Extension with Leicht Kitchen and Nigel Slater Inspired Folding Doors

A Victorian townhouse was brought into the 21st century with a new full width, 9 metre extension devised through collaboration with architect Keith Durham, that houses the kitchen and dining spaces. The premise of the project was to increase the ground floor space  giving better functionality to the house and to allow the family to experience a greater sense of freedom within it. Alongside the extension and kitchen shown here, our brief was to apply a smart townhouse aesthetic throughout in a refurbishment of the whole property.





The a wall of folding doors, and exotic and rich teak parquet flooring were integral to the clients wishes as they represented very strong and important aesthetics. Working with the charm of the original Victorian house, we wanted to produce a bright, modern, crisp space, that linked through from the original by using the warmth and detailing of flooring and joinery.





The kitchen design was devised alongside Martin Williamson of InHouse Kitchens, featuring Leicht furniture and Seimens appliances, and the top is a honed matt white composite stone top, which on the island wraps around the two ends. The bank of full height units in a brushed and textured copper oak cleverly conceals the integrated appliances whilst adding texture and substance to the room. The units are double thickness and appear in certain frames as a large mass. Units on the back of the kitchen side add a great deal of extra storage whilst consuming a small but light cloakroom and lavatory snugly separated from the living spaces. Patent double glazing along the one side of the extension floods light through giving that sense of openness that characterises modern living.  Ligne Roset furniture further enhances the dining space. In the far corner of the bank of units a tambour unit conceals a pull out coffee maker and other kitchen aids.















The folding sliding doors are bespoke joinery units made for us by Stuart Barr Joinery, informed by the look of the Nigel Slater bi-folds in Nigel Slater's Simple Cooking.
















The whole scheme was devised with the addition of a fireplace set into the existing chimney void. Initially it was to be a functioning proving oven but was revised to a multi-fuel stove for increased warmth and celebration throughout. Below shows the integrated scandi fireplace with valuable log storage space below. 








































For drama and purpose over the island we used three Circus pendents from Innermost. They are sprayed black on the outside with a copper gold look on the inner. Other lights used are under shelf task lighting  just above the sink area and on upper cheek of the ceiling, three discrete white Hero spot lights to add an extra degree of function.






































Below are examples of some of the design material we prepared and used for the process of client communication.








exterior view of side extension and bi-folding doors



The whole of the ground floor received further treatment, turning what was the old kitchen into a library and media space and upgrading the dining room into a more formal space for entertaining. For continuity the teak herringbone flooring extended throughout the whole of the ground floor complete with a  double edging detail.  The pendent lighting is a fabulous mouth blown crystal glass piece by design studio Atelier Areti named Kirschlag. Two lamps were commissioned and occupy this and the adjoining sitting room / library.  Both have differing lightly feather etched patterns and are exquisite with or without light.




































The round ceiling rose, as so often happens in these types of properties, disappears over time and it is often a great event putting them back as they add focus and elegance to a room.







































Upstairs we updated bathrooms, including this one shown with encaustic patterned cement tiles from Portugal, which we also adopted for the exterior facelift to the front of the property.








a north oxford house

Drawing room and dining room >

In this drawing room (a proper, first floor affair) light and the huge windows are all. We wanted to create a design that played with formal traditional drawing room style, and messed about with it, adding colour and fun. A huge element of the room is the floor to ceiling shelving structure, which is constructed from ash with an ebonised hardwood that delineates and configures the structure. This was designed to house various elements including books, objects, TV and media and a stereo with space for cd's. This was a one-off item which we created for the client. It holds your attention and commands the space that it lies in. There is an almost art deco feel to it, with the dark and light woods and polished finish.

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detail of shelving

The sofas were sourced from Fran at Liscious Interiors, and re-upholstered in striking fabrics in soft brushes cotton. The colours reflected the dining space but lifted and lightened. The Chesterfield grey sofa has a purple running through it and we applied very bright violet buttons to the piece and dressed with lime accents. The lime - or chartreuse - Chesterfield was very simply dressed and as such we reversed the colour works and had predominantly purple striped cushions in a deep velvet. 

A small day bed wrapped in a defined purple inhabits a space close to the book shelves and near to the distinctive sash windows.

