See inside the Norfolk home of a former fashion boss

PUBLISHED: 14:56 01 September 2017

Nicky Dulieu's glamorous kitchen. PHOTO: Simon Finlay Photography

Nicky Dulieu's glamorous kitchen. PHOTO: Simon Finlay Photography


Former chief executive of Hobbs, Nicky Dulieu, shows off her beautifully transformed home including a mammoth contemporary kitchen extension - and lots of her favourite colour purple among the glamorous interiors.

Is this the best kitchen ever? Nicky Dulieu at home. PHOTO: Simon Finlay Photography.Is this the best kitchen ever? Nicky Dulieu at home. PHOTO: Simon Finlay Photography.

When Nicky Dulieu and partner Adam Brace bought their period home in Yaxham, near Dereham, they set about transforming it with a major kitchen extension.

Nicky explained: “It was the garden which really sold it to us as we are both passionate gardeners. We moved in just before Christmas when it was snowing and I remember going to bed and crying myself to sleep. It just didn’t feel like home.”

So, the couple set on transforming the house, which dates to the mid 19th century with enormous gardens of seven acres, to suit them, with Nicky’s creative flair and her love of the colour purple. For most of her working life in London, Nicky Dulieu, was used to a fast pace. Having worked for Marks & Spencer for more than 20 years, she left her position as finance director for the food division to head up Hobbs and chose to step down as chief executive three years ago after successfully making the brand appeal more to the “fashion conscious, professional woman”.

So, it was no surprise that she applied the same principles to making the house a home ideal for the “fashion conscious, professional couple!”

Nicky and Adam's sumptuous sitting room. PHOTO: Simon Finlay Photography.Nicky and Adam's sumptuous sitting room. PHOTO: Simon Finlay Photography.

The real brainwave was to create a mammoth contemporary kitchen to really change the entire feel of the property. Nicky said: “We had done quite a lot of behind the scenes work and then decided to change the kitchen but we just couldn’t find anything we liked.

“I was getting really miserable because I couldn’t find anything in any price range, but then we thought about extending the kitchen out and suddenly, everything fell into place.”

The couple transformed the house completely by having a 25 square metre extension added to the rear of the house, bringing the kitchen from a room at the front to the back but giving it the most glamorous, wow factor imaginable. Kestrel created a bespoke kitchen including sleek, fitted units encompassing a lilac coloured strip, slightly metallic finish and an enormous work surface incorporating an elaborate curve as well as a massive lantern roof and bi folding doors to a newly created stone patio.

Nicky has dressed the room to perfection adding comfy white leather chairs in one corner as well as a crushed velvet chair and a fun picture of a flamingo in pink and purple. This room leads into the former kitchen, now a formal dining room with a walnut suite and a fun floor to ceiling radiator with a large picture of a champagne bottle which lights up at nightime! “When that starts flashing, it means I need a drink,” joked Nicky.

Nicky's girlie dressing room. PHOTO: Simon Finlay Photography.Nicky's girlie dressing room. PHOTO: Simon Finlay Photography.

The couple have gone through the entire house giving each room a makeover – there’s Adam’s office with a pillar box red leather suite as well as his “boys’ room”, which has a full size snooker table but inlaid with purple baize, not green!

The house also boasts a large sitting room which Nicky and Adam furnished with a Champagne-coloured leather suite and wallpaper boasting a mauve floral pattern.

Upstairs, the imaginative interiors continue with a shimmering master bedroom suite with gold wallpaper and a fantastic copper bateau bath with a matching table for the obligatory bottle of wine and glasses.

The en suite boasts bright turquoise glass with mother of pearl style mosaic tiles and taps with sparkly, diamanté finishes to complete the glamorous look. The glamour continues in Nicky’s very girlie dressing room in fuchsia pink and black, with the ultimate style icon, Audrey Hepburn, on the wall.

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