Home Improvements

by Jenny Mcfarlane

November 20, 2017

9 of the latest stylish bathroom trends for 2018

These exciting new bathroom design ideas will make sure your home is ahead of the curve in the new year.  Title image: Alape From taps…

Deborah Mills and Andrew Tate’s conversion of a decommissioned tower was a long-term project and very much a labour of love.

 TV House Buckinghamshire Water Tower

The 100ft tower was built in 1915 by German prisoners of war

Finishing this project took more than 10 years and two Grand Designs revisits, which was unexpected given how smoothly the first part of this unusual build went. Deborah Mills and Andrew Tate’s home is an old water tower, which stands 100ft high and enjoys majestic views over the Buckinghamshire countryside.

The new-build extension, which would house the main living areas, was no problem for Andrew, an architect, and Deborah, who turned out to be an excellent project manager. A combination of meticulous planning and the use of efficient, commercial techniques (such as a concrete slab roof) ensured it went up in just four months. Kevin McCloud expressed concern about the concrete-filled polystyrene Beco walls, worrying that this ‘Lego-like’ structure might collapse, but it hasn’t yet.

Read more: The water tower conversion in London

 TV House Buckinghamshire Water Tower1

A single-storey extension houses a large open-plan living space

The water tower was more problematic and was still uninhabitable when the family moved in, forcing the three kids to sleep in the study while Andrew and Deborah bedded down in the living area. As the children grew older, everyone felt it was time to expand into the tower. This was tricky, not only because the tower is cylindrical, but because it also tapers towards the top. It meant that everything, including the staircase, had to be custom-made.

The completed build is both impressive and functional. From the nifty use of space in the master duplex at the top of the tower, down to the bright, airy living area of the extension, there is something for everyone in this unique home.

 TV House Buckinghamshire Water Tower3

The kitchen is a pleasingly utilitarian mix of planed wood and stainless steel

TV House Buckinghamshire Water Tower3

Andrew retained one of the tower’s original ladders, which now allows access to the top shelves of this ground-floor bookcase

Photography: Jefferson Smith

Kevin McCloud on how our homes give us the chance to reflect and have new experiences

Our editor-at-large ponders how our homes can give us a chance to reflect and have new experiences.
how-our-homes-give-us-the-chance-to-reflect-and-have-new-experiences
tv-house-secrets-converted-run-down-yard-to-industrial-style-home
Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house secrets: converted run-down yard to industrial-style home

Tracy and Steve Fox turned a run-down yard in London into an innovative industrial-style home. We ask Tracy how they’re getting on three years later
tv-house-exclusive-transformed-seventies-bungalow-on-the-isle-of-wight
Grand Designs TV Houses

TV House exclusive: Transformed Seventies bungalow on the Isle of Wight

Architectural designer Lincoln Miles, who transformed a Seventies bungalow on the Isle of Wight, has now created aseries of innovative dwellings on the island.
tv-series-secrets-self-build-mews-house-in-london
Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house secrets: self build mews house in London

Building a colourful mews house before gaining planning permission was a risk for architect Ian Hogarth. Is he still a fan of the striking style?...
tv-house-exclusive-upside-down-cedar-clad-eco-home
Grand Designs TV Houses

TV house exclusive Upside-down cedar-clad eco home

Idyllic plot, check. Innovative design, check. Super-eco credentials, check. Natasha Cargill’s Norfolk home from the recent TV series ticked all the right boxes… just
grand-designs-australia-tv-house-sri-lanka-inspired-family-friendly-home
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs Australia TV house Sri Lanka-inspired family-friendly home

This striking Grand Designs Australia build combines concrete finishes with the architectural inspiration of Sri Lanka to create a family-friendly home.
grand-designs-water-tower-conversion-london
Grand Designs TV Houses

Grand Designs water tower conversion in London

An ambitious Grand Designs water tower conversion based in London had two new-build extensions included in the renovation.