This impressive Buckinghamshire home has undergone a major renovation including the addition of a stunning covered balcony featuring a pitched oak roof, which works perfectly with the front door – a beautiful dual Rondo V in iroko. We caught up with interior designer Pia Pelkonen to find out about her design approach.
Door design: Rondo V
Door material: Iroko oiled external side and painted internally in RAL Feldspar Silver
Handle option: Option 8 in black
Interior designer: Pia Pelkonen
Builder: Martin Sirett, Sirett Builders
Oak beams: Hatfield Oak
Windows: Crown Conservatories Bletchley
Wooden floor: Northampton Wood Flooring
UF: Tell us about the style of the house and the design choices you’ve made.
PP: Our clients wanted to modernise their country home but still be in keeping with the countryside setting, so our designs were led by an appreciation of nature, the surrounding landscape, and the changing seasons. Our colour palettes were carefully chosen to reflect how the colours of the landscape would interact with the interior colours during the seasons. We kept much of the design traditional and timeless, but introduced some contemporary elements, particularly in some furnishings and decorative lights, to give the house a modern twist.
UF: What was your vision for the entrance?
PP: We wanted to create as wide and spacious an entrance hall as possible with plenty of natural light. As well as being a welcoming space, the entrance was a key thoroughfare between the living room, kitchen, boot room, cinema space and the upstairs – so it needed to be practical as well without feeling like a passage. This was our rationale for adding textured wallpapers and beautiful pendant and wall lights to make the space aesthetically pleasing. The light eau de nil blue we used for the internal side of the front door is also woven throughout other rooms in the house for continuity.
UF: Do you think it’s more difficult to design entrances when they are large and have an oak frame? Or is it easier to have more space?
PP: More space is generally easier to play with and we found that the oak frame added a certain character to the design that complemented our scheme. We loved designing around the oak frame entrance.
UF: What are your thoughts on the door now that it’s fitted? Are you happy that you went for Rondo V in iroko with the painted RAL colour internally?
PP: We are really pleased that the client trusted our instinct to paint the door internally to match the design schemes and to leave it in natural wood externally. We hope that, over time, the iroko wood will age and develop a natural patina, which will make it look more rustic and even more in keeping with the farm and countryside surroundings.
UF: What was the hardest part of the build and design process?
PP: I think the hardest part was the implementation because the building works were being staged, partly due to the longer than usual lead time on certain building materials such as the windows, doors and the staircase. The bedrooms and bathrooms at the end of the extension were tracking behind the progress of the rest of the house, so a lot of the joinery, stonemasonry and curtain installation had to be done in phases, which was logistically a bit challenging.
UF: Would you change anything if you were to do it again?
PP: We are happy with the outcome and, although there were a few things towards the end of the project that the client was having second thoughts about – such as the chandelier over the main staircase and the dining table – we were able to reassure them that they would look amazing and, in the end, they went for it and agree!
UF: What was your favourite part of the build and design process?
PP: Our favourite part was the interaction with our clients. They were open to our suggestions and trusted us but weren’t afraid to share their own thoughts on the design direction. We’re proud of the outcome and appreciated being challenged and pushed by our client to ensure the design is the best it can be and representative of their taste.