small changes, big impact

brighton, east sussex

Small changes done right can have a big impact on our daily lives. Haven’t we all experienced that moment of ‘oh wow, this is so much easier/more enjoyable/prettier’! While we understand these changes on a logical level, it can often be difficult to regard any physical modifications to your home as ‘small’. Renovation projects always make a mess, cost money and take time. Add to that the complexities of your home being bound by some sort of protected status, like being Listed, or in a Conservation Area; and stage fright kicks in.

But, a little voice inside of you says, what if there are solutions to these challenges, and then suddenly my home works, as in, really works?

Meet our clients: John and John. They live in a ground floor flat in an 1860’s villa in a Conservation Area. The villa itself has a beautiful exterior design. As is sadly often the case though, during conversion into flats this historic building was chopped up into a labyrinth of rooms that simply did not flow. In John and John’s case, the only access to their garden was through the bathroom – a far from ideal situation. But with high ceilings, central location and a large garden, they were hesitant to leave this special home.

The solution was a simple one: access the garden from the bedroom, and renovate the bathroom.

We worked with John and John to create a design that would fit their needs and allow to stay in the home they loved. New French doors to the bedroom flood the room with light and lead to a contemporary platform with steps to the garden. John and John actually get to enjoy their outdoor space now. One day the bedroom might become the living room, which is beneficial now and down the road (think resale). Another example of a small change creating a big impact.

With the bathroom renovation, John and John saw the opportunity to not only rid themselves of an awkward connection to the garden, but also to create a bathroom reflective of their style and needs. Sleek black tiling and vibrant green accents create a bold and contemporary space. The contrast of the two colours against the light coming in from the three windows provides a breath of fresh air into the once disappointing space.

Although the building is not listed, we coordinated discussions with the conservation officer at the local authority. Careful consideration was given to the design of the platform; a new, light-weight walkway and stairs in glass and steel has minimal impact on the existing building and is respectful of the lower ground-floor flat. Exterior modifications matched the rest of the building to comply with Conservation Area requirements.

Simply creating better access to their garden and refurbishing a bathroom had a transformational effect on John and John’s lives. Their home suddenly worked, and this brought great joy, ease and calm to their every day. The result is a far smoother flow within the property, as well as a style expressive of their personalities. Instead of moving because the flat was falling short of their needs, they were able to reconfigure the space and layout to realise their dream home. Small changes, big impact.

Builder: GM Building
Build Cost & Date: Undisclosed | 2010
Photography: Unknown
Press: Latest Homes March 2012 | Ideal Home April 2012 | Portfolio January 2018