Planning A Single Storey Extension in London? I have a Free guide for you! by Tash South

If your about to start a major extension project, I’ve put together this essential guide to help you achieve a home with a space that works for you.

Image: blissfulbblogcom via Amanda on Pinterest

Taking on a large project can be quite daunting, especially if it’s your first one. It really helps if you have a clear idea of what you’d like to achieve as this will help you with the many decisions you will have to make along the way.

Many extensions end up being a box just stuck onto the back of a house, usually achieved by submitting basic plans to the planning department, but so many could be improved by including and architect or designer at the start of the process. These professionals will always provide interesting solutions to problems you may not even realise exist - like possible lack of natural light or uneven floor levels, for example.

Make sure you choose a designer that you can talk to easily, this will be very important for getting you vision across.

Discuss with your designer what you’d like achieve. Whether that be an open-plan layout, an indoor/outdoor experience, or an eat-in kitchen, they’ll be able to advise you on how to achieve what you want.

Remember to tell your designer if you want a high-end kitchen or large expanses of glass or roof lights so that they can factor those into your budget.

If you live in a house, think about any future renovations too, if later on, you’d like to turn a single storey extension into a double storey one, make certain to tell you designer and structural engineer so that they can plan for that from the start by incorporating more substantial foundations, for example.

The above is an excerpt from the guide, to read more, sign up to download the full guide below.

Discovering Bert & May’s exquisite new collections at their London Showroom by Tash South

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to be a guest at Bert & May’s Supper Club, and I was thrilled!
I have been following their growth as a brand and I absolutely love their ranges - having long been a fan of their handmade tiles and use of raw materials.

The Supper Clubs are great relaxed networking events for people in the industry, and they give us the chance to check out all that Bert & May have to offer in their industrial chic showroom and barge right on the canal in Hackney, with the added bonus of a delicious three-course menu, this time catered by Alice Hart and Georgina Fuggle and served on Bert & May’s striking dinnerware.

On arrival we were offered lush cocktails to have whilst we wandered around to take in the various ranges, including tiles, flooring, dinnerware, natural pigment paints, and of course the new kitchen and bathroom collections. I absolutely adored how tactile everything was. I just wanted to touch everything! But with a camera in one hand and a cocktail in the other, this proved a bit tricky.

bert and may supperclub dinnerware and tiles

The History

Bert & May was founded in Spain in 2004 by former barrister Lee Thornley and the brand quickly established into a bespoke lifestyle brand and specialist supplier of handmade artisan tiles,
engineered wood, natural pigment paints, and most recently, furniture, bathroom products and fittings, and kitchens.

On opening his award-winning Andalusian hotel Casa la Siesta in 2008, Lee realised his talent for discovering and sourcing beautiful old materials. The architectural salvage he sourced from his travels around Spain became much in demand from interior architects and designers.

What started as an online venture selling reclamation, developed further in 2013 when Lee teamed up with artisan tile maker, Juan Menacho, to make their own range of encaustic tiles by using traditional techniques.

Bert and May was born in 2013, the company has gone on to produce a distinctive range of handmade graphic and geometric tiles, as well as engineered wood, made in Yorkshire.

The Kitchens

In June 2016 Bert & May launched their new architecturally-designed bespoke kitchens in collaboration with Red Deer Architects, who also designed some awesome spaces like No. 197 Chiswick Fire Station and Bourne & Hollingsworth in Clerkenwell.

All Bert & May kitchens are designed with the focus on honest materials and simplistic forms and are handmade in Yorkshire using natural materials which deliver character, detail and a finish that improves with age. The three finishes available are a carefully-selected palette of raw materials; birch faced ply, hand-finished reclaimed timber and, wait for it… rich brushed brass (my absolute favourite!)

Thoughtful details include extra deep drawers, sleek kickers, and dovetail construction joints to provide strength and a beautiful finish. A key design feature in each kitchen is a shadow gap in place of handles, to ensure a streamlined finish.

Worktops are available in cast concrete or show-stopping Italian marble. Modern industrial brassware, left unlacquered to develop a natural patina over time, completes the look.

Birch-faced Ply Kitchen

Birch-faced Ply Kitchen

Hand-finished Reclaimed Timber

Hand-finished Reclaimed Timber

Rich Brushed Brass!

Rich Brushed Brass!

The Bathrooms

The new bathroom collection was launched in May 2016 and includes a selection of made to order natural pigment cast concrete basins paired with a collection of modern industrial solid brass bathroom fixtures by Sussex based designers Studio Ore.

The basins are manufactured in the UK and come in two styles: The Rho and The Sienna which is available in 12 different sizes.

The Rho Basin

The Rho Basin

The Sienna Basin

The Sienna Basin

The brassware range includes a selection of wall and deck mounted basin mixers, bath fillers and shower mixers. The Studio Ore collection offers a rich, artisan feel and is the perfect finishing touch to complete a Bert & May bathroom. 

Bathroom Brassware by Studio Ore

Bathroom Brassware by Studio Ore

The Paints

Born out of a love of natural pigments and a dedication to colour, Bert & May’s new eco-­friendly paint range has a total of 55 shades formed from 11 palettes, which are available in a choice of limewash, eco emulsion and eggshell. Taking inspiration from the natural tones found within the Bert & May tile range, the pigments create a depth of colour and deliver a sophisticated, matt chalky finish.  

Pangola Grass, Bluebell and Lemon Balm Paints

Pangola Grass, Bluebell and Lemon Balm Paints

And if you need help bringing all these stunning elements together, why not take advantage of Bert and May’s in-house interior design service.

I found both the new kitchen and bathroom collections positively beautiful - they are made with utmost care and attention to detail, and the natural materials used are exceptional.

Thank you to Bert & May for inviting me as a guest.

If you’re in the industry and would like to attend one of the supper clubs, you can find out more here: Bert & May supper clubs.