashions is our go-to expert for curtains, plantation shutters and awnings, so we met with him to discuss the best way to introduce a modern farmhouse look to Beechwood that emphasised the bright and airy look I wanted to achieve, whilst still providing a sense of privacy.
Anthony recommended plantation shutters for my son’s bedroom, my daughter’s ensuite, the powder room and for my bedroom, and he also suggested soft sheer curtains for the living areas.
We knew that Elliot Clarke would have the perfect selection of fabrics for us to choose from, and once we found the soft white sheer fabric I couldn’t go past featuring it in my ensuite as well.
We love the variety of fabrics that Elliot Clarke have in their collection and we fell in love with the ticking stripe that was perfect for the curtains in the sitting room in my master suite. We also discovered the most gorgeous prints for the custom-made furniture that the KWD team designed and that we had manufactured by Sorrento Furniture.
Whilst I had sourced a lot of the furniture from a trip to the US, I really wanted to have some custom-made furniture designed that was created specially to suit a variety of spaces in Beechwood. We worked really closely with Sorrento Furniture who expertly manufactured sofas, armchairs, bedheads and ottomans based on KWD’s designs and using the Elliot Clarke fabrics we selected.
Lighting makes such a difference in turning a house into a home. From wall sconces to floor lamps and oversized pendant lights, we always encourage our clients to make a feature of the lighting – to add to the design aesthetic and to create a beautiful atmosphere. One of our key supply partners when it comes to lighting is The Montauk Lighting Co.
They are experts in helping to bring an architectural and design vision to life, and we are so happy with the selection of lighting throughout Beechwood, from the oversize pendant light in the kitchen to the range of wall sconces featured in each bathroom.
KWD’s design ethos is that for every dollar you put into a design project you want to get two dollars back, and you want to spend money on what you should, not where you shouldn’t. We believe in spending more money on the hard finishes – the things you touch and feel – and we understand how to use them in innovative and interesting ways and how to make the very best of them for the interior and for the exterior. Having engaged the KWD team to bring my vision of Beechwood to life, I feel really confident that if you trust the design process and the decisions made by the professionals, you’ll get a great result.
To all of our amazing supply partners, a heartfelt thank you for your time, your expertise, your effort and the quality of your products and services.