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Pared down country style meets modern with a stylishly hand made kitchen complete with the latest kitchen gadgets.

At Ark builders we get very excited when we meet a passionate homeowner and our client Lisa, from Brighton and Hove, was just brimming with creative ideas and a clear vision of how she wanted her dream kitchen to look. Inspired by a simpler era and a country look that will stand the test of time, Lisa wanted a beautiful handmade kitchen complete with the latest whizz-bang technology. The current situation was a pokey L- shaped kitchen, with separate WC and utility all housed in an extension on the back of their spacious Sussex Edwardian home and work began by removing the existing kitchen and all the internal walls. The WC got relocated, along with all necessary plumbing, under the stairs. In order to flood the new room with light the back wall was opened up and enforced with a Catnic lintel to incorporate large powder coated aluminium bi-fold doors. It was necessary to meticulously tooth-in brickwork to match in with the existing walls and Ark also laid new slate paving in the surrounding area, finished off with a stylishly curved red brick border onto the lawn.

Back inside, Ark builders installed a water-based overlaid underfloor heating system. This can be laid over an existing floor, making it a very economical option. You can choose tiles or a floating wood floor to lay on top, and Lisa opted for rustic engineered oak boards. The kitchen was made by Ark joiners, who worked closely with Lisa on the design. This allowed every detail to be chosen by the customer, giving the ultimate creativity. Once the layout and position of the appliances had been decided Lisa chose the colour for the hand painted cabinets, along with the handles from a local ironmongers Hinges and Brackets. The drawers are solid oak with dovetail detailing, while the inside of the cupboards are melamine to enable easy cleaning. In contrast to the warmth of the wood Lisa chose a quartz composite worktop with pleasing mirrored flecks set within the surface that glisten in the light. On one wall is an impressive bank of units all the way to the ceiling, which maximises on storage and houses two double ovens, set at a practical height. This allowed the rest of the room to have a run of 75mm floating shelves to display a favourite collection of ceramics and vintage glass, and helps keep the overall look of the kitchen light and spacious. Lighting is recessed beneath the shelves to cast a glow onto the worktops below. Gorgeous gadgets include an instant boiling water tap, filtered water system and Teryaki plate.

What Michael & Lisa thought...

I found Tom Pike and his team of Ark builders to be rigorous, conscientious and a pleasure to have working in a property I‘d bought which needed total renovation. Tom’s approach was very different to previous builders I’d contracted. Throughout the whole process he was helpful, polite, punctual and clear about timings and budget, which made a daunting experience almost enjoyable! I found Ark builders very professional, they deliver what they promise and I have no qualms about strongly recommending them.