Eton Cottage:   by BBM Sustainable Design Limited

Sussex garden ideas for dream cottage building

Amy Buxton Amy Buxton
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Compromise isn't something that is easy to swallow when you are set to build your dream house so when today's project came up against planning issues, the brief had to be dramatically changed.

The design team explained, ’In 2012 BBM Sustainable Design were appointed as architects to look at ways of extending and refurbishing a small cottage in the village of Compton in West Sussex. Although the house was not listed it was in a sensitive conservation area and within the South Downs National Park, after an extensive feasibility study which involved close discussions with the planning department at Chichester District Council, the starting brief had to be reigned back in terms of the number of bedrooms which could be achieved and the new southern extension went from a two-storey proposal to a single-storey.

Thus the clients sensibly reconsidered how they would live in the house, how family and guests would stay and in so doing, opted for well-proportioned spaces over the urge to cram too much in.’

When possible we always like to include some of the architect's thoughts as they seem to give a far deeper understanding of what has been created and why. From this we already know that it was a challenge to ensure that everything the clients wanted could still be achieved in a smaller setting. What we really love is that the original house was kept in its entirety, which seems to be a rare sign of respect these days, with a sympathetic and perfectly proportioned extension having been added.

Just wait until you see the garden, too!

Pretty as a picture

A small flint cottage is the dream home for so many people these days, especially those living and working in the city. However, when you love a house but can no longer deny that it is simply too small to accommodate you and all your family, what do you do? You extend!

We absolutely adore this side extension, completed in a lovely natural wood that will grey with time to mimic the stone façade. It's the perfect way to add a new section to an older property. There's no hiding it but why would you want to? It's so pretty.

Gardener's paradise

We did tell you that there was an incredible garden, didn't we? With a house that has necessarily been kept a little smaller than was originally wanted, it is fantastic to see that this garden has not been left neglected. What a waste of the site that would have been.

With a huge amount of vegetables planted, as well as beautiful borders and perfect pathways laid out, this is truly the garden to end all gardens. You can also now see how the single-storey extension wraps around the original cottage, like an old friend, giving it a hug.

Fancy finesses

It's always the finishing touches that can make or break a building project and, while this one was forcibly scaled back, we think the design team coped with that stumbling block magnificently. They clearly didn't put any less thought into the resulting extension.

This striated walkway shade looks perfect and really breaks the space between the new addition and the garden in such a gentle way. Everything feels so ideally situated and naturally integrated here, don't you think? With traditional and contemporary motifs working together, this is a wonderful home.

Interior inspiration

Having added an extension that looks slightly funky and modern, there may have been a temptation to go a little all out with the interior but we love how eclectic and beautiful this looks. With just enough touches of tradition and modernity, this is the perfect representation of the evolution of the house as a whole.

The bright yellow feature wall is a fun reminder of where the newness culminates, while a traditional dining room set up keeps everything in check. The kitchen also looks fairly contemporary but has been finished in a heritage colour. The partnerships here are astounding!

Open plan viewing

Having seen the back garden we feel sure that you are in no doubt whatsoever as to why the owners of this house were keen to have a living room section in the open plan ground floor layout. How else would you get to appreciate the gorgeous views of all your food growing? 

We think the simplicity and relative minimalism of this area is fantastic and really gears you up for some peaceful relaxation and reflection time, away from the hustle and bustle of the kitchen zone. Without a television in place, which we always think is a great touch, the garden is all the entertainment needed.

Spatial awareness

Despite having to pare things back slightly, we are huge fans of the lack of compromise when it comes to luxury. Yes, this dressing room may have been a potential small spare bedroom but why sacrifice something you want and need? 

Everywhere we look, both inside and outside of this house, we are blown away by subtle touches and nuances of luxury, indulgence and clever design. This might not have been the original plan for the extension but having seen how it turned out, we don't think there could have been anything better.

For more cottage inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: The Stonework Cottage That Loves Entertaining. We really love these traditional homes with modern touches!

Did you love the extension? And how about that garden?!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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