Kitchen Designed by Laura Butler-Madden in Dorset

So I’ve been wanting to share this with you for a while, I’m sorry it’s taken so long, but we’ve been snowed under trying to complete the rest of the house, finish a flat in London and keep on top of other work!

So finally here is the first room tour of the house in Dorset. For those new to the blog, my husband Patrick and I started renovating a Victorian carriage house in February 2016 (see previous post). It’s been a labour of love, but we are almost there and the kitchen is one of the first rooms to be completed.

The room that we decided to house the kitchen in is HUGE – originally this was the space where the horses were stabled and is 16 meters by 8 meters by 4.5 meters high. We fell in love with this space when we first viewed the house and had wanted to make it our kitchen, living and dining room – a space we would use most of the day, every day.

When we started on the designs I started to feel nervous that the space was actually too large for a kitchen and that all the furniture would be lost, but I’m so pleased we stuck to our guns, as the result is a wonderful family space.

Kitchen Designed by Laura Butler-Madden in Dorset

Being such a large space, I decided to paint the kitchen a darker colour than I would usually choose to really make it pop. After much deliberation we chose Railings by Farrow & Ball and matched it with a super chunky marble worktop. Because the ceilings are so high, a standard worktop would have been lost in the space – so we were brave and went big!

We also chose to not have any wall units as I wanted the space to feel different to a traditional kitchen. I wanted it to almost feel like the kitchen just happened to be in the elegant living room, rather than the other way round.

We were lucky to stumble across the perfect dining table in the very early stages of designing the space. It was in one of my favourite shops in Sherborne, Circus – we didn’t even own the house when we bought the table!

We just knew that if we didn’t snap it up, it would be impossible to find something similar in the future. Luckily it did all work out – a bit of a risk, but there’s always eBay!

Kitchen Designed by Laura Butler-Madden in Dorset

Kitchen Designed by Laura Butler-Madden in Dorset

I’ve dreamed about having an Aga in our kitchen for years – as a child we always had one and it is something that I am so pleased to have back in my life again. I chose a bright white colour to contrast with the dark units. We commissioned the gorgeous and talented Kristin Gaudio Endsley to paint a piece to go above the Aga – it is central to the room and so we wanted to make a statement. She did an amazing job, we love the painting and I get lots of comments about it on Instagram too.

Kitchen Designed by Laura Butler-Madden in Dorset

Kitchen Designed by Laura Butler-Madden in Dorset

Patrick designed these amazing shelves to go above the sink. We’ve had them in a few houses now and they are genuinely amazing – we never need to dry anything with a tea towel – it all just drips dry into the sink and it also leaves glasses totally smear free!

We chose warm brass for the taps and cupboard handles, it contrasts beautifully with the dark paint and I love the overall feel that it gives – elegant and slightly decadent.

LBM x

Kitchen Designed by Laura Butler-Madden in Dorset

Kitchen Designed by Laura Butler-Madden in Dorset

Photography by Patrick Butler-Madden


Happy New Year (I know it a little late for that!), but I’ve been working away behind the scenes all month on a blog redesign – I hope you like it!

I also wanted to share with you some of my favourite moments from January – a month when many suffer from the post-holiday blues, this year I chose to make it a time for me; a time to be quiet and reflect and enjoy our lovely new home and the beautiful countryside surrounding us. Those of you who follow me on Instagram may have already seen some of these pictures, but for those who don’t, they perfectly depict some of the month’s best moments.

January is often a time when we decide to make big changes; dramatically cut things from our diets, begin a new exercise regime, or cut out any bad habits. This year I decided to do nothing of the sort! Instead my sole aim was to be gentle and kind to myself – to slow down after the chaos of 2016 and renovating/moving into our house just in time for Christmas. We still have quite a way to go on the house and I will love sharing our progress with you along the way. So instead of any big resolutions, I decided to add a few nice, gentle activities into my daily routine that all focussed on slowing down and being kinder to myself. The bonus about choosing these nice/gently things is that they have been so joyful and easy to stick to, that they will remain with me for the rest of the year.

My daily yoga with Adriene (if you haven’t heard of her before then I highly recommend checking her out on YouTube) is a wonderful start to the morning, our longer daily walks with the dogs have been so beautiful- the scenery so stunning and serene, and meditating each evening has been a wonderful way to wind down and still the mind. I have been using meditations by Oprah & Deepak – they are brilliant and there’s a huge selection, so something for everyone.

I have loved spending more time with P and the dogs, walking through the stunning countryside that surrounds us here in Dorset. I have also really enjoyed settling into our new home and making little bits of progress each day; whether unpacking bits and bobs or having a brainwave about a fabric or piece of furniture, I am loving pottering and making it feel like home.

My final new discovery this month had been the delicious and wonderfully fragrant Rose Bud Tea by Jing Tea – a lovely indulgent treat in the afternoon, like a little bit of heaven in a cup.

What have been the highlights of your month?

LBM

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I am so excited to share the before pictures of a project very close to our hearts. P and I, along with our wonderful team, have been working for the past few months on this beautiful Victorian carriage house in the heart of the breathtaking Dorset countryside. It has been a hugely challenging, but we are really starting to make headway and see this historic building come to life again, which is both exciting and rewarding in equal measure. Prior to us taking it on, it had been divided up into three flats and lived in for a number of years without much updating taking place, so as you can see from the pictures, there was a lot to do!

Over coming weeks and months I will share updates on the work and I can’t wait to see the finished home, which we hope to be moving into in time for Christmas, if not a little earlier. Spending time in Dorset has been such a pleasure! One of the most beautiful counties in the UK, it’s where I was born and I actually grew up only fifteen minutes from this house. P and I were also both at school nearby, so it really does feel like coming home for both of us. 

LBM
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You may have noticed a change on the site this week…after five happy years writing as Little Miss Homes, I have decided to re-name the blog Laura Butler-Madden. 

When I started writing the name Little Miss Homes made sense; my maiden name was Holmes and I was (and still am) crazy about everything property and home related, so it worked perfectly and people got it. Since getting married in 2012, I have found that the name needed a lot more explaining and so after a few years of confusion have decided to make the change to simply Laura Butler-Madden. 

The rest of the blog will be the same with the small addition of a ‘Lifestyle’ section, where I will share a selection of non-interior or travel related posts.  From health and food to a little bit of fashion, beauty and just general stuff,  it will be an area for me to share my other passions and interests with you, which I’m really excited about.

I hope you continue to enjoy the blog – please do keep your emails and comments coming in as I love  hearing your feedback.

I’ll leave you with this grogeous picture of Coco and Lola on our new Jonathan Adler Sofa!

Have a lovely weekend.

LBM
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This weekend I have spent a lot of time thinking about the gift of life. The wonder of it and its fragility. Last Thursday night Patrick and I lost a dear, dear friend and the closest thing we had to a colleague in our new property development business. It was a sad, terrible accident that took him and a shock I don’t think we will ever fully recover from.

He was wonderful, kind, talented and too young. We will miss you Richard, but know that as our company grows you will be with us in our hearts every step of the way. Without you we wouldn’t have this business, you were the brains behind the financing, the central cog to making the machine start. We’ve lost a dear friend and will never forget you.

If you do one thing this week, please make it that you appreciate and celebrate life. It really is a gift and one that can sadly be taken away at any second.

LBM

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