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Susan Tyldesley, interior PR expert and her husband sports broadcaster, Clive Tyldesley, recently renovated their family kitchen, converting three separate rooms into one large, open-plan and social space. Caesarstone surfaces 5151 Empira White and 1141 Pure White, were incorporated throughout as worktops, splashback, and feature dining table, and integral to achieving the luxurious and modern finish of the Tyldesley’s beautiful new kitchen. 

The Tyldesley’s began the refurbishment of their Berkshire cottage during 2021 with a view to creating a beautiful, social kitchen in which they could entertain friends, work and relax. Leaning on twenty plus years of interior and KBB experience, Susan teamed up with Interior and Architecture Design expert Alessandra Rua of MILV, to transform their dated kitchen into their dream space. Two walls were removed to allow the kitchen, dining room and conservatory to be combined and create one large and airy open-plan space.

Clive Tyldsley chooses Caesarstone Empira WhiteDesigning a space that was multi-functional was critical in bringing Susan and Clive’s vision to life. Clive wanted an area he could work in, a space big enough to spread out his notes whilst he prepared for events such as the World Cup 2022 and, for Susan, having spent so many years as a PR expert for interior spaces and kitchens, she couldn’t wait to see her dream kitchen brought to life.

An earthy colour palette was incorporated to ensure the room felt calm and inviting which was improved further by the two Caesarstone quartz surfaces. The light-coloured surfaces help to bounce light around the kitchen, enhancing the feeling of space and ensuring their new kitchen always feels welcoming and bright.

Caesarstone Empira White splashback and island

“For me, the highlight of the kitchen is without doubt the beautiful Caesarstone surfaces which are a major feature throughout.” explains Susan Tyldesley, “The Caesarstone quartz is integral to the design look and feel we wanted to achieve, i.e dramatic, light and spacious yet unique and interesting to the eye.”

Another important component in creating the Tyldesley’s dream kitchen was ensuring there was a seamless transition between the indoor space and their beautiful mature garden.  

“We have a lovely ‘woodland’ style garden and we really wanted to feel that the garden and kitchen area felt like one”, says Susan. “Alessandra’s plan totally opens up the house to the garden. When I relax on the window banquette it really feels like I could be outside!”.

Close-up of Caesarstone Empira White in Clive Tyldesley's kitchen

This inclusion of nature continues through the addition of plants, a neutral and earthy colour scheme and the visually striking organic Caesarstone surfaces. Throughout the kitchen Caesarstone 5151 Empira White surfaces were used to create the worktops and backsplash, floating shelves and the pantry surface. This artfully designed surface oozes organic tactility and luxury, its timeless white base is brought to life by the movement of soft shadows and more dominant grey veins, and in doing so it offers a memorable portrait of natural marble. Caesarstone quartz, known for its durability and stain-resistant properties, offers a great alternative to marble surfaces both in robustness and beauty.

Susan goes on to explain her long-time love of Caesarstone surfaces “Since working with the brand when it launched in the UK in 2016, I just loved their material and also aspired to own one. And now I do! We love the Empira White design for its natural and classic style - just a smattering of a pattern that is discreetly distinctive yet unique across the whole area. It is amazing how many guests have commented on the beautiful surface – as we often host around our island.”

Close-up of Empira White SplashbackThe Caesarstone worktops are installed upon kitchen furniture from Lochanna Kitchens that has been painted in Railings Gray and California Salt from Farrow & Ball. Empira White, with its crisp white surface and grey veins, perfectly complements the cabinetry colour scheme.  The sleek and smooth finish of these worktops also ties in nicely to the modern skinny shaker look of the Elswick cabinetry. Caesarstone is featured further in the large ceiling- height splashback area behind the Grohe sink and tap. This eye-catching and stunning display of Caesarstone is one of the most striking features of this kitchen, creating a beautiful and flowing space that draws the eye, further benefits include the Empira White splashback being exceptionally practical due to it being easy to clean and not requiring any ongoing maintenance such as resealing. Empira White is also used on the large central island, which is home to the hob and the main area used by the Tyldesley’s for preparing and cooking food.

Caesarstone 5151 Empira White kitchenSpeaking of the surface’s resilient nature, Susan expressed the following: “From a practical point of view, having a huge worksurface to use for prep and cooking is such a treat. And it is incredibly easy to maintain. Although white, it has easily survived the challenges of my cooking and entertaining - red wine and coffee marks, and ‘notorious for staining spices’ like turmeric, paprika and saffron. My secret to keeping the beautiful quartz looking as perfect and pristine as the day it was installed is Bar Keeper’s friend.”

The floating shelves, also professed by Susan to be a challenge to create, add another element of surprise and delight to this kitchen space. Designed with integrated LED lighting, these practical and on-trend open shelves add class during the day and create a stunning, atmospheric vibe in the evening.

“Our designer had the idea to use LED lighting strips in our floating shelves with stunning results” explains Susan. “The light beautifully enhances the Empira White design detail drawing your attention to it in an understated yet compelling way. The material is so visually beautiful it is just a pleasure to look at and to feel. There is no doubt it totally lifts the kitchen into the realm of super premium.”

Throughout the kitchen, appliances and features were carefully thought out and chosen for their clever features. The Grohe tap delivers chilled, still and sparking water straight from the tap. The induction hob and extractor are from Novy, allowing cooking to take place in the centre of the island without a visible overhead extractor. The remaining appliances – Coffee Machine, Oven, Microwave, Fridge and DoubleDishdrawer - all come from Fisher & Paykel. Each appliance was chosen to sit nicely within the overall design whilst significantly improving the lived experience for anyone using the kitchen.

Caesarstone 5151 Empira White with underlit shelvingMoving on to the dining area, the Tyldesley’s chose a bespoke dining table, created by Bellagio Stone out of Caesarstone 1141 Pure White quartz. There is a beautiful unity between the kitchen and dining space, which was ensured by continuing to use Caesarstone quartz for the stunning, bespoke table and continuing the colour scheme of white and grey through the JYSK chairs. The Pure White table is characterised by its smooth, immaculate base, which wonderfully brightens the area. It’s smooth simplicity, alongside the clean lines of the grey, fabric chairs, creates a modern and Scandi-inspired space, perfectly adorned by the Jim Lawrence Walton Pendant lights.

Overall, the kitchen is sure to bring the Tyldesleys happiness for many years to come. Susan, over-joyed with their finished kitchen had the following to say:

“After 20 years, I have created our very own dream kitchen using all my knowledge and experience in terms of what I wanted in my kitchen – and Alessandra’s wondrously creative eye to bring my ideas together to create a stunning kitchen – bar area, walk in pantry, relaxation area, dining area, an island big enough to live on, a suite of the best appliances I have ever used – and to top it all, beautiful Caesarstone quartz.”

The worktops in particular, guaranteed by the Caesarstone Lifetime Warranty, will ensure their kitchen looks just as sleek and beautiful after years of working, cooking, and socialising have taken place upon them.

Photography: Paul Craig 
Styling: Laura Sabogal