Refurbishments and extensions

Giving new life to old homes

We love old buildings, whether they’re beautiful, downright ugly, or somewhere in between.

But they were built for another era and another way of living. They were built at a time when a big space meant a cold space, when windows let in as many draughts as they did beams of light, and when cooking wasn’t a convivial activity but something done – if you were a 1950s housewife – behind closed doors.

In other words, we’ve moved on in leaps and bounds, but most of our houses haven’t. They cost too much to heat. They shut out the sun. They dampen our spirits. So, not surprisingly, we feel frustrated, dissatisfied and trapped. And we cry out for more space – and more storage.

But tacking a box onto the back of your house is rarely the answer. And, actually, it’s very likely to make things worse. If natural light is struggling to reach the dark recesses of your home right now, then that light is going to have even further to travel. If there’s dysfunction in your existing spaces, then a new space – however functional – isn’t going to solve that. 

When it comes to space, we’re firmly in the quality-over-quantity camp.

Instead, let’s take our time, look around your existing spaces, and start to build up a different picture – a picture of a better way to live. Can any of them be reused, rejigged, repurposed? Because when it comes to space, we’re firmly in the quality-over-quantity camp. And we’ll never shy away from undoing the wrong turns and mistakes of your predecessors (and ours).

Unpicking can, of course, come with surprises. And until your builders dig down, scrape away and break through, none of us – not even the most experienced designer – quite knows what we’re going to find. But we promise to be upfront and proactive about the knock-on effects, both in terms of time and money. Transparency is key.

Why do we enjoy this work so much? Put simply, it appeals to both sides of our brain, left and right. It’s about both logic and emotion.

Residential Extension Architects In Sussex

On the one hand, we’re applying reason and method to your spaces, thinking through the detail and tricky configurations. And, on the other, we’re talking about the fundamentals of the way you want to live and taking you on this journey with us. We’re helping you see past the familiarity of your existing spaces to imagine something very different.

We’re thinking, too, about how things might change. The passage of time affects us all: young children become teenagers, hardworking professionals retire, and active retirees feel the need to put their feet up. Even if you can’t quite imagine it right now, we’re keeping all that in mind.

We want it to be the kind of place your children will love at any age, and the kind of place where you’ll always feel at home.

We want it to be the kind of place your children will love at any age, and the kind of place where you’ll always feel at home. If we factor in behind-the-scenes infrastructure to make the future installation of a grab rail (an elegant one, of course) a quick and easy job, and if we give you generous, wheelchair-friendly doors, then – if the need arises – you’ll be ready to reap the benefits, in terms of time, costs and disruption.

We have high expectations of what a well-designed space will do for you. In fact, our aspirations for the transformation of your cold, damp and dysfunctional house go way beyond just making it warmer, dryer and more functional. And if you’re familiar with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, then you’ll know that ‘shelter’ is just the start of what we should all be looking for in life.

So, when you find us talking you out of a bog-standard extension, you’ll know we have your best interests at heart. We’re not great fans of pale imitation or, worse, pastiche. If an extension is the answer, let’s celebrate and respect the original building (even if it’s not listed or of heritage interest) by marking the threshold between old and new, allowing one to complement the other and allowing each to shine. Even if the planners default to lookalike bricks and a matchy-matchy design, there are sure to be more inspiring possibilities, and we’ll be ready and primed to get everyone on board when the time for a conversation comes.

Every refurbishment, every extension, should be a transformation. We won’t ask you what your budget is because that implies expense without reward. So, instead, we talk about investment. We want you to invest wisely and carefully in your future, in a way that’s right for you, whether that’s going above and beyond to make your house a model of energy efficiency, daring to insist on the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of, or – even better – doing both.

Whichever way you choose to go, we see it as one of the very best investments you could ever make – and we’d love to be a part of it.

Take the first small step.

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