Yards from a protected cathedral, and set within the peaceful South Hertfordshire countryside, Chris and Kayo’s home is no ordinary residential development thanks to MK Electric's top-of-the-range Elements.
The one storey property sits on 11 different levels as it follows the contours of the land, and has two living wings, a cinema room, and an outdoor putting green. The home attracted the attention of Channel 4 show Grand Designs recently, and appeared on the programme in early October with host Kevin McCloud impressed by the way the sprawling plot subtly and sympathetically blends into the surrounding parkland.
This was a necessity when it came to building on this site. Despite being left as wasteland for a number of years, several large-scale developments were turned down for spoiling the views over the cathedral, or for not fitting in with the aesthetic demanded by such a prominent location.
Once planning permission had finally been granted to build on the site, however, Chris and Kayo needed to source companies that could help them realise their vision. When it came to wiring devices they immediately opted for MK Electric, a decision taken in no small part due to the option of using the company’s Design Service.
The MK Design Service allows customers to create tailor-made solutions from a limitless range of design options. It gives them the flexibility to enjoy the build quality of Elements in the exact colour, material or finish they require, allowing the products to enhance their surroundings and create a premium look, complementing any interior design.
The wiring devices were tailor made through the MK Design Service and produced using a real wood finish to perfectly complement the beautiful Japanese maple interior. Chosen by the couple to bring a light, airy feel to the home, the materials were inspired by temples in Japan.
Chris, a professional golf instructor, has travelled the world through his job, and he worked at length with his friend, architect Rogan Gale Brown, to incorporate design ideas from his travels – in the process displaying the same eye for detail in property design as he does for the mechanics of a golf swing.
“It was important for us to discover companies that were willing to do something different,” he reflected when explaining the thought process behind the design.
“In MK Electric we most certainly found that. From day one they were looking for ways in which they could help to make our vision a reality. They bent over backwards to ensure that we got what we wanted, and really became a part of the project, which is exactly what we needed.”
Following an in-depth consultation, the couple decided that MK Electric's top-of-the-range Elements wiring devices, typically popular in higher-end hospitality and luxury homes, would be the best fit for the property. This enabled them to achieve a harmonious, consistent look, with the bespoke design amplifying the impact of the maple interior they had created.
Using the MK Design Service, Chris and Kayo provided a sample of the Japanese maple veneer used within the home which the team then recreated to produce matching wiring devices which were thoughtfully positioned throughout the home. Complementing the maple finish were bronze switches which created a harmonised aesthetic and enhanced the look of the living space.
Chris and Kayo were impressed by the endless options of the Design Service which enhanced the interior by providing a common design aesthetic while maintaining the form and functionality required by the family.
On brick areas the switches and sockets were selected from the 16 standard Elements finishes. Metallic brushed bronze was used throughout, creating a high-quality finish which matched other aspects of the home's crisp interior.
“Initially we were going to go for a completely different product range in the MK Electric portfolio. But the team were able to advise us on exactly what would work best and went through everything in detail with us to ensure we got the solution we wanted. With all the switches and sockets you can quite clearly see that they are there, but they complement the look of the house, rather than detracting from it. They seamlessly fit in with the rest of the property, which is exactly what we wanted when we asked MK Electric to help us realise our vision. We were well aware when we set out on the project that white plastic wasn't going to cut it. In Elements we found something that fitted in perfectly.”
And it wasn't just the look that made Elements the perfect fit for Chris and Kayo. The functionality of the range made it an ideal solution for locations right around the home.
Along with traditional switch sockets, the couple also opted for electronic dimmers and touch switches for a modern, sleek solution which is easy for the family to operate thanks to graceful LED displays, intuitive fingertip control and vapour trails.
The products in situ are beautiful, perfectly matching the tones of the interior and helping to create a common design aesthetic from floor to ceiling throughout the property.
Thinking back on his experience of the project Chris said:
“Throughout the whole process, MK Electric bent over backwards for us to make sure that we were successful. The finish that the MK Design Service was able to achieve was beautiful, perfectly matching the tones used throughout the rest of the house to create a unique look that fits in with the rest of the property. MK Electric were an important partner of the project. We knew we could rely on them thanks to their reputation for manufacturing excellence, quality and reliability built up over almost 100 years and we really appreciate their commitment to the project from start to finish.”