We took a delapidated existing 1970s house and re-designed it as a unique, modern home working with progrssive Brighton architects Alter & Company. I didn’t actually think I would ever love the house as much as I do-and it literally was a labour of love. We moved into the existing property when I was pregnant with our first child and lived through various bits falling off the original house, leaks, dodgy wiring, poor plumbing, terrible heating, planning permission wrangles a second pregnancy and having a toddler and a newborn on a busy building site! It was the project I ‘cut my teeth on’ as an interior designer and I learnt so much from living on site and being well and truly hands on at every stage (often with a baby on my hip, while chasing the toddler to stop her falling into freshly laid cement or somesuch). I wouldn’t say I look back on the build with fondness but I am hugely proud of the home we have today. It’s a very unusal “Marmite” house (you either love it or hate it) and was quite the talking point in the village for some time as we are in a strict conservation area and most of the village is exceptionally old. The dilapidated original house was also hidden behind a five metre thick and nine metre tall (mainly dead) Laurel hedge of Narnia-esque proportions, so when the site (and not-maintained-since-1972- Laurel) was cleared by the tree surgeons to build The Annex it was as if we had suddenly exposed ourselves to the neighbours, road and village at large. Yes, we could’ve knocked it down and started again with a clean slate on the plot but we’ve preserved a structure that is potentially architectually important for years to come and re-invented: it wasn’t the easy route but we are thrilled with the results.
Max Langran took this series of photos at the tail end of winter (the eagle eyed among you will spot the abandoned Christmas tree!) as Grant from Alter & Co. and I agreed that the defined lines of the exteriors worked well with a harsher seasonal landscape. Another set of photos is due soon to show the re-generation of the outside living spaces and the overall cohesion of our finished, landscaped home.
The Modern House
A complete renovation of a an exisiting 1970s family home-a true ugly duckling that we turned into a stunning swan.
A new extentsion was added above the kitchen (the existing was knocked down and the bricks cleaned and re-used) to create the new master bedroom. The feature oriel window floods the room with light and is a stunning visual focal point.