About this project
It is an old American expression, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” says Sarah Coates, who lives
in this extended family home with husband Tom and their children, Edgar, Calvin, Susannah and Rosalind.
“The flood we had over Christmas 2013 was unfortunate, but we turned it into an opportunity to implement
some plans we had for our house sooner rather than later,” explains Sarah.
Three years earlier, just before her twins were born, Sarah enlisted the help of designer Lisa Melvin to transform their two bathrooms.
“I knew exactly who to go to for the kitchen, utility and boot room/wet room fitting out.” Sarah took a
hands-on approach by pulling ideas together from magazines and arranging meetings with her builder and Lisa to develop
a timeline for the project. “Ideally I wanted the major building work to begin during the children’s holidays so we
could be out of the way.”
The bootroom and wet room planning and construction commenced immediately. The brief being to repurpose the current
kitchen and wardrobe units into a highly functional space for this busy family of six, including a large island to
accommodate sewing and crafts and a general work and storage area, while adding in an extra shower room.
“For the lounge we set out to transform the current large odd-shaped kids’ playroom (with leaking flat roof) into a
formal lounge and dining space for entertaining,” adds Sarah. “Lisa and I worked together on key elements including
lighting, flooring and colour schemes. The theme throughout our home was cleverly hidden away storage. Lisa worked
closely with the fire and multimedia specialists to accommodate both the TV system and contemporary wood burner into
her unit design going back to the drawing board on several occasions. Lisa’s in-depth research into the double HAWA
folding mechanisms (the first to be installed in the UK) concluded with training from HAWA technical team flying in
from Switzerland to demonstrate the installation and operation. A similar single door system was installed also, part
of the liquor & drinks cabinet in the kitchen – a system which allows the doors of the unit to effortless fold slide
and hide away into the unit. The media entertainment centre includes secret drawers and hidden shelving which are perfect
for storing comfy throws for cold winter evenings, firewood and board games for the children.”