Pride Road New Forest & Bournemouth’s Laura Simpkins, an experienced architect, was tasked with finding a solution for a family’s outdated detached house built in 1932 that looked out to the sea from the first floor. The family had teenagers and wanted this to be their forever home as it had a large garden. They had already built a garden room that was being used as an airbnb.
The main problem was the small kitchen and the loggia and balcony that needed repair work. They wanted a large space where they could gather together and hang out as a family, and they wanted an ensuite upstairs as the single bathroom wasn’t enough with teenagers.
Laura’s workshop began by exploring three options for incorporating an ensuite and dressing room into the master bedroom, which would require a new dormer window. The reward would be an amazing view of the sea.
On the ground floor, she looked at changing the current gym into an open-plan kitchen, dining, and living space by filling in the loggia. One option kept the structure intact but made the space hard to plan and create a cut-off dining room.
Laura then proposed an alternative option of moving the kitchen to the other side, adjacent to the existing kitchen, which would become a utility room. This allowed the creation of a long south-facing open-plan room spanning across the back of the house.
This option was then expanded to incorporate a study for the husband who worked from home. He loved the idea of a proper, dedicated office with a view to the garden and plenty of natural light. Both south-facing options utilized the existing chimney breast to create a dual-aspect fireplace to break up the open-plan space into zones.
A new place for a downstairs shower room was created to the side of the utility room, opening up the hallway, which has a grand feel and many existing features.
In conclusion, the solution provided by Laura Simpkins was to create a spacious open-plan kitchen, dining, and living area with an ensuite and dressing room upstairs, a study for the husband, and a shower room downstairs. The family’s needs were met, and the house was transformed into a modern and functional space, perfect for family life and entertaining guests.
"Design is not just about aesthetics, it's about creating spaces that enhance the lives of those who inhabit them." - Laura Simpkins, Architect