Remodelled Arts and Crafts house

Architect Wendy Perring has transformed a dated 1930s property into a warm family home

When architect Wendy Perring viewed Brookheath, it was like stepping back in time. The property hadn’t been touched for almost 70 years, meaning period details were in abundance, but modern-day conveniences were somewhat lacking.

‘I’ve renovated three properties in the New Forest in the last 10 years so I wasn’t fazed by the work,’ says Wendy. ‘In fact, its potential was one of the things that really attracted me to the house. I knew this was somewhere I could put down roots, so it was worth taking the time to make the house exactly what I wanted.’

The property opened out onto countryside, with its own patch of woodland, but the interior left a lot to be desired, with a series of small, dark rooms that felt cold due to poor insulation. However, Wendy was clear on her vision for the house. ‘My dream was to carefully and sensitively modernise the existing property while respecting and retaining the key Arts and Crafts elements of the building,’ she says.

Wendy called on the help of colleagues Graham Perring and Darren Bray, at PAD Studio Architects, and the trio designed the scheme. Their vision involved demolishing sections of the 1930s house, knocking down interior walls and adding extensions, while being sympathetic to the distinctive style of the building.

The fabric of the house was tackled first, as the aim was to upgrade the existing windows, walls, roof and flooring to increase their thermal efficiency.

Fact file

The owner: Wendy Perring, an architect, lives here with children Ben, 11, and Jemima, nine

The property: A