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Edwardian House — Contemporary Extension + Refurbishment Devon

Overlooking the Axe valley in the Jurassic Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the original Gentleman’s House has been extensively renovated, extended and modernised to create a lovely family home, whilst still retaining the charm of the original 1900’s Edwardian residence.

In a beautiful location, the house did not relate well to its gardens and views, and the interior had become dated. We were appointed to refresh and reorder the accommodation and also to create new spaces that better reflect modern living, to bring in more natural light and to improve the interior’s access to the surrounding garden, terrace and the views.

A new extension created a light and spacious kitchen-dining area overlooking the garden and linking with the existing terrace. Using a palette of materials and details to match the house, the kitchen extension complements the main house with a contemporary, light and spacious room that brings the garden and surroundings into the interior.

Renovation of the existing accommodation was more subtle, where the original entrance and delineation between ‘serviced’ and ‘served’ accommodation was no longer relevant. Rearrangement of the first floor to create a master bedroom suite with dressing room and en suite, provided the opportunity to create a delightful balcony along the length of the house, accessed from the master bedroom via new French doors, so as to take advantage of the stunning views.

On the ground floor the principal rooms were redesigned to provide for home working as well as a spacious drawing room, at the same time as keeping connection with the rest of the house. These changes were linked by a new entrance and gallery that refocused the sense of arrival into the house. Dormer windows added light and a sense of space to the second-floor loft conversion which provided a further three bedrooms and a bathroom. Upgrades to the services included modern lighting, heating and plumbing as well as IT and telecoms to improve connectivity.

The scheme holds the practice record for a swift planning approval that was achieved in 4 weeks! Construction work took a little longer, where supported by full architectural services and interior design, a professional yet collaborative approach with a local building contractor encouraged working as a team.

“LCA were sensitive, good at listening and didn’t impose a style on us. They interpreted their brief with clear vision. We and the family love it and still marvel at the transformation” — Client

Architects communicate through words, models and drawings. The test of this documentation can be when it is taken by a building contractor to implement the work proposed. This technical stage of the architect’s work involves the preparation of the detailed design and construction information supplemented by specification or schedules that describe the proposals.

“LCA’s plans are very clear, good consistent standard between projects, the style is familiar, attention to detail is good” — Contractor

Cantilever Stair Detail

The alterations to this Edwardian house are an example of evaluating what worked and what did not work so well in the existing house, whilst overlaying this analysis with an understanding of the clients’ brief. The art is therefore to be able to recognise those parts of the accommodation that can be left alone, as much as those parts that would benefit from improvement.

Living space