A modern masterpiece

House Beautiful – February 2013

Bagging the perfect plot led this couple to build the unique house of their dreams


The 272-squaremetre site was large enough to include the couple’s contemporary home, a small garden at the back and a carport, as well as a second two-bedroom property. Vibrant colour was added to the exterior with panels from Velfac.


Inspired by the internal courtyards of traditional Moroccan houses, Debbie and Richard designed a double-height living area, A circular balcony leading from the stairs to the bedrooms looks more like a bridge than a landing.


A bright red door leads to a large entranceway, where a matching red door can slide out from the wall to make the dining area feel more intimate.


A lower ceiling helps to define the living space. In the dining area an industrial style staircase and sleek and simple table and chairs contrast with more traditional furniture. Redwood flooring from Priory Hardwoods adds to the spacious feel.


After an original workshop was knocked down, builders prepared the ground for a concrete pad that would provide the base for the timber frame. The wood was cut in a factory and erected on site over four weeks. Accuracy was key – right down to the last millimetre – to ensure the timbers were straight and flush. The house’s timber frame construction meant it could be very well insulated. However, insurance costs on a timber framed house are higher than on a brick-built version. For more benefits of timber-framed builds, visit mypropertymentor.co.uk/2010/02/advantages-of-timber-framed-housing.


The couple wanted a colourful kitchen. Debbie admits painting the walls in Pale Lime matt emulsion by Little Greene was a brave choice but she loves it.


This slim freestanding Westfire stove is a simple and contemporary design.


Large folding glass doors from Sunfold Systems open up to make the garden feel part of the living area. Debbie and Richard’s bedroom projects out. Neighbours objected to plans to add a balcony leading off onto the roof.


Richard uses the study as his workspace. It’s tucked behind a wall in the living area and also contains the couple’s book collection, keeping the open space free of clutter


A rich red and orange bedspread gives the couple’s bedroom a warm glow. The antique armchair is one of two inherited by Richard from his parents.


Debbie has created her version of a Moroccan mosaic bathroom with tiles from World’s End Tiles. She added splashes of bright colour with the accessories.


Photography by Richard Barton and Tom de Gay


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