When Dan Stronge and his wife Sophie made the decision to create a large, open-plan living space on the ground floor of their chalet bungalow, their choice of glazing was absolutely crucial.
Instead of adding a conventional extension, the couple realised they could push out under the eaves of the existing building to create a spacious, light-filled kitchen and living area.
Dan Stronge – Managing Director of East Sussex kitchen company Jones Britain – talks us through his building project and explains why Minima’s British-made, two panel sliding doors helped him create his dream kitchen.
We live in a 1970s chalet bungalow in a quiet cul de sac in Tunbridge Wells. What really attracted us to this property was its potential. The house was a reasonable size, but most of the rooms were really small.
So, after living there for 18 months, my wife Sophie and I decided to bring the house kicking and screaming into the 21st century! We knocked down lots of walls on the ground floor to create a large, open-plan living area. We’ve ended up with a Z-shaped space housing a large living room and luxury kitchen with three sets of two panel sliding doors opening onto the south-facing garden.
Well, the key thing for us was to have minimal sightlines because we wanted to have an unobstructed view of the garden. I wanted large glass doors with the narrowest frames I could possibly find. And that’s what led me to Ultraline sliding doors.
We had bifolds in our previous house, but times move on and now I prefer the look of sliding doors. Also, bifolds can be bulky, which we really didn’t want here. As kitchen designers, we wanted a high end look which would work with the type of kitchens we sell, because obviously the plan was to put one of our own kitchens into the new space.
The two panel sliding doors have made us feel like we’re living in a larger space than we actually are. We have that seamless feel between inside and outside that we really love. When we open up all the doors, it feels like we’re outside even when we’re inside. It’s brilliant!
And even when the doors are closed, the view is amazing because the sliding doors are sunk into the floor and recessed into the ceiling. It looks like one large sheet of glass filling the entire opening which is exactly what we wanted. Plus we chose to continue the same large, pale floor tiles from the kitchen out onto the patio to add to that seamless feel.
It’s a great space for entertaining, and we like to have friends and family over regularly. In the summer, we’ll have all the doors open and people move in and out effortlessly. The other thing with these doors is there’s no threshold to step over – it’s completely flush. That might seem like a small detail, but it makes such a difference to the experience of moving easily between the indoor and outdoor areas.
We love it! I’m a bit of techie, so I was easily sold on being able to lock the doors at the touch of a button. It was actually one of the reasons we went with Ultraline. With other brands, you had to have a key and a handle, and we didn’t want that.
You either touch the control pad on the wall to activate the electronic locking mechanism or use a key fob. From a security point of view, this system actually feels more secure than a conventional lock and key. And I love the comforting sound the bolt makes when it slides across. It’s like living in Fort Knox!
Yes, and we have done many times. Some of our friends already have them installed in their homes on our recommendation. And I’ve also recommended the doors to clients. It’s such a fantastic brand – the perfect partner for the high end kitchens we sell.
I think it’s really worth thinking through how you’re going to use the space before you choose your door configuration. Because I’m used to working with kitchen designs, we did lots of foot flow plans during the planning phase to predict how we were likely to move around the space. This was a really useful exercise; one that helped us decide which doors would slide and which would remain static.
Looking for two panel sliding doors for your building project? Contact us now to find out more about Minima Sliding’s award-winning, British-made sliding doors.