A  balance between privacy and letting the light through was achieved by way of full length linen curtains with a silk floral motif running through, and a sheer roman blind that drops down (colourfully) to frost out the background, again in natural linen but with colourful stripes.

We strongly felt that this huge space did not need a central ceiling light, but to light the space with

soft accent lighting at lower level would create better intimacy and harmony in an evening. The Alega glass table lamps (designed by

Vico Magistretti

in 1970) sits on Platner side tables, each a stainless steel spoke framework with a glass top created by

Warren Platne

r for Knoll in the 1960's. 

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Platner side table with Alega lamp

The beautiful carrera marble fireplace is a focal point, its gas fire supplementing the classicv column radiators (in anthracite) we put in, and the alcoves either side are wallpapered with a fantastic

Jocelyn Warner

design. Period chairs were limed and re-upholstered in a funky silk, and an

Elizabeth Blackadder

piece catches the eye above the fire.

Dining Space >

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glass table reflecting the window

Previous to its present incarnation, this was a jumbled space, cold and dark and possibly with mixed use. In its present form we decided to change shape a little. Keeping the 'hand made element' we made something a little more formal i.e  an evening dining space for guests.

Our client wanted a dark, intimate and rich palette, but with linking colour from the drawing room next door. Assisted by our client the colour we chose was a plum colour, in a proper flat matte, not cold. It sits more in the red spectrum. This gives it a deep lushness that with the addition of evening candle light, brings in a grandiose quality.

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Add caption

Of the candelabra; it is hand crafted by French makers

Benoit Vieubled

and acquired through

Cameron Peters Fine Lighting

. Its artisan qualities shine out. Made from brass and copper and french glass yoghurt jars and crystals. It was further modified by myself with deft assistance by the owner, converting it from electrical to hold candles. Furthermore, it hangs by sash cord which is fixed via a pulley system and tied off near the dumb waiter. This allows the piece to be raised and lowered when necessary. Secondary lighting is via the picture lights overhanging the inherited pieces of our client.

On first entering the room from the hallway it becomes obvious that the dumb waiter is no longer functioning. Due to modifications in the past it had become a non viable restoration project. This left us with the awkward shape in the corner! As the owner wished to house some of his wine collection we decided that the best purpose of the woodwork was to turn it into a wine rack. I think this works especially well and looks rather neat and perfect as well as being architectural and fun.

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wine storage

The carrera marble fireplace needed extensive cleaning to the marble to bring it up to a gleam. The hearth was simply of limed concrete and as such was painted black. A writing bureau, hand painted by Maitre Allegre now sits in the alcove closest to the window.

A collage of mirrors that we collected from a host of places hang in a pattern above the fireplace.

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detail of candelabra with mirrors behind

Under foot, the carpet is a fine boucle in a light grey that adds a level of luxury to the rooms. It runs through the dining and lounge space and spills on through the hallway and staircase.

Below is a picture of the hallway with the dining space chimney wall framed in the antique mirror.

victorian terrace: funky lounge and a dj room


walnut alcove shelving and cast concrete fireplace
Yr: 2003+/-

The lounge that was created, presented a warm front that included the brown tan leather sofas and one-off walnut alcove units that flanked the chimney breast. There was also a cvo firevault fire.
The fireplace as part of the one-off aspect that we like to throw into our projects was designed and created by rogue-designs.  It's made from concrete, parts of which were cast in-situ. It appears to float due to the shadow detail that we applied to it.

The walnut floor is a feature to the whole of the ground floor - approximately 96sqm. 

The vintage lighting again, was sourced through a supplier in London. 

The image above the fireplace was from a collage that i made and had blown up onto a foam panel. 


The space known as the DJ room, is situated between the kitchen and the lounge. The room housed the owners record collection. A functioning glitter ball was also attached to the ceiling. A discreet spotlight activated the spinning ball when switched on.  

No speaker cable was visible due in part to it all being housed behind the skirting boards. speaker points were then dotted around for increased flexibility. 

The dj console was created by rogue-designs, especially to house the dj decks with a space under for other electronic equipment. It was sprayed in a gloss lipstick red. As it was a feature to the space it warranted a stand alone quality.



bespoke dj deck









a luxurious bathroom - victorian house



The owners had recently moved into the house and required it to be modernised throughout. 


