The Murrills

This home renovation in Berkshire, marked another exciting new milestone for Wood & Wire as we embarked on a first joint project with Swofo: a respected firm of architects based in Buxton, Derbyshire.

This large, old property was set for renovation and extension, with the homeowner client planning to turn it into a gorgeous ‘forever’ family home. A simple online search had brough her to us for the kitchen element of the work, and we put together a proposal and quote that secured us the project. Once underway though, the client began to involve us in other areas of the property’s renovation, linking us up with her architect for obvious reasons. Working closely with Adam Swain-Fossey of Swofo, we drew up designs that would effectively reconcile the client’s vision with what was possible from a manufacturing perspective.

Along with oak finishes and a striking dark blue and pink colour scheme, this award - winning kitchen we created features an overlaying door style to reduce the visibility of birch ply – one of the brief’s key stipulations. We fitted our first ever Terrazo worktop here too. We also worked on the dining area and integrated storage as well as a highly bespoke utility space, accessed through a doorway cleverly created within a wall of kitchen cupboard units. Plywood window reveals were something else we designed and built; for us an exciting departure from our usual cabinetry into the territory of joinery.

Elsewhere, we worked on a media unit within the hallway and installed some cantilevered banquette seating. We also created a highly bespoke sliding divider wall so that the client could effectively close off the home’s main living space when entertaining. This complex feature really tested our design expertise, but the end result was a super-smooth sliding divider which runs beautifully on high-spec rollers. The divide’s graphical finishing pattern comes from our use of strip ply detailing, and the whole wall disappears neatly within its housing in the ‘open’ position. Again, this felt like an interesting new project-within-a-project for us, helping us develop a useful specialism and adding a new string to our interior design bow.

Perhaps the most unusual and rewarding aspect of this particular project was being asked to produce a birch ply staircase. Originally the remit of the client’s chosen builders, it was felt that our blend of design creativity and technical skill might lend itself better to satisfying the client’s personal vision here. Although the staircase itself seemed straightforward enough, the client wanted a cloakroom with toilet and basin beneath it as well as some storage – all of which we produced. We also designed the staircase to use a concealed stringer for a much simpler, cleaner overall aesthetic. Practical and aesthetic considerations like these actually made it a complex job with a number of challenges, but for us that was part of the appeal. Again, we worked with the architects to create a plan, devising a screen-style slatted balustrade which nicely conceals the facilities behind it. Ultimately, this translated into our first ever staircase job, and it’s one we’re very proud of.

All in all, this project is a good example of a recently emerging pattern for us. Increasingly, we find that clients are so impressed with the design and manufacturing of our kitchens that they quickly become keen to involve us in other areas of their overall projects. The fact that we’re easy to work with and more than happy to collaborate with the client’s architects and builders only adds to their eagerness to get us onboard.