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Thinking of Renovating your Home?

The White Kitchen Company 8

We talk to Marigold and see how she did it…

The creation of St. George’s Hill in Weybridge, built around a golf course, was the concept of builder W.G. Tarrant, who saw it as the ideal home for the affluent. The prosperous businessman or professional could discover seclusion, tranquillity, breathtaking scenery, and simple access to first-rate sporting and exercise facilities here. Due to the success of this endeavor, Tarrant purchased the Wentworth Estate’s development rights in 1922. Tarrant wanted to establish an exclusive estate with covenants that would guarantee its preservation, as he had in each of his significant constructions. In contrast to St George’s Hill, where every home was constructed on at least an acre of land, Tarrant chose to build homes at Wentworth that ranged in size and price.

Today, some of those properties still exist. One, in particular, has just been renovated. We met Marigold over a year ago now, as she was beginning the journey with her house renovation on the Wentworth Estate. She wanted bespoke hand-made cabinetry for various rooms around the house. After visiting our showroom, she decided on having solid-wood cabinets in her kitchen, utility room, bathrooms, study, and bedrooms. Here, she tells us more about this complete house renovation.

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Hello Marigold. The house looks amazing! Can you please tell us a bit about the project?

Thank you, I absolutely love it too! The house itself was built in 1937 by a man called Walter Tarrant. Born in the late 1800s in Brockhurst, Hampshire, he is well-known in Surrey as a Master Builder and the developer who built the fantastic Saint Georges Hill and the Wentworth Estates, where this house is located.

Over the years, many of these houses have been demolished or rebuilt from the ground up, leaving only a few that remain today. Much of this house had retained its historic charm, including such things as arcs, arches, and the original carpentry which is found throughout.

We did, however, change and replace many of the structural elements, flooring, and layouts. The project began in July 2022 and was practically finished exactly a year later (excluding the garden). I chose not to hire an architect and instead project-managed everything myself, which I thoroughly loved.

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So, you’ve renovated every room in the house. What made you decide to take on such a large project?

My previous house was also a Tarrant property located not far from here, and again, needed a lot of work. Comparing the two, this one is slightly smaller but has been harder to take on, with the level of work that needed doing. When I looked at this property, I knew this was perfect for my next challenge.

House projects are very satisfying, and it makes a lot of commercial sense, which is also quite a nice driving force. I’m not going to sell it, but if I decided to, it would have been an investment.

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Where did you get your layout, design, and inspiration from?

Funnily enough, because the house was built by the same builder, it was easy to use the template from the last home. This property is one room narrower than the last house, but it does also have a large extension at the back of it. The ceiling heights, layouts, and structures are extremely similar. The layout has so many sections to it due to houses in the 30s having separate staff quarters. That part of the house didn’t have any heating installed, so that was one of the first jobs. The other two-thirds of the house was very much the family section, so they have a familiar layout.

In terms of inspiration and design, I am one of those people who rips the pages out of magazines in doctor’s surgeries! Now with today’s technology, I tend to screenshot a lot. A good example is the staircase. The original one was very dated and needed a complete overhaul so I spent various days researching online the best design and style that would suit the house. Then, I used a carpenter to design what I had planned out on paper.

Another good example is the bathroom. I scoured magazines until I found one that I really liked. I used this for all the bathrooms in the house which created a brilliant continuity.

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What about deciding on colours?

Different colours suit different rooms, so the first step I took was to assess the space. If your room faces north and often feels cool, shades containing warmer tones, such as pink, gold, or yellow, will help it feel more welcoming. If your room faces south, you can get away with most colours – even dark, dramatic ones. As I said about the bathrooms, continuity is important. I didn’t want one room orange and the other one blue. I wanted the whole house to have a very smooth feel to it. So, I went with whites and light greys, mainly because I wanted a very Hamptons feel throughout the house which I feel we achieved. The actual shades used for the cabinetry throughout the house vary slightly. Farrow & Ball colours were used in the kitchen, utility, study, and for vanity units. Pavilion Grey is in the kitchen and utility, Manor House Grey is in the Study and vanity units. Lastly, we went with Little Greene’s Shirting in the Dressing Rooms.

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I can see from the photos that you’ve created such a beautiful look throughout. Could you tell me about the various rooms?

Starting with the kitchen, it had in it a bright blue magnate kitchen that had to come out. The space was very small and didn’t match the rest of the house. So, we took two rooms to make the space and from there, the layout created itself. There was a logical place for all the appliances and cabinetry. I decided to use both tall and base units with chrome hinges.

We also had to make sure we had enough light. The kitchen did have old metal type double doors, so we took those out and placed large bi-fold doors which, as well as offering vast amounts of light, are going to be perfect for socials and the summer weather.

Bathroom layouts are always quite tricky and very difficult to get right. The balance of the room needs to be right to ensure you can get a separate bath and shower within the room. Luckily, with the main bathroom, the shower fitted well into an arch above a stairwell. I did need to take some space from the landing for this, but it did work well with the layout. The colours again were like the rest of the house as you can see.

With the laundry room, I took inspiration from my visit to your showroom in Northamptonshire. It is very similar in design to that one. I don’t like exposed appliances such as the washing machine and tumble dryer, so these are concealed brilliantly with cabinet doors. I spend a lot of time in here, so I like to feel it’s an extension of the rest of the house rather than simply a utility room.

The dressing room has one unique section which is the closed cabinet shoe rack. Working with your team, I managed to have this hand built exactly to my own shoe size so that they fit perfectly. The next owner may have to have my size though!

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With the cabinetry throughout the house, are you happy with the quality?

The cabinet quality is simply exceptional. Solid-wood units which are finished superbly. It comes beautifully wrapped on arrival and is extremely secure which ensures no damage, which, can be quite common with such items. Your advised fitting team was fantastic during the process too, keeping up those great levels of communication that are required.

Any words of advice for others looking to start their house renovation journey?

Overall, my advice is to communicate with your designer and builder as best you can when undertaking such a large project. It helps make the journey so much easier when all parties are on the same page.

Last but least… when is your next project?

Well, I am still renovating the garden, so I shan’t be thinking of anything until then! Although this project was relatively stress-free, I think the next one may be a little smaller but the whole process really is something I love, and I’d advise anyone to take it on if they have the time and budget.

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