Many of our customers enjoy the need for the works to be staged, rather than to be carried out all at once. This affords them the ability to assess the scheme and its direction without being bombarded with a great many decisions all at once.  


The starting point of this particular project was to be one of the main bathrooms and culminated in the overhaul of the 25m garden area, completed on the back of a special extension.


1st stage: master bathroom.


palette: > thin strip oak, lemon marble tiles, mirror, flint grey.










This is a great space for relaxing, that's set in the heart of the top floor, between 2 bedrooms. The room doesn't have a window, however it makes up for the lack of natural light by using light and reflection.  There is a spectacular floor-to-ceiling marble wall with
an alcove inset that is lined with the narrow strip oak. This is also lit from above with 2 dedicated dimmable spot lights. The bath is freestanding and is painted on the outside in a light green grey, and the whole thing is sat on two oak cradles. The colours are all complimented by the colours in the natural stone. The lemon marble tiles fitted tightly to each other and the appearance was more monumental rather than 'tiled'. The colour on the walls and the ceiling were painted in a satinwood finish and allowed light to reflect off it for further space and light enhancement.




Bespoke oak also features largely in the floating vanity unit which rogue-designs created to fit into the space. The vanity unit itself has 2 sliding mirrors that give the illusion of more space. It was imperative to create the feeling that the space was light and that it was expansive in nature.  Behind the sink; a mirror and above this, another one-off unit that was over 1.5m in length and had 3 long sliding glass panels. Above this unit another glass panel that hit the ceiling. The illusion was cemented further by being able to see the ceiling spots in the mirrors.







colourful tiles- a North Oxford house: Living room

We worked in this area along side the kitchen (see north oxford house: kitchen) area.

It is a wonderful room with lovely aspects to all sides; the double doors linking to the kitchen, a beautiful fireplace, huge windows to one wall and double glass doors to the front garden. There are privacy shutters and the light enters the room in really pleasurable way. 

lounge view with duncan grant tiles set into the fireplace

It was very exciting to continue with the themes that we set up in the kitchen and utilise them in a different way. This project was all about a modern take on the arts and crafts movement; taking traditional ideas about handcrafting and applying modern techniques and designs. We attempted to make no single item stand out, but make sure that alll the items within had uniqueness. The flooring from kitchen continued with white oil wax throughout. The application of the oil wax is a very time consuming process that requires a lot of attention and many layers are required over virgin wood. At the heart of the room is the 'Arne' sofa by BB Italia, its almost 3m long and strikingly curved. We didn't want the formality of the kitchen area to impede and direct the shape and function of the lounge and so to break free from the restraints of linear sofas (which tend to inhabit the area along a wall!) we plumped for this sofa with its gentle curves and low profile, so as not to restrict the views outside. The fireplace has vibrant hand-painted Duncan Grant tiles set in - an interesting and quirky contrast of highly traditional grand carrera marble and rustic art and crafts most likely dating from the early '20s and injecting a little bit of Charleston to the house. Around the fireplace - we constructed units that have carved panels for frontage. The images I conceived as small narratives, where nature and industry are intermingled in some way. A bird flys by electrical wires or a tree grows up through a broken, abandoned chair. The units were sprayed green to co-incide with the kitchen colours, both symbolise the power of nature to overcome industrial adversity.

In front of the sofa; a wonderful commissioned piece by Amy Kent. A handmade rug designed around lines and shadows in pavements.




the lefthand unit; 'silver birch'

sparrow about to land (detail)


A fascinating detail, the legacy of the old house were the victorian servant bell pulls, visible immediately next to the Carrera marble fireplace.

Along the line of the cornice we again brought through the Album system of lighting i.e. suspended cables that extend from one side to the other with lighting modules positioned as required.

detail of one of the light module


There was a real emphasis on lighting - whilst the suspended Album lighting was dimmable, floor and table lamps were used to create task and gentler lighting. The lamp that you see in the main image above is the Secto floor lamp by finnish designer Seppo Koho.

Shelving in the shapeof English Walnut (unplaned), still with a sawn appearance and with waney edge was used to mount the electronics. 


A mural in the reverse tonal range was created on the closing full height panels, representing helibores. We painted the mural on the walls behind the shutters, so that when they are open, the effect is somewhat abstract; when the doors are closed, the picture becomes complete.



