When an interior designer sets about designing their own dream kitchen, inspiration may come easy, but it’s their expert knowledge about what materials and finishes that will work best that really ensures a good outcome. This was certainly the case for Lisa Hensby of LH Interiors, who didn’t hesitate in choosing CRL Quartz Calacatta to play a key role in the heart of her home.

The overall goal was to create a kitchen/diner that was light and airy, a place where friends and family can enjoy each other’s company. Large, practical eating areas within the design of both the island and dining table space are central to the design, while transforming the previously dark and cold room into a space filled with natural light and warmth was key. As a family of five, with young children in the mix, it was essential to achieve the right balance of creative and beautiful, as befits the home of an interior designer, with practical and functional elements too. Lisa comments: “I was conscious that I didn’t want to be precious or conscious when enjoying the space. It had to be something that was easy to use and maintain as well as looking visually stunning.”

Material choice was important here, with Calacatta being an ideal solution with no need for compromise. “Calacatta is a timeless stone that will never date,” explains Lisa. “Its clean sleek look creates the wow factor, but is also super practical. With three children, the surface not only looks incredible, with a modern feel, but it is extremely hard wearing and practical too.
“Stains are easily removed and the surfaces become shiny with one sweep of a cloth.”
The bold marble-inspired patterning of Calacatta makes a visually striking effect clad on one wall, with the material also chosen for the work surfaces, combining brilliantly with other materials including porcelain floor tiles, a faux leather booth seating area, acrylic and glass.
“Texture is key in all my designs, it’s a great way to create accents and makes a room pop,” comments Lisa.

As any interior designer will know, keeping to a strict timescale for the new kitchen was paramount, with family life happening around the project. As Lisa explains, installation of the surfaces was timely and hassle-free and her vision of what the finished detail should look like was met. “The installation process was extremely easy with Stewkley Stone, their attention to detail was incredible,” she says.

“I was clear that I expected the veins to match with the bookends and joins of cladding. The team were extremely helpful and ensured that they stuck to my design brief. Their talented craftsmanship is clear with the outcome of the finished product and how stunning it looks.”

It’s this attention to detail that really makes the kitchen special. Like the champagne troughs added to the design of the island to create extra entertaining spaces, designed to be in line with the integrated extractor fan, which works beautifully. Faux leather was added to the plinths and borders of the cupboards to bring extra texture to the kitchen area, tying into the booth seating area, and LED lighting adds a cool, modern aesthetic to the space.

“The room is exactly how I designed it, the heart of the home,” says Lisa. “The kitchen itself has gloss units so little ones’ hand prints make sweet memories instead of cleaning worries. The island is a central point to chat, cook and enjoy watching the children through the glass bifold doors playing in the playground. The boothed area is perfect for watching the chef cook up a storm, relaxing, eating and enjoying each other’s company

The design brief for this project was to create a light, modern and practical space, with clean lines, timeless colours, somewhere to make memories but an area that still had a wow factor. Is Lisa happy with the outcome? “The kitchen/diner area is our favourite place to be in our home, it suits our life in every single way,” she confirms.

“My favourite element of the kitchen is the island. It is the ideal spot to chat, do homework with the kids, unwind from a busy day, entertain, watch the children playing outside and have everyone at the same eye level. It is the main preparation area of the rest of the kitchen but also a place where you can sit and feel part of the action.

“We’re a busy family that always makes time to chat about our day in the most beautiful, practical space.”

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