Real home: a 1960s house with modern extension

Su and Jim Bonner doubled the size of their 1960s house with an ultra-modern extension

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When they moved into their home 20 years ago, Su and Jim Bonner knew that one day they would double it in size. ‘The location is perfect,’ says Jim. ‘We live on half an acre beside a lake in a semi-wooded area. While the top half of the house can be seen from the road, it does look smaller from the front elevation. It’s a kind of “stealth” house, as our architect calls it.’

Although the property was modern for its time, being an upside-down design (with bedrooms downstairs), it was simply too small for the couple and their two children. ‘We only had three bedrooms, one bathroom and one living space as well as a separate kitchen, so we were all living on top of each other,’ says Jim.

Fact file:

  • The owners: Su Bonner, a tour operator, and her husband Jim, a bank director
  • The property: An extended, five-bedroom detached house built in the 1960s, with a half-acre garden
  • The location: Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent
  • What they spent: The couple bought the house in 1994 for £133,000, and have spent £500,000 on renovations. The property has recently been valued at around £1.95million

The property

When they moved into their home 20 years ago, Su and Jim Bonner knew that one day they would double it in size. ‘The location is perfect,’ says Jim. ‘We live on half an acre beside a lake in a semi-wooded area. While the top half of the house can be seen from the road, it does look smaller from the front elevation. It’s a kind of “stealth” house, as our architect calls it.’

Although the property was modern for its time, being an upside-down design (with bedrooms downstairs), it was simply too small for the couple and their two children. ‘We only had three bedrooms, one bathroom and one living space as well as a separate kitchen, so we were all living on top of each other,’ says Jim.

rh-bonner-kitchen-table

On the side of the fireplace nearest to the kitchen area, which is the other side of the store cupboards, the dining room has a tranquil feel. The dining table is an oak Pinto design by Ercol. The lights match those over the kitchen island

Open-plan kitchen

Living room area

Bathroom sinks

rh-bonner-bath

The costs

Building work£356,100
Appliances£30,000
Carpentry and glazing£29,000
Bathrooms£28,000
Flooring£19,500
Kitchen£15,000
Furniture and furnishing£15,000
TOTAL£492,600

The contacts

  • Architect and construction: Architecturall (020 8244 1673)
  • Exterior cladding: Vastern Timber
  • Glazed doors: View Glazing
  • Floor tiles: Mandarin Stone, Marshalls
  • Bathrooms: Duravit, Hansgrohe