Above one of the walnut units (left in picture) we framed a marimekko fabric image for the owner. The style slotted in rather well. More marimekko fabric appears on the sofa cushions which we created. The addition of random vintage buttons to the cushions adds extra interest.





















































All in all the scheme has some amazing features that sit well in this natural, artistic environment.




minimal london bathroom

This was a very interesting project that encopassed many different decisions and risks. The existing bathroom was pokey and pretty irredeemable, so we converted a spare bedroom into this airy and spacious family bathroom, and converted the old bathroom into a study area.







The key features to the room were the stand alone shower unit, the large square bath and the very large basin along with the simple and striking fireplace. We wanted to keep everything incredibly pure, minimal and clean, creating s space that despite the monochrome palette and straight lines is not at all harsh, but calming and meditative.











Units above the toilet provide the storage along with the vanity unit. The chimney breast 
allowed us to inject an element of texture into the room, to sit alongside the nibbled sugar cube effect tiling  in the shower. We re-plastered the chimney with the plaster sucking away at the moment it dried, leaving flat platelets behind. This was then painted and the effect is subtle but effective. Swimming pool glass
mosaic tiles were used and applied with a slightly textured effect, and a black tiled alcove in the shower cubicle affords a subtle shelf space.










































The interior of the fireplace was painted black to swallow up the space and the rubber floor was dressed right into it. The driftwoodwood over the fireplace had been languishing in our back garden for near on 4 years after we had hauled it off a beach in the Lake District. It's oak and when we brought it back to life with the aid of a thicknesser it bacame apparent that this was the space in which to use it. It is some kind of industrial beam, full of stains and character and at some point had been part of someone's campfire, leaving beautiful blackened areas. The oak was washed and sealed with oil.



The flooring is 'dalsouple'; natural rubber in a light grey, and seamless, it creates the impression of expansiveness. Sealed, it provides a low maintenance floor that will look good for years, and warmer and kinder than tiles on such a large space. It also creates a seemless feel to the room that some rooms don't  i.e. always having to provide contrast or juxtaposition. Sometimes it's just essential to create and pin  down a design that doesn't challenge and make itself known in the usual ways. 





All in all, the project was an exercise in subltety.

Victorian house: a study

The study: 

The theme of dark stained wood and flooring continued through to this room from the living room area. Made from Piranha Pine at 40mm thick, a funky shelving system with some lime green enclosed spaces houses an assortment of books and objects.


study


study with shelving

corner view

The huge window overlooking the garden floods in greenly, so we took this palette and applied it to the walls, by way of a heritage Zoffany wallpaper pattern, fresh and funky.

The wall lights that you see are of glass and stainless steel with a silver frame and a light canvas square shade. The light is titled 'opera' by Chad lighting.  This room was always going to be a study room for books and ephemera and so it was important not to overcomplicate the room.

a beautiful wall light
The main lighting is represented by one ceiling rose from bsweden called 'gladys' by designer Louise Hederstrm.  It features three concentric steel circles that have a laser cut floral motif. Very simple and yet very elegant. We thought it would be particularly apt given the lamp shade in the main lounge area was also a series of laser cut concentric circles.

the gladys lampshade from b sweden

Aside from this, we gave the room a desk, constructed from the same material as the shelving and let the owners take it from there!


a grown up living room - victorian house

Victorian House living room  

features: cast concrete fire surround with wood detailing, stained piranha pine box shelving, dark stained flooring, double sliding curtain rail, danish rosewood sideboard, architectural light shade, handmade radiator covers.

We chose to use an organic and muted colour range complimented by the use of dark stained material (including the floor), textures and subtle tonal changes to create an intimate room with a quiet aspect. We promptly got to work on a fireplace design, and hand cast a simple white polished concrete piece with stained wood mantle.  A large L shaped grey corner sofa provides flexible seating. The vintage Danish rosewood sideboard from our lovely friends at The Modern Warehouse sits on the back wall against striking wallpaper.

Opposite, on either side of the chimney breast, there is a configuration of dark stained display boxes of differing sizes. They are like a sliding rule - each pair amounts to the same space, separated by the chimney breast. We used the wallpaper at the backs to set off the objects within, and create continuity with the feature wall. The large oak table with two slate insets is the owners own.

