Extension & Renovation
Forever Home Found
Words and Photographs by Jo Sheldrake
Debbie and Martyn Wright have successfully transformed a dated1960’s bungalow into a stylish, unique home with spectacular views and space for all the family.
Debbie Wright and husband Martyn, both Company Directors, live here with their youngest daughter Eleanor, 23, and Labra Doodle, Mylo.
Originally a three-bedroom (1200 sq ft) Late 1960’s Bungalow on the outskirts of Clevedon, North Somerset
Converted 2015/16 to a 4 bedroom, 4 bathroom contemporary house (3200 sq ft) with open plan lounge/dining/kitchen, office, laundry and Gym.
When a 1960s bungalow came up for sale, Martyn and Debbie Wright jumped at the chance to buy it. ‘We had been looking for a plot or a property for 4 years and finally found Manistee through a local estate agent’, says Debbie, ‘We knew it had the potential to become our dream home’. The existing bungalow with its glorious views overlooking the Mendips, was crying out for a total redevelopment. ‘Our aim was to remodel the property and build a two - storey house on the site’, says Martyn, ‘This could be a great house for entertaining friends and family.’ So during the planning and design process it was key to incorporate plenty of open plan living space. ‘We wanted to have lots of room for the grandchildren to run around’, says Debbie. The couple sold their Victorian 4 bedroom house in North Somerset and moved into a rented property throughout the duration of the build.
Sideboard by Neptune Furniture has been repainted in Inchyra Blue to match the walls. Lamps are by Oka Ceiling and stylish pendant lights by Tom Dixon
Their initial planning application, to demolish the original bungalow and rebuild from scratch was rejected, on the grounds that it exceeded the 50% increase in size, that the green belt guidelines stipulate. Architect, Simon Corbett shared their vision for creating a modernist-inspired home, suggested they revise the plans and go for permitted development instead. ‘This would give us the home we were hoping for’, says Debbie. Although they could have proceeded immediately under permitted development, they decided to wait for a Certificate of Lawful Use and once granted, the build commenced in September 2015. This now gave scope for a completely new modern structure with the emphasis on space and capturing the breathtaking views.
Lights by Dyberg Larsen. Amara Bar Stools by Hay
E and M Groundworks and Construction were commissioned to make a start on stripping back the main structure demolishing all the external and internal walls retaining the original roof. Now left with an entire layout to design from scratch, it was essential that the open floor plan flowed and remained very family friendly. One of the couples designs triumphs was the inspired double height entrance hallway, featuring a glass panel in the existing roof, with a stylish, bespoke oak and glass staircase. This opens up the space in the entrance hall and flows through to the main living area and the patio beyond. Under floor heating was a practical option over radiators throughout the ground floor and has given the family a consistent and comfortable temperature of 22 degrees throughout. ‘I’ve always wanted a wood burner and besides creating a focal point in the sitting area, we love to relax in front of it watching the flames’, says Debbie. The main living space has been zoned to incorporate an open plan kitchen, dining and sitting area. ‘Having struck up a great rapport with Fiona Patey, owner of In-toto Kitchens in Bristol, from a previous kitchen project, we knew exactly who to go to when we moved to our new home. We had some ideas of what we were trying to achieve and Fiona was able to interpret these thoughts to create a finished kitchen that not only functions well but looks fantastic and works beautifully with the furniture in the rest of the room,’ says Debbie.
Kitchen supplied by Intoto Kitchens in Bristol, GC414 white gloss laminate door. C341 anthracite matt laminate door for wall units and Anthracite matt laminate panels and plinth. Bianco Massa worktop and splashback from Marble Supreme in Bristol.
The ground floor side extension offers a superb master bedroom, dressing room and bathroom. Skylights fill the bathroom and dressing room with a light and airy feel, whilst two floor to ceiling windows were added in the master bedroom to let in more light and the wonderful views and sunsets in the evening. The front section, houses a cloakroom, utility, office/snug and gym. The build rapidly progressed under the watchful eye of Simon Corbett and Martyn, who were around on a daily basis to ensure progress ran smoothly.
Bed by Sofa .com Bedding by the White Company Cabinet. Furniture - handmade to order by Nic Dumine
As the planning process had taken almost a year, the couple had time to research design features, such as the glass and oak tread staircase and the Aluminium Sliding glass doors and windows. ‘ We chose large (total width of window is 8 meter wide ) sliding doors over Bifolds as they invite the view inside’, say Debbie. Due to the restriction on raising the roof; the floor levels were lowered 40cm downstairs to gain enough height upstairs to create three double bedrooms and two bathrooms, one ensuite. All three bedrooms have floor to ceiling fitted wardrobes, oak flooring and once again boast stunning panoramic views over the mendips. Each bedroom is fitted with anthracite, horizontal designer radiators which complements the simple design of the rooms. Both bathrooms upstairs are in the roof space and required velux windows which allow lots of natural light to flood in. “We utilised all the roof space by creating additional storage which is accessed through a separate door,’ says Martyn.
Most background colours for the house were chosen to accentuate light and space and create a cohesive look. “I wanted the house to be calm and restful’, explains Debbie, ‘sticking to a more neutral palette of greys and taupe evokes a sense of calm throughout” says Debbie. “I love using Farrow & Ball paint. It’s fabulous choice of colours and unique finish adds depth to each room”. In the main living area the walls have been painted in Farrow & Ball, ‘Ammonite’ and the bedroom walls in ‘Cornforth White’. The walls in the hallway have been painted in Inchyra Blue. All the internal doors are low cost fire doors which have been spray painted white using a durable knock resistant paint.
‘Great party space, open plan lends itself to entertaining, space
allows you to entertain easily’
When it came to choosing the furniture they had to totally rethink how their existing traditional style of furniture would fit. “Some pieces we sold, some pieces we up-cycled by painting to complement the overall colour palette and create a sense of continuity throughout”. For example, Debbie painted the dining room chairs and the hallway bureau in F&B Downpipe. Martyn’s attention to detail included siting 4 bespoke electrical sockets within the floor tiles in the main living area. “I knew exactly where I wanted my Christmas tree and wanted to make sure there was a socket available for the lights,’ explains Debbie
With regards to the outside space there were practical decisions to be made as well as design choices. In particular, Martyn felt that because the house fronts a busy road it was essential to create a spacious driveway. “We employed Langford based landscape and garden designer, Phil Stovell”. The existing cottage style garden didn’t reflect the new modern exterior and Phil showed the couple an exciting contemporary design. “I felt that flower beds with a simple array of greys, greens, blues and whites would complement the exterior of the house”. The large 150 square metre patio is illuminated by downlighting in the timber framed overhanging canopy, this gives an illusion of additional space. The design of the canopy is further enhanced by the lackof guttering which is cleverly hidden in the cladding system; another clever design feature by Simon Corbett.
This Bath supplied by Lusso Stone makes a stunning focal point and evokes a feeling of luxury. Martyn loves the practicality of this walk-in Shower by Bathroom Village. Tiles by Mandarin Stone
“The result has given us our forever home. It has been our dream for so many years, we cannot believe we are living and breathing it every day. It ticks all the boxes and more!” Debbie says. Martyn continues “The house is now extremely cost efficient and easily maintainable and furthermore a joy to entertain and live in”.
Intoto Kitchen Bristol 0117 946 6433 intoto.co.uk
Vitra, selected stores available online, vitra.com
Artemide, selected stores available online, artemide.com
Hay 01225 461409 hay.dk
Loaf 0845 468 0697 loaf.com
Mandarin Stone 01600 715 444 mandarinstone.com
Lusso Stone 0203 370 4057 lussostone.com
The White Company 0203 375 89 222 thewhitecompany.com
Sofa.com 0345 400 2222 sofa.com
Morso 01788 554410 morso.com
Oka 0844 815 7380 oka.com
John Lewis 03456 049 049 johnlewis.com
Neptune 01793 427 300 neptune.com
Farrow & Ball 01202 876141 farrow-ball.com
The Contacts Box
Design - Architect - Simon Corbett 07969 607913 firstname.lastname@example.org Construction E & M Groundworks and Construction Ltd, 07968348147 email@example.com
Kitchen - Fiona Patey - InToTo Bristol. T 01179466433 intoto.co.uk
Bathrooms - Lusso Stone, Soak. 020 3370 4057 lussostone.com
Aluminium Windows and Bi-fold doors - Smart Systems, installed by Shergold Conservatories, 01934 204777 shergoldconservatories.co.uk
Flooring - Mandarin Stone 01600 715 444 mandarinstone.com