Estelle Derouet - aka @savageinteriors on Instagram - has always had a keen eye for interiors. But when she and husband Jon embarked on a kitchen extension project at their six-bedroom late-Victorian home in Surrey they never imagined it would end up gracing the cover of two glossy interior magazines. skinflint lights were chosen to complete the project - we find out more.
skinflint: Your kitchen has made the front cover of At Home magazine and Real Homes - how did this come about?
Estelle: Daisy from www.livingwithdaisy.com helped us with spatial planning at the very beginning of the project. “When it’s all done, can I introduce you to a photographer friend of mine?” she asked. Two years later with the kitchen finally finished Bruce Hemming and his crew arrived. Having worked with interior design magazines for decades he knew exactly what he needed from the shoot. Design journalist Katie Treggiden was also there and as the shoot continued we sat down to talk about the extension planning and the challenges of the project. It was all wrapped up in half a day.
Freelance photographers tend to look for houses to shoot on Instagram so if you’re interested, post some photos of your home with the appropriate hashtags and you might get lucky. Publications are always looking for properties that haven't been featured before.
What was the vision for the project?
Our heart was set on vintage but with some modern twists. I call it Modern Victorian as the house was built in 1896. We spotted the kitchen cabinets in a magazine and that was it! We live in a conservation area and as a result the planning process was difficult. We lost nearly a year after the council wrongly advised us and put us through three applications. Patience is not my strong suit but we learned a lot in the process.
Tell us your top tips for renovating a kitchen...
Start a Pinterest board (this was ours) and pin anything that takes your fancy. It could be an entire scheme or the tiniest of details. I actually started collecting vintage accessories to inspire the look of the kitchen long before the work started (such as vintage French madeleine trays and old enamel containers). They served as a brand book, or a 3D mood board of sorts, and they now have prime spot in our new space.
Apart from the lights, what is your favourite element?
I love it all but it would have to be the honed carrara marble top; it was an investment for sure, but we saved money by buying all integrated appliances second grade (eg. brand new appliances with small dents or a scratches). Like our tumble dryer, since it’s behind doors, it doesn't matter!
Also, when selecting natural stone for a counter top, I strongly recommend going to your local merchant to choose the stone yourself so that you don't get any surprises on installation day. Particularly with marble, as some people prefer less or more marbling and each slab is obviously unique.
Why did you select these particular lights and what effect do they have on the interior?
We knew we wanted reclaimed vintage lights without the industrial look and came across skinflint in our search. Although the lights came from a factory, the light grey colour gives a softer look that worked perfectly with the bi-fold door frame colour. As soon as I saw them, I knew they were right. The kitchen extension has an apex ceiling which is rather high at over 4 meters so we needed large pendants to fill the space, so we ended up putting three lights up. We always get lovely comments about them.
In your opinion, what should no kitchen be without?
A decent manual espresso coffee machine, a bluetooth speaker for music and some bubbles in the fridge!
Photography credit: Estelle Derouet at Savage Interiors and Bruce Hemming at www.bhphoto.biz