Above the fireplace is a very striking mirror which the owner purchased from a gallery in the Czeck republic. Its strong features also informed the design and it adds a great focal point to the room.

The cut perspex pendant lamp is designed by Louise Campbell for Louis Poulsen, titled 'collage', has 3 concentric white perspex rings which have been laser cut with a floral motif. When the light is on, it creates a wonderful flecked floral pattern around the room, especially when the light is subdued. As there are many strong design elements in the room, the light shade doesn't actually dominate, it rather delicately absorbs with colours.  In fact it tends to sit in the background until lit when it takes on its splendour.

The ceiling rose that you see, is a beautifully crafted plaster reproduction of a heritage piece that was installed as part of the design.We felt the ceiling looked rather sparse without it. While it wasn't evident that a ceiling rose had been there previously, the room has fine original cornice molding, so it sits perfectly well, and creates focus and mixes the old and new with the contemporary chandelier.

Two pairs of curtains, one sheer linen for privacy, the other a thick raw weave cotton for warmth, are full length and hang on a double bay window pole  in brushed steel (a piece of clever engineering) It is finished off with hand blown glass finials. Small touches against large bold pieces help to create little surprises that enhance the experience.

Below are a few detail shots from the room.

basement living - victorian house

project: living area, kitchen, extension


features: reclaimed antique parquet muhuhu flooring, Silestone worktop, induction hob, wine storage




the kitchen with view to dining room extension (phase 6)


This basement conversion and extension was a huge project, and a fantastic space. A lot of work was carried out to turn what was a dark, and slightly dank basement area into a family space that is extremely habitable and stylish, and given its situation, filled with light. We tackled the project in stages, firstly creating a cosy living and play area in the bay window space at the front along with a central kitchen, and then a pause before the major building project of a light and airy new extension as a dining area, which leads out onto a same level outdoor living space. 



When we began, red 'quarry style' tiles sat on the floor, a dark blue 'county style' kitchen blocked off the far end of the room which has now been opened up to the new extension, replacing a rather leaky conservatory type space. The chimney at the living end had also been blocked up previously and the damp that was inside the chimney was interfering with the skirting. All of this was opened up and the rubble removed. We reclaimed the space in the chimney as a display point with a huge oak lintel, and vented it to keep the chimney aerated. The floor was a different story; all the tiles were removed and fortunately, we did get back to a layer of concrete on top of which was laid a breathable membrane. The floor was then put down on a substrate. After much time fitting and sanding the reclaimed parquet the effect was complete - it appeared as if it had been down for the past 120 years or so. A lot of work and time went into the floor but the results are remarkable.




parquet flooring in herringbone configuration










Choosing something that has been used before, despite the clean up process, still means that you are quite likely to get an amount of character running through the floor which can be lacking in pristine wooden floors. we also loved the 'eco' quality of a reclaimed floor, and its history was in keeping with the character of the house. The parquet block floor started life as we knew it in individual blanks bundled into yard squares, and stored in a warehouse in Bath (Walcott reclamation) who deal with architectural antiques. In its previous incarnation it was a school gym floor. It is a wonderful material - dense and fragrant and full of character. Every individual block was processed to be the right depth, this involved stripping off the tar from the bottom using an electric planer. The resulting floor shows incredible personality.












We specified and designed a German made kitchen which was supplied by a local company. We wanted all the surfaces to reflect as much light as possible, and chose a high gloss finish in a beautifully light olive green.  A breakfast bar was added to the scheme which doubled as a useful preparation area and keeps the space sociable.  The wrap around top is Silestone, a quartz based composite stone which has anti-bacterial properties and is incredibly hardwearing and anti corrosion resistant.   Within the L shaped configuration above a miele inset induction hob was set. The owners approached induction cooking after much discussion with some trepidation, but have cherished it ever since. The hob is set into its the top and colour matched intumescent mastik was used to seal it into place. Behind the miele induction hob a hardened glass splashback was fitted, and flat plate sockets (low profile) in stainless steel sit neatly against glass tiles and add further detail.















The wine carrier set into the second chimney stack neatly fills a problem space or 'hole' that the owner wanted us to address. The inventive storage is a modification of a design from another recent project where we reclaimed a disused dumb waiter to house the owners wine collection. The oak frame makes the item stand alone and announce its presence.


Above the undermount sink, the space was kept incredibly simple and uncluttered; a couple of solid oak shelves run the width of the recess. These have inset uplighters in them that cast a light up through the glassware that the owner is collecting. Glass brick shaped tiles behind the stainless steel tap act as the splashback and also help to reflect some light. The franke tap is quite cool too, as it also has a built in water filter.








During the kitchen conversion what was then the back wall was knocked out and steels were put in to accommodate what would become an extension in phase 6. Planning for the extension didn't present too much difficulty, but consideration was applied to where the flooring would end and how it could follow on at exactly the same height. We were also conscious of where the kitchen units would end and how they would interact with the new space. We decided to dress the flooring right up to a false wall that was created for the interim period (on the back of the house) so the extension would be seamless. see Victorian house: extension.


 
We used the pale olive and lichen colour scheme as a modern twist on the classic 'farrow and ball' kind of lichen, the intension was to keep the space light with colours that follow through from the rest of the house, and are classic and timeless palette. 


Grandpont house> bedroom and on-suite

Grandpont house: loft conversion.
Yr:2007

It is a loft space (bedroom) with an on-suite bathroom with a footprint of 30sqm approximately, incl the bathroom.  There was a very considered and limited palette in this scheme. The muted earth tones were all cleverly balanced. Loft rooms can be difficult in their character; we wanted this one to feel warm and grown-up, a sanctuary.

It's an elegant room, very clean and sharp with a very clear direction.


Two walls were papered, one on the wall as you approach the top of the staircase and the one behind the bed. Both walls run in different directions to each other and so acted particularly well to ease you into the room without being too full on.

The pattern that you see on the walls is by Neisha Crosland and it gives the room a loose light feel whilst playing with all the tones employed elsewhere in the room. An oak framed alcove in the wall above the bed provides extra storage, and a neat interest.

The radiators are by bisque. Its a low level, traditional style with ribbed chambers, in anthracite. These are high performing radiators and very useful at warming a room quickly and holding the temperature. The colour of the radiator can be changed in order to further enhance and stay within the designers range of tone and hue. 

















We designed and had made, a very simple, elegant and one-off, oak and glass rail to the top of the staircase.  An oak  frame surrounds 10mm toughened glass. The storage units that are pictured, fitted in the eaves and flanked the escape velux.  


The conversion of a loft space is often at odds with storage needs and this generally tends to be forgotten in the process of creating a useable space. In a lot of our designs there is a real emphasis on clever storage where ever possible. 


Off the bedroom is the on-suite which is a pleasure. Glass tiles wrap around all 4 walls and encase the bathroom in reflected light.
The effect is further enhanced by the mirror and the glass shower screen.  


As per the bannister, the door is of oak and the linear detailing is seen in various other items around the rooms.




































































The shower base was a 1200mm  x 800mm composite. The glass toughened and bespoke. It is always a good idea when fitting a bathroom in the loft area to over structure the support for the facilities i.e. the floor joists and make sure there are provisions for the potential cleaning of the traps etc. 


Extraction in the bathroom was ducted through the roof space whilst the building conversion was taking place. An icon bathroom fan with PIR and a humidity sensor was used. These are used to great effect in spaces like these where you can control the moisture content of the room. The console is also very elegant and powerful.












Fittings are simple and elegant, minimal but not flashy. All in all, sanctuary, and a little jewel at the top of the house.

shelving and storage

This is a small selection of the shelving that was completed recently in an ancient barn. Originally the first unit below had a fixed back, but then it was decided that we could use glass as a partition and create the mirror of the shelves on the reverse. This was quite tricky but in the end the result was an excellent room divider, double depth shelving, light coming through from both sides during the day, and illuminable at night.
the second set of photos show built in storage for a wine cellar/ utility room. 


First stage completed.

The unit is completed when painted white and becomes reflective and bright.

The unit is perfectly nested between the two structural oak uprights.


In another room in the house, wardrobe space was created with the routed lines relating to the style of the interior doors.

A view of the open shelving


A wine storage perfectly sited in an alcove.
The unit with features an integrated led strip lights that run through the tops of each cell.