Crafting a Forever Home in Kent, England, Design*Sponge

Crafting a Forever Home in Kent, England, Design*Sponge

We moved into our condo in December of last year, and I immediately knew the space was perfect for us. It wasn’t until this past July, however, that I truly fell in love with its lakefront location. By then summer had finally rolled in, and I was hitting the nearby beach a lot. One weekend I even went three separate times. The trips only lasted about an hour or two, but each time I walked the four minutes back to our house I felt unwound, refreshed, and was reminded of how extremely lucky we were to live there. We had found the best of two worlds: a slick, city home and a beachy retreat.

Print designer Catherine Nice, founder of Kitty McCall, and her husband Gary can also pinpoint when they realized their home in Kent, England was right for their family: “When we walked through the door on our first viewing with the kids (Ruby and Jude), they instantly loved the house and ran off to explore all the rooms and little nooks it had. It was at that moment [we] knew that this house would be our home,” they explain.

Since that initial walk-through a year and a half ago, Catherine and Gary have been slowly making changes to polish what they hope will be their “forever home.” They’ve torn up the carpet, painted walls and given nearly every room a touch of zippy wallpaper. Head to the kitchen, though, and you’ll encounter the most-impressive of the home’s renovations. Once awash in brown built-ins and “tired” tile, the room is now bright and cheerful thanks to a coat of blue paint, new flooring and a restored countertop.

The kitchen revamp took over six months to complete, but the couple says lengthy timelines such as that don’t worry them in the slightest. In fact, they’re in no hurry to finish any of their planned tweaks: “[The home] is definitely a long-term project that will be inspired by our growing children, their needs and ours,” Catherine and Gary say. If all goes as planned, the couple hopes the changes they make will, in the long run, result in a home their children will associate with their happiest memories. —Garrett

Photography by Fiona Murray

Image above: Guests are always drawn to the brilliant, inviting sunlight that streams into and bounces about the living room. Catherine absolutely loves being in there, too. Oftentimes she can be found “sitting in the bay window with a cup of tea, watching the world go by.”

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