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Caramel Quin had the vision to take on a doer-upper that had languished on the market
Newly divorced, Caramel Quin needed to create a family home on a single income. ‘I realised that buying a doer-upper would make the most of my money,’ she says.
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Caramel spied potential in a four-bedroom, pebbledashed, 1930s end-of-terrace locally in east London. It had been sitting on the market for a year, and though she nicknamed it the ‘ugly duckling house’, she found herself falling in love with it.
‘The scruffy kitchen was falling apart and just too small,’ says Caramel, who had quickly spruced up the bedrooms but saved the bulk of her energy and cash for the downstairs. She hired architect, Max Dewdney, who drew up radical plans to knock through the kitchen and adjoining dining room, and extend by four metres to make one large space.
Caramel met with Jonathan Maker early on to discuss bespoke kitchen units and storage for the space. ‘I weighed up every option, from Ikea units to solid timber. I concluded that a bespoke kitchen would last for decades and add value.’
‘The induction hob’s 6th Sense is like cruise control for your hob,’ adds Caramel. ‘You can tell it to warm, melt, boil, simmer. It can even bring your pan to the boil, simmer for a set time, then beep and turn itself off.
Enquire online: Bespoke cabinetry, POA, Jonathan Maker
Buy now: Whirlpool SMP 778CNEIXL induction hob, from £899, Very
As she tests kitchen gadgets for a living, Caramel needed plenty of worktop space. ‘Jon reclaimed an amazing beech worktop that dates from the Thirties, just like the house,’ she reveals.
She was also discerning about appliances. ‘I chose Whirlpool for clever features that save me time,’ Caramel says. Her pick includes a smart washing machine with a huge 12kg capacity that automatically adds detergent. ‘I only have to top it up with laundry liquid once every few months.’
Buy now: Whirlpool Supreme Care Live 12kg washing machine FSCR 12441, £699, AO.com
Buy now: Whirlpool SW8AM2CXARL fridge, £619, Appliances Direct
A log burner in the former front room keeps the whole downstairs area cosy. Caramel chose it for its efficiency and low particulate emissions.
Get the look
Buy now: Opus Tempo 70 woodburning stove, from £1,550, Stoves Online
Get the look
Buy now: The Warner Table, from £1,920, Jonathan Maker
Ready for another? Before and after: a derelict kitchen becomes a light and sociable space