When Martin Williams and his wife decided to extend their home near Tunbridge Wells, it was all about making the most of the gorgeous views across the Weald of Kent. Huge expanses of glass not only ensured the new, open-plan space was flooded with light, they also showcased the stunning countryside vista.
We asked Martin – who works in asset management – to talk us through the process of creating a large, open-plan extension and explain why Minima’s British-made, ultra slim sliding doors became a fundamental part of the design.
Well, we bought our house in 2004 when we first moved out of London. Since then, we’ve had three children and found we’d outgrown the space. We absolutely love the views from the back of the house and the location is perfect, so instead of moving we decided to extend.
Because the house was built in the 1950s, there are no period features so we felt the only way to approach the extension was to go really modern. It cost quite a lot to get that contemporary feel, but we feel the contrast really works and we’re so pleased with the result.
We’ve created a large, open-plan space downstairs as well as enlarging some of the bedrooms upstairs. We have three really big glass doors in the kitchen/dining area which can slide either way so we can either park all three in the middle or slide them back from either end. Then we have a TV room which also has large sliders opening onto the patio.
Our architect gave us some ideas regarding the windows, and we concluded that we wanted doors with a really thin profile to make the most of the view. We really liked the Ultraline product because they were ultra slim sliding doors with floor-to-ceiling glass. It was all about maximising the view, because we’re lucky enough to have the most amazing, uninterrupted views across the Weald of Kent.
I just feel very, very lucky. It’s such a lovely space. The moment you step in through the front door, you can see all the way through to those amazing views at the rear. It’s absolutely stunning.
We’re also really blessed with the location. We’re tucked away in a lovely spot on the village green, just three minutes’ walk from the pub. We’ve got these amazing views behind us, but you wouldn’t know it from the front of the house. People walk in and say, “Wow! I wasn’t expecting that!” Since we’ve had the extension done, the house feels completely different, even though the view is obviously exactly the same.
I love sitting at the kitchen counter, catching up with a friend over a gin and tonic. Even better when the cleaner’s just been! I love that feeling when everything’s clean and tidy and I can sit down and relax. With three boys aged between nine and 15 there is a lot of mess!
They’re blown away by it. They absolutely love it. They tell us we’ve created a Californian feel, joking it’s like a Malibu beach house without the sea! It’s such a great space for entertaining. We often have several families and their kids over, and there’s plenty of space for everyone. In the summer, we open up all the doors and people spill out onto the patio.
Yes. Don’t compromise because you’ll end up regretting it. So I would say stretch yourself as much as you can to achieve the best possible result. As hard as it is to get your head around spending that much money, it’s absolutely worth it when you end up with an incredible space in which to live.
Need help with your building project? Contact us now to find out more about Minima Sliding’s award-winning, British-made ultra slim sliding doors.