Seeking a dramatic lifestyle change, and work-life balance, our clients chose to move from London to the south coast. As a family of four, with a large extended family, they often entertained and value having friends stay to enjoy all the trapping of living by the sea.
The house is a double-fronted Victorian villa, boasting a large south-facing garden, sitting on a generous plot and already benefitting from a large swimming pool. However, the house was disjointed from the garden, and the house layout was cramped and impractical in places. An example of this was having to navigate through a small reception room that had 3 doors, leading to a shower room, kitchen and back to the main entrance hall.
We took a great deal of time to sit down with and discuss our client’s aspirations for their home. Including how they intended to live, entertain and capitalise on this exceptional location. This was also a time for fact-finding, where we discovered the house sat within a local conservation area. This allowed us to develop a detailed brief for our clients and to generate our initial ideas.
Recommendation and review of our portfolio led Sam and Faye to us. They particularly liked our varied portfolio. With a particular liking for the respect we afford period properties when extending with contemporary spaces.
We always encourage our clients to share inspirational images with us. This allows us to develop a deeper understanding of what they are looking for. Such as a bent towards timber finishes or concrete. It is also a time for early identification of materials, styles or features a client may not like. This could be metal finishes, white cupboards etc.
Design is both subjective and personal, which is why each of our projects is unique to our clients.
It was critical this scheme related to the character of the existing home. Which was finished in the classic red brick associated with Victorian construction. To embrace this, we were keen to use reclaimed brick from the demolition and married this with a modern alternative. A charred black timber was favoured by our clients and was used to integrate the side extension with the existing two-storey gable-fronted extension. The black timber was a brilliant contrast to the rich red brick. Internally the new open-plan kitchen, dining and lounge spaces were fashioned to be modern and in contrast to the traditional feel found elsewhere in the house. A light industrial feel was embraced and new structural steel work exposed and painted to feature within the space.
The form of the new works was overtly split into two aesthetics. Relative to the conservation area and the character of the property, the front elevation was extended to provide a garage and this was styled to match the Victorian proportions of the home and a previous sympathetic side extension. To the rear, however, we were afforded a large degree of freedom, by both our clients and the planners. Driven by a want to celebrate the location and capitalise on the views of the garden, Sam and Faye wanted a seamless relationship with the outdoors. A place they could welcome large groups of friends, but equally be cosy for the family of 4. The new rear extension delivers this space, by merging with an existing extension that has been widely remodelled. With changes to window proportions and reclad, this space now feels new, fresh and part of the wider project.
Externally, an existing pool was given new life as the garden was remodelled to complement the works of the house. Both inside and outside space needed to share the same language. For this reason, red brick has been used along the full flank of a luxurious outdoor entertainment space. This comprised a garden kitchen and dining, complete with a polished concrete table to seat 12 and countertops, a sunken lounge and a sun deck space.
Sam, Faye and family are delighted with their home, saying:
Richard has designed an amazing house for us. We set the brief to create a place that felt boutique hotel, seaside and fun and he delivered above and beyond on every aspect. Now we have finished it looks just like the computer images generated for us to understand the original design intent. We couldn’t be happier.
Re-visiting the completed home, we are thrilled with the result. Moreover, the emphasis we place on early understanding of the brief and the level of detail we apply to early design and visualisation work paid off for client understanding and buy-in.
Image Credit: Richard Chivers
September 13, 2023