Interior design always starts with the plan. When the layout is perfect the rest of the design should become easy.
Last year Sarah contacted me to help her with one of my favourite types of jobs- reconfiguring the layout of a house. Sarah lives in Wokingham with her husband and 2 young children. The house on paper has all the space a family could need; kitchen, dining room, sitting room, playroom and study. However the doors were shut on 2 of those rooms and rarely opened and the family lived in the sitting room/dining area whilst, whoever was on kitchen duties, was shut away in a separate room. It just didn't work for them as they would have liked. The family had spoken to a builder and structural engineer about the possibilities of removing an internal wall which it was confirmed was achievable but they still lacked the confidence to proceed.
I was asked to help them visualise this idea to them whilst also making suggestions of how they could decorate the space. However, after speaking to Sarah about how they use the space and what they wanted from their home, it became clear to me that the solution they were considering wasn't going to deliver. I went away and prepared a number of different options that for me addressed their needs. I presented these along with the original idea. Sarah and her family were able to see the benefits too and we settled on a layout that offered them open plan kitchen, dining and sitting room, a playroom and study which also doubled, with the help of a sofa bed as a guest bedroom, a games room and a second TV room which will see more use as the children get older and disagree about what to watch.
I'll let Sarah tell you what her experience was like working with me and the solutions I offered her.
"Briony helped us to re-design pretty much the whole ground floor of our house - changing it from a functional house to a fantastic family home. We've moved from having several rooms (some of which were not used previously) to a large open plan space the whole family can enjoy whilst still retaining those all important escape areas for when they are needed! Briony's ideas on configuration of the space and particularly how to give us the rooms we needed were spot on - she understood exactly what we were after but also provided valuable input in areas we had not considered. She gave us not only one but several potential solutions which opened our minds beyond where we started. Her ideas on interior design were beautiful and being able to share these on Pinterest really helped us determine what we wanted in our new space. Briony was lovely to work with - very approachable, open to our own ideas and able to adapt her designs to our thoughts very quickly. I would not hesitate to use her again or recommend her to anyone looking for inspiration"
And the before and after photos can do the rest.
Before photo of existing sitting room, looking through to the garden- the striped wall was removed, hallway reduced and the whole area opened up.
After- The same view point after the ground floor was reconfigured to create this light and airy open plan kitchen, dining, family room
Before- View 2 of the original sitting room which was to become the dining area.
After- View 2 of the new dining area