‘When I came to view this house, I took one look at the beautiful views of the South Downs and knew that this was my dream home,’ says Jenny.
The downside was that it would need to be renovated from top to bottom, which she admits did pose a challenge.
‘A lot of people would have been put off by the amount of work that needed to be done on the house,’ says Jenny, ‘but I could see it had plenty of potential, plus I was keen to stay in the area as I had been happy living in the next village. It also helped that I had renovated previous properties.’
Although she has no qualifications in architecture or interior design, Jenny has built on her experience of other projects. She also believes that working in an estate agency provides her with a good source of inspiration, as much of her time involves viewing other properties.
The owner: Jenny Burgoyne (right), who works part-time at estate agency Savills, lives here with her children, Freddie, 13, and Imogen, 12
‘I was so keen to get started that I had drawn up rough plans to reconfigure the downstairs living space and first floor before I had even moved in,’ she admits.
Jenny passed her rough plans to an architect who created a design for a whole house refurbishment, including a ground floor double extension. The build involved remodelling the downstairs layout to include a new kitchen and dining space, as well as increasing the number of first floor bedrooms from three to five, plus two new en suite bathrooms.
Planning permission was granted for most of the renovation work, but the planning office stipulated that she had to build a smaller extension than planned.
After months of waiting for planning approval, the build went ahead. Jenny contemplated living in the house while the work was being carried out.
‘I changed my mind as it wasn’t really a practical option with two teenagers, so we moved into a mobile home on site,’ she says. ‘It was a better solution and we lived quite happily in it for five months.’
With the building work under way, Jenny set about planning her new kitchen. She contacted local bespoke furniture designers Yew Tree Designs, which had produced the kitchen for her previous home.
‘I loved that kitchen,’ says Jenny, ‘and even thought about replicating the same design, but Yew Tree suggested a slightly more up-to-date style with curved units.’
Although there would be a dining room next door, Jenny wanted to include a less formal dining space in the kitchen.
‘I didn’t think the layout would work with another table and chairs in here,’ she recalls, ‘so I opted for a large island unit in the centre of the kitchen where we can all congregate and chat – and I ordered some bar stools to match.’
The range cooker is from her previous home. She asked the builders to design a chimney breast around it to make it the focal point and create a farmhouse feel.
She made a feature dresser from a butcher’s block, which she bought from a local reclamation centre and combined with a shelving unit from an old dresser. ‘It creates another point of interest in the kitchen,’ she explains.
As the kitchen leads into the dining room, Jenny wanted the same flooring in both spaces, so she chose a travertine design with a four-tile opus pattern.
‘I asked the builders to put down underfloor heating when they were laying the flooring as I knew how cold a stone floor would be,’ she says. ‘It really makes a difference – it’s lovely to walk on and you don’t need to keep your shoes on.’
Oak-framed folding sliding doors in the dining room open up to the garden so the family can enjoy the countryside views all year round. The builders also custom-made traditional-style beams for the dining space to link the new double extension with the rest of the house.
Jenny turned her hand to recycling old furniture after her success with the dresser in the kitchen. As she explains: ‘It has become something of a hobby.’
She painted most of the dining room furniture. The sideboard is a work in progress and painted in three match pot shades until she decides which one she prefers.
‘I have no doubts, though, about the house now that it is finished,’ says Jenny. ‘I think we’ll be here for years to come.’
|Building work (as part of a full house refurbishment with a double extension)||£250,000|
|Kitchen units, worktops, sink and taps||£13,390|