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…

When their thatched house burnt down and they discovered they weren’t insured, Alex Reay and Cheryl Robson didn’t lose heart. Instead, they rebuilt their dream home - a dairy cottage in Hampshire.

TV House Hampshire Dairy Cottage1

The couple rebuilt Dairy Cottage with green oak frames and expansive modern glazing to provide views over the nearby bird sanctuary

TV House Hampshire Dairy Cottage1

The kitchen features Corian and wood units plus a grey water recycling system linked to the washing machine

Cheryl Robson and Alex Reay are survivors. Once, they seemed to have it all, with successful careers in the music business, a newly renovated thatched cottage in Hampshire and a baby on the way. Then Cheryl’s record label folded and Alex was made redundant. Things couldn’t get worse, surely – but then chimney sparks set fire to the thatch and their cottage burnt down. The final blow came with news that their insurance policy had lapsed. Cheryl promptly went into labour.

Thankfully, the picture is very different these days. After the fire, the £400,000 debt the couple was up against made getting a loan and rebuilding the only real choice. ‘I just went on to autopilot and coped,’ Alex recalls. Their optimism won admiration from Grand Designs’ viewers. ‘We could either look at this as a half-burnt home, or a half-built home,’ said Alex philosophically. ‘We chose the latter.’

 TV House Hampshire Dairy Cottage3

A sturdy farmhouse-style table with traditional chairs is the centrepiece of the dining area

TV House Hampshire Dairy Cottage3

Set on a raised plinth, the copper bath in the master bedroom en-suite is the perfect place to unwind

The silver lining in all this was that the poky, low-ceilinged rooms of old could be redesigned. Within the original footprint they have created light, open spaces and added a double-height extension. But what about a new thatched roof? Alex was worried about putting it to Cheryl, but she didn’t hesitate. ‘It’s the reason we bought the house in the first place,’ she insisted. The new roof is gorgeous: thick, bushy Norfolk reed cut with swirls inspired by the Biba logo, fitting as it’s the name of their daughter. The reborn Dairy Cottage is a testament to this family’s triumph over adversity.

 TV House Hampshire Dairy Cottage4

The original cottage has been restored to its former glory, while the annexe to the right is now a self-contained holiday home

 

Photography: Emma Lee; Sean Myers

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.