At Home With Holly Donoghue


Talented interior designer and mum of three Holly Donoghue, entrusted Humphrey Munson with designing an open plan kitchen, spacious pantry, boot and utility room that could be enjoyed for years to come. Originally Holly and her husband had a simple refresh in mind for their new home, however after two years in the property the pair decided the list of refurbishment jobs was getting a little longer than anticipated and thus the renovations began.

Design Notes from Holly:

Living in the house already, we could see that a lot of things hadn’t been installed very well – from rattling windows to a wobbly staircase and poor-quality flooring. Our biggest frustration was the kitchen, which felt dark and cramped and just didn’t function very well. Both sets of grandparents live in the North and we enjoy having them to stay, so wanted to create a larger kitchen-living-diner where we could all be together without falling over each other.

So we decided to extend, pushing out the rear of the house and adding a roof lantern to draw in more natural light into the space. At the same time, we stripped the other spaces and refurbished the house from top to bottom, moving out for 16 months into a rental property while the work was carried out.’

The new room is huge, around 6.4 x 14.2m so George and I agreed that we needed to zone it into more intimate areas for cooking, dining, sitting and relaxing.

I gravitate towards natural finishes and shades and I’m definitely not into anything shiny. I’m inspired by the work of interior designer Steven Gambrel, who creates very timeless and fresh rooms featuring a fabulous mix of textures.

I wanted a deep colour to ground the room, so chose the dark Bowler Black from Humphrey Munson for the island, contrasted with the Half Windsor colour for the chimney breast run. George really liked the Portobello oak finish we saw in the showroom, so we used that for the tall storage cabinetry either side of the Sub-Zero – it adds lots of warmth.

Aged brass handles bring everything together. I was set on classic Carrara marble surfaces, but I was persuaded to choose a marble-effect quartz by Peter Humphrey because he said it would be more practical with a young family. It is stain and scratch resistant and much easier to look after, so I’m glad I listened to his advice. Now it’s finished, this room works so well for our family life. I love it.’

As well as designing built-in cabinetry for Holly’s main living spaces, Humphrey Munson also manufactured a Lexington dining table in the Berkeley oak finish which looks absolutely stunning. We caught up with Holly in person for a more in-depth look into both the design process and her experience with HM as a whole.    

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