Kitchen Stories: Olaf Mason and The Grand Designs Triangle House

Kitchen Stories: Olaf Mason and The Grand Designs Triangle House

What do you get when you take a plot of scrap land, hemmed in by a railway line and busy road, and throw in a mainline sewer running through the centre of the space? Master carpenter, Olaf Mason of Mason Carpentry, and Fritha Vincent saw this space and envisioned their forever home.

The couple bought the plot just before the Pandemic struck and worked on the ambitious project together, overcoming the obstacles in the land by creating a striking triangular build, fondly named, the Triangle House. This incredible home speaks of their perseverance and hard work and of very clever design.

From the outside, the Triangle House features an eye-catching sculpted roof, leading to a large garden, outdoor kitchen, and fire pit. Inside a colourful kitchen is the heart of the home, with their Gemini Worktops island as the focal point. Venetian White Gemini Quartz is complemented by colourful cabinetry crafted by Olaf himself.

We caught up with Olaf to chat to him all about the Triangle House, why he decided to build his own kitchen from scratch and what advice he would give to anyone about to embark on their own self-build journey.

The Triangle House Final Edit 32 1536x1024

More and more people are choosing the DIY kitchen route, rather than buying from your typical ‘one stop shop’ kitchen showroom. What made you go down this route in the Triangle House?

Being a carpenter, I was always inclined to make my own kitchen from scratch. It turned out, if you discount my labour costs, to be a cheaper alternative. Plus, the trickiness of the angles in our house and the fact that it needed to be slightly higher or lower in places meant that by building the kitchen myself, I could really tailor it to our needs.

I’ve found that if you go for off-the-shelf units from somewhere like Wickes or Howdens, then you can be limited with their sizing or there’s often a little spot that doesn’t quite work and ends up being void which I can’t stand. So, this custom bespoke way was really the only way for us.

What were your ‘must haves’ when you were planning your kitchen?

I wanted colour in the space, rather than your standard, blanket one shade kitchen. I also wanted a central kitchen island with a white marble look surface and because I love wooden worktops too, wanted to incorporate both materials, opting for 50% wood and 50% quartz.

The Grand Designs Triangle House 1 1100x1100

The Grand Designs Triangle House 2 1100x1100

How did you settle on Gemini Quartz Venetian White for your worktops?

Due to the situation with Covid, I started looking for worktops early on and Gemini popped up on social media. I looked through their portfolio of colours and Venetian White stood out as being particularly beautiful. It’s a powerful top, but it’s a subtle colour and the veining in it is stunning. I was also keen on choosing quartz because it’s tough and more resilient than marble. Gemini was one of the more reasonably priced and they were extremely easy to work with. Finally, they were able to get the huge slab cut and ready to be delivered on time at short notice which was impressive.

We always say the kitchen is the heart of the home, how has your new kitchen impacted life in the Triangle House?

Our kitchen is right at the centre of the home, with doors to the outside on either side and a lightwell in the ceiling that goes all the way up through to the second floor. It’s quite a big kitchen and what’s really nailed it for us, is having the island with the hob bang in the centre of the house. It’s a happy place to be.

The Triangle House Final Edit 2 1536x1024

Request a free quote

Interested in one of our quartz surfaces for your kitchen? Get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote today.

Request quote

Finally, what are your three top tips to someone who is just about to embark on their own self build journey?

  1. Don’t settle for second best. Go the extra mile, especially if it’s a house you’re going to be in forever.
  2. Get everything on recommendation. We had big issues with our windows, and this could have been avoided if I’d gone with someone who was more clued up.
  3. Be patient. I’d always said beforehand, that I would stick with the guys I know, however I was hasty in the beginning and went with a brick layer I didn’t know, and it didn’t turn out well. To sum up, do your research, be patient and don’t rush things.

Get the look with Gemini Quartz

The Triangle House Final Edit 24 1536x1024
The Triangle House Final Edit 63 1536x1024
The Grand Designs Triangle House copy 2 1100x1100

Request your free quote

Interested in one of our quartz surfaces for your kitchen? Get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote today.

Request quote

You can follow the journey of the Triangle House on Instagram here

Work with Mason Carpentry here

All photography by Douglas Bridge.