Amanda, the Project Manager at Studio Arkell, was asked to take a look at the internal layout of this handsome Arts & Crafts house in the heart of the New Forest.
The clients were originally looking at a possible extension and relocation of the kitchen, hoping to create a less cramped kitchen, a more natural flow between the sitting and dining rooms at either end of the building, and a better connection to the delightful, mature, multi-level, wrap around gardens.
On an initial walk around the property, it quickly became apparent that the footprint was actually more than adequate to achieve all that the clients needed, as well as addressing their ultimate wish-list. It just required a creative reconfiguration in order to let the house properly function as a modern-day, family home.
The property had a central kitchen, backing onto a long and dark, offset corridor, off of which lay several small utilitarian rooms, which faced the side gardens and an unloved terrace leading to a beautiful previously updated pool area. The living rooms flanked the kitchen at either end of the house, but felt unrelated to one another, effectively cutting the house into two halves.
By combining space from the small back-rooms, corridors, and kitchen, this New Forest Arts & Craft’s home was completely transformed by harmonising the two distinct and separate wings of the house, giving the home a central, unifying hub of open plan kitchen and family room, opening onto a newly formed terrace exposing entirely new views across the gardens.
The overall scheme was able to exceed the client’s original aspirations and expectations by also creating a new study, a stunning utility leading onto the garden, a spacious cloakroom, downstairs toilet and plentiful storage.
Externally, mismatched, historic additions to the property were unified with the new scheme by cladding in period appropriate, waney edge larch, which has gently silvered over time giving texture and additional character to the house. This can be fully appreciated from the restored, stepped terrace leading from the new open plan kitchen and family room and linking to the pool and pool-house, creating vistas previously unseen from as well as back towards the house.
Finally, both entrances to the front and side of the house were smartened up by laying stone paving to match the rear terraces. The formal front entrance, leading onto a reformed grand entrance hall linked with double glazed doors drawing you through to the open plan family room, and the everyday side entrance transformed from drab to fab, with a new panelled hallway leading directly to the open plan heart of the home.
The clients have been completely overwhelmed with the complete transformation of their home by simply using space that was already there to provide all the amenities they needed and wanted. This reconfiguration design has completely exceeded their expectations. Not only has their home been improved and had value added, but the way in which they live in their home has been simplified, as there is now ease in movement and flow, and relationship between the different spaces. They have since gone on to make further improvements to the newly accessible side garden, which has become a wonderfully sociable space or conversely a haven of peace, depending on when you catch them.
Photo Credit: Hannah Arkell
Reconfiguration and Kitchen Design: Amanda Arkell