Home Designs

To embark on this journey through uncharted territory I need a vision to inspire me.  I always thought I would fall in love with an old house, instead I fell in love with a beech woood, a wild flower meadow and views that make your heart rise, What home belongs here?  Tomorrow is the big reveal: client meeting 01,  agreement of brief and schematic design.

I am interested in the design proposal relative ‘to my very detailed brief?’   I wanted to enable creative people, rather than constrain them to the limits of my vision, yet I need to love it.  Every time I watch ‘Grand Designs‘ I have heart palpitations at the money-sink stress all too many home-builders encounter.

So shall we review my brief for modern country living in timeless landscape?

home from above

First off: I want a sense of arrival, of coming home – to me this still involves the classic  children’s facade in some format.  Further in an ‘area of outstanding natural beauty’ it needs to feel integrated into the village’s architectural style and only on closer inspection reveal it is contemporary. I said: A front vista that is harmonious and understated, energised by modern elements.

rowden 1

rowden 3

Rowden, Totnes,  by McLean Quinlan, is my stand out project for this.

A house which feels part of the ancient landscape, the Cotswold has a rich architectural heritage and a clear building material.  We would like to use natural and salvaged materials where possible.

Alot of modern homes feel sterile, however I love  their fantastic light, ‘lifestyle’ friendly layouts and beautiful, thought provoking details.   I know we are inevitably of our time but there is the alchemy of precise geometry, proportioning systems and craftsmanship which creates timeless buildings I want to combine this with soul.

I would like a spine or core of Cotswold stone asserting the buildings connection to the land.  Visually layered natural materials: stone, raw plaster, wood, concrete, metal, marble, slate and handmade tiles.  One of my aims internally is to use materials in its construction which constitute it’s decorative finish as well, I don’t want to layer on ‘farrow and ball’ paint, wall papers etc. I’d like it to feel quite elemental and again really connected to the landscape.

Shall we call it ‘Refined Rustic‘.

Brit-brand Mulberry  nailed it in Bond Street, glamourising the quintessential Cotswold setting:



Architecturally  Seth Steins gives us modern beauty in Cornwall.

Layout: I don’t want a big reveal and then it’s all over, I’d like an element of tantalisation, a modern enfilalde and generous connecting spaces, combined with cosy corners and inglenooks.

Practically: I fantasise about those old fashioned rooms that make a country house function: the boot room, pantry, wine cellar, library.

Socially: I’d like to have a family kitchen which serves its purpose rather than taking over, keeping other activities separate: library, TV corner and sitting room.

Children: It’s their home too right? specifically – a slide, secret doors and a swing  please.

Want to see  my vision?  it’s been curiously unsatisfying but I have ‘pinterested‘ to various boards from ‘nooks’ to ‘halls’ and more.

So tomorrow I set forth… to see if the journey could lead me home, I think I’ll wear my Mulberry jumper.

p.s. Original brief somewhat longer, but I thought I’d spare you.

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