Jul 09, 2020

Project | New Build Family Home | South Downs, Sussex

Nestled into the South Downs, near Brighton, once stood a tired and dark family home. A incredible setting for what is now a beautiful, light and spacious family home.

Work began in Autumn 2018, was completed just in time for our clients to enjoy Christmas 2019 in their new country home.

The design and layout of this new home is dramatically different to the original house. The original footprint of the ground floor was pushed out, a complex roof line with pitched dormers. A timber framed construction, with Sussex Flint features and oak cladded steel posts.

Whilst some of the original features were retained, it was more efficient to demolish the majority of the original building, rather than support and move structures during the build.

Our team protected the original oak staircase from the outset. It was later sandblasted to create what is now a beautiful central feature.

The original chimney was also kept, supported during the build, the original fireplace in the snug, a small nod to the former house.

Our client recalls visiting the original house on a bright, sunshiny day in Spring 2018. When the current owner opened the door 'they asked if it were sunny outside?'. Almost impossible to imagine when you now enter the house, it's flooded with natural light, the generous hallway leading into a largely open plan ground floor living space.

With views of the beautiful countryside at every turn through every window, the DeVol kitchen is complete with Aga and french doors open out onto a large limestone terrace.

We were delighted to spot our own Woodmans Christmas hamper crate repurposed in the client's boot room.

Upstairs, off the wide and spacious landing, there now 6 bedrooms, 4 of which are en-suite, plus a large family bathroom. Environmental and efficiency considerations were also key to this build. Underfloor heating throughout and renewable energy is supplied by an air source heat pump.

Joinery throughout was beautifully created by the team at Wright Joinery, installed by our own in-house team. The master suite has a large dressing room leading into a generous ensuite bathroom.

All three children have their own ensuite bathroom - with plenty of bespoke joinery throughout, from headboards to wardrobes.

Having a single team to create the perfect home and garden is highly beneficial. The brief was to design and build a country garden that complimented the new house. Natural limestone paving and steps, combined with simple gravel pathways, dealt with the circulation and terracing surrounding the house.

"Plants that could thrive in a sun drenched, wind sweeped environment were essential." explains garden designer Roger Smith. "We selected plants from the Mediterranean together with reliable shrub roses to give a nod towards a more traditional English country garden. Specimen olive trees added structural maturity and we’re combined with a range of ornamental grasses, herbaceous perennials, dwarf pines and shrubs."

Only planted recently planted in late Spring, the various varieties provide colour, texture, movement and structure throughout each of seasons. The installation of a ‘leaky hose’ irrigation system has enabled plants to establish quickly and cope with the particular dry spring and the summer months during their first season of growth.

"Phase 2 of the landscaping work has now begun. The introduction of a swimming pool, surrounding terracing, access pathways and further areas of ornamental planting. The gardens have begun to take shape but the best is yet to come!"

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