Originally, this two storey house was almost classical in its proportions and had been very well built and was hugely sturdy. However, in the 1980s, a previous owner had decided to turn the house into a French chateau, complete with shutters, marble chimneypieces, mullion windows and an oak porch with columns.
The conversion was a matter of retrieving the house’s original spirit and complementing the design with further amendments, and our clients gave us carte blanche to do what we felt was right for the house. We soon discovered that the original architect was on a similar wavelength to us as we lifted the carpets to find limestone flooring and underfloor heating that had been bypassed in favour of brass grille radiator covers.
Inside, on the first floor, we removed a number of walls to reveal views of the garden wherever possible. We created a new home cinema, which can be closed off from the rest of the large open plan space by sliding screens. We introduced further sliding screens that can be used to separate the open living areas of the house when required.
The rear of the house has a wonderful aspect, looking out on to a huge garden and golf course beyond, but this was mostly obscured by a sea of fenestration. These were all replaced by large sheets of glass, opening up the house to light and more views. We added a terrace and roof garden at first floor level, with steps to the garden, bringing these formerly disparate areas together.
On the other side of the house, facing the road, we blocked up large windows in unhelpful places and added new ones. These new window slots are big enough to let light in, allowing glimpses of the view without compromising on privacy.
Throughout the house, we stripped away the glitz and busyness, replacing with simplicity, open spaces and light. We put elegant glass basins set in a limestone base into the main bathroom, introduced a long glass panel to the main bedroom and discreetly introduced elements of technology.