Extension, conversion & modernisation

Upper Kings Drive, Eastbourne

A complex reconstruction and extension project that met the needs of a large family, creating a very personalised home. Careful communication with neighbours led to instant approval of the plans.

Neil and Jo purchased this detached property, knowing that it would need to be completely renovated. Although the original 1940’s footprint was a decent size, the rooms on both the ground and first floor were small, especially the kitchen. Overall, the house was run-down and in dire need of modernisation.

The couple, who had three children between them including a newborn baby, briefed me to design a vast open plan kitchen-dining-living space. Upstairs they wanted a master bedroom and ensuite bathroom. All this was achieved by building an extension. I retained the original rooms to create a snug and cinema room downstairs, with additional children’s bedrooms upstairs.

I suggested maintaining the 1930’s style and proportions of the original house, concentrating instead on the rear extension. Installing huge glazed doors at the rear changed the focus of the living spaces, as they open out onto a terrace and the vast garden. I recommended a traditional masonry structure for the extension that was timber clad to save money and that gave the house a more contemporary feel.

The orientation of the house was tricky. I put a lot of thought into the best way to protect the privacy of neighbouring properties and avoid the loss of light. The solution lay in the height of the roof. The client made a point to consult with neighbours, explaining my drawings and reassuring them that the new roof wouldn’t cast a shadow. As a result, the plans were passed without any objection.

Being able to contribute to the whole house rather than a simple extension made this a very exciting project. Thanks to Neil and Jo’s great eye for interior design, we created an unusual home that exuded style both internally and externally.

As featured in Channel 4’s Best Laid Plans