This client had recently purchased an Oast house in the Kent countryside and was looking to develop the site to fulfil their family needs.
The existing main house layout contained small, subdivided spaces and a kitchen area. Whilst the views were spectacular from outside, they weren’t so easily appreciated from within. The client wanted a big connection to the outside, with the ability to open up the building on summer days. An open plan family space was also important, as were alterations to the existing first floor layout to create better bedroom and bathroom spaces.
There were two outbuildings with expired consent for ancillary use. The client wanted to obtain a new consent and make layout alterations to these to use as an annex and an outdoor studio.
They commissioned Vernacular Homes as they were looking for a specialist company in this type of property, and wanted someone who could work with them from design, all the way through to completion.
The client had already sketched out some ideas of how they envisaged the Oast extension could work. Working collaboratively, we developed these sketches to produce a design which would work within the constraints of the existing structures and bring their vision to life.
Working with a number of trusted trades including our own carpenters, labourers, groundworkers, electrician, plumber and plasterers, we stripped the outbuildings back to the shell and converted them to make some great additional living spaces. Once this was completed, we extended the Oast, reorganising the existing interior and renewing the external cladding with larch to match the extension.
Whilst working on the Oast, we made some layout alterations to lose a ground floor bedroom in favour of a unique two-storey master suite with curved staircase leading from the bedroom area to the bathroom below.
The addition of 9m sliding doors across a whole wall of the ground floor living area gave them the indoor/outdoor connection to nature they were looking for.
We moved quickly through the planning process and were on-site for several months following the purchase. We worked sequentially through the project, converting the outbuildings first so that the clients could live in the annex while we renovated and extended the main house.
Our main challenge was that the Oast was in a green belt area and had already been extended significantly, so we had to work within those constraints. However, the planners were supportive of our design and happy to be flexible on the additional area even though it took us over the typical limits for a rural property.
Our expertise and relationships with planners helped towards agreeing a way forward that matched the client needs and satisfied the planning authority.
This project was a hugely enjoyable experience both pre-construction and on-site. By working closely with, and listening to the client, the end result really achieves the ambition for the project that they set out in their original sketches.
There are so many elements that made this build special, from the open plan spaces, 9-metre sliding doors and master suite with curved staircase and round bathroom.
The development of the design throughout has taken a slightly tired, average property and turned it into a stunning home.
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