Tim Duncan Smith of Ballands Homes Ltd first came to Winchester Kitchens showroom in the spring 2010, when he was looking to design and install a new kitchen for his Hampshire home.
In 2014, Tim returned to the Winchester showroom, at the top of the High Street, this time with a much bigger and more ambitious project in hand; he had decided to take the plunge into developing, and was planning to tackle a large scale project alongside his full time job. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Tim said “My father John and I identified this site as the perfect opportunity to enter the property development market. We had a vision of a large five bedroom family home in a stunning position, bespoke luxury housing on a half-acre plot, with enviable views over Crawley Village” The original house was a 3 bedroom chalet bungalow built in the 1960s by the previous owners, who had interestingly named it ‘Double Puck’.
This house would not only look aesthetically pleasing but would have a classic, timeless feel, nestling into the local community as though it had been there many years. This sympathetic approach was certainly reassuring for the neighbours, who were keen to have something built in keeping with the surrounding houses. It was clear that the last thing they wanted was a contemporary detached glass box. There fears were unfounded as this heritage was an important aspect to Tim, born and raised in Winchester. “I was very mindful of the local building techniques and ‘Double Puck’ has been constructed with local michelmersh handmade bricks and includes flint panels, in keeping with other buildings in the area”
The brief for the architect was to design a family home with a traditional feel, yet delivering on space and comfort. This would of course need to be reflected in the kitchen, which was at the back of the house, part of a large room overlooking the garden with patio doors and large sash windows. The garden needed extensive work with the lawn being graded and replanted to make it family friendly.
All the mature trees had to be retained and new flower beds and planters created at the front and rear. Positioned at the end of a private lane in the countryside, this house has the appeal of being a village retreat, with all the benefits of close access to Winchester.
As with any project of this scale, nothing happens quickly and it took many months with the architect to finalise the design and obtain the necessary planning permissions before talking to contractors. Construction started in March 2013 and it was finally completed in Dec 2014.
Roy Stables from Winchester Kitchen and Interiors said, “As we discussed the details with Tim we developed a clear understanding of what was needed. It was recognised that as a family home, not only would it demand a beautiful, quality kitchen that delivered on style and substance, but that storage was going to be key. We are all too familiar with new homes without space to put all the things we love to keep. Tim was very clear that he wanted quality wardrobes in the bedrooms and the utility area would need ample storage for everything from dog food to washing powder, and perhaps the children’s board games!” Winchester Kitchens & Interiors have a wide variety of choice from sliding to hinged doors to achieve the different looks needed for the various rooms and Tim chose them to design and install the kitchen, utility room and bedrooms.
“We wanted a kitchen befitting the style and quality of the house, so having worked with them in the past, Winchester Kitchens was the obvious choice. Diane Stables from Winchester Kitchens explained, “Working with developers is something we particularly enjoy and have collaborated on a number of smaller projects. We tend to work on either individual houses or small developments of 10 or fewer properties. It is always challenging as the brief is tight and the aim is to get a quality design and installation, whilst being ever mindful of the budget. Sometimes there is temptation as a developer to get emotionally involved in the choices for the finish but it is always key, as Tim has done, to keep things classic with universal appeal and not let your own personal tastes takeover ”
Tim chose classic, neutral tones for ‘Double Puck’ – inframe Shaker units finished in Mineral Grey in the kitchen, Milbourne Stone units in the utility room were both combined with white quartz worktops and stainless steel appliances. With chrome handles, these lent a contemporary touch. The kitchen appliances were mainly from Siemens and included warming drawers, a Britannia range cooker and the very latest wine chiller cabinet – the new must have! Details were important and no more so in getting it right in the kitchen, the heart of the home.