Most home owners understand the struggles when trying to build or renovate a home. Even after the planning stages and designs have been decided upon, you still need to bend and conform to council restrictions or state planning regulations. When building in an area of historical significance, the hurdles we face are seemingly endless, and often wreak havoc on our original schedules. Some areas require you to retain the historic façade; rendering it impossible for you to make any exterior changes without prior approval, which can take months, or even years. Many councils favour retaining the vernacular in regards to style, but do not want to attempt to
re-create the past, therefore suggest a modern interpretation of an old form. Then, there is the material cost. From windows and shutters, to roof hatching and energy, the costs seem insurmountable.
Nonetheless, nestled into the beautiful 15th century town of Long Crendon in Buckinghamshire, this beautiful family home blends effortlessly into its historically significant surroundings, taking its ranks amongst the other heritage listed buildings in the area. Mailen Design have masterfully designed this three bedroom home, creating a stunning juxtaposition between its contemporary internal layout and modern take on a historical front. Employing beautiful materials in their most raw and pure state, and combining them with strict geometry and eclectic home interiors, helps to create this warm and inviting family home.
Reminiscent of a barn, the external envelope of the house has been expertly clad in timber, and tied in nicely with a terracotta pitched roof. Despite these traditional elements, you can see the modern design exert its presence ever so slightly. The asymmetrically placed windows, which have been cleverly tinted in black, act as a mirrored surface, and reflect the surrounding landscape, instead of being able to see straight into the property. The gate, which we can see in the forefront of the image, is yet another traditional touch to an already charming facade. Here, simplicity and quality materials reign supreme. A bold, yet uncomplicated structure, plays tricks on the viewer. Little to their knowledge, hidden inside is an interior fit out that pays homage to sleek Scandinavian design.
A staircase is no longer just a practical element to help you navigate your way between the levels of your house. Nowadays, the humble set of stairs has been given a new lease on life, and often possesses sculptural and artistic qualities. As you can see in this photo, the staircase resembles an intricately folded piece of paper. The shape also helps the occupants to see clearly from the base, the direction of the staircase. The sharp bend on the first landing draws your attention upwards, creating an air of curiosity to see what is hidden above.
In this small, but light bathed living space, the designers have shown how a minimal amount of furniture can look comfortable and inviting. Paying close attention to the chosen materials, the designers have chosen to use different colours, textures and patterns to create a cosy and warm atmosphere. Mimicking the linear geometry of the sliding doors, the heater takes on the same form, blurring the line between the inside and outside spaces. Scattered pieces of art finish the room off perfectly, but the gentle hero is the Eames moulded plastic rocker chair in yellow, which adds a refreshing pop of colour to a fairly muted space.
One of the most coveted design layouts by home owners and designers alike, is an open planned living and kitchen space. This has been observed via the interconnecting living and kitchen area. Retaining the same forms as the rest of the house, the kitchen benchtop appears to be a similar shape. There are no hanging or jutting out elements here; the workbench only retains the endless expanse between the two spaces. From this position, the occupants have the ability to gaze out into the serene sitting room whilst cooking. Subtle elements of retro design can be seen in this image, from the stunning wooden sideboard to the cooker with its old-world charm.
Tucked away beside the kitchen is this small, but luminous dining room. Opening the outdoor space to the eating area, the designers have created a fabulous link between the inside and outside spaces. Whether the area is used for entertaining, a solitary meal in the sunlight, or as an inspirational study zone, you can be sure that the presence of light, fresh air and an aura of openness will always be conducive to feelings of energy and enthusiasm. A simple light that hangs from above, shows that the table, whether empty or in use, is the focus of this particular corner. Following on from the living room, we see another example of the ever popular and famous, Eames moulded plastic chair.
A bathroom, in the strictest sense of the word, is a place to wash. And if you are keen on following the rules of modernism, in particular, the ever popular saying
form follows function, then you will look to the fitting and fixtures you choose to fulfill their given purpose, yet at the same time be aesthetically pleasing. Following on from the style of the rest of the home, the bathroom is light filled, practical and designed with high-quality material finishes. The elongated white tiles help to widen the space, while the birch timber floor and cladding is evocative of a wood clad Swedish spa. It is without a doubt, that the founding fathers of modernism would relish at the sight of this home.
We hope you have enjoyed the tour of this beautiful British home. We hope you feel inspired to take on a historic project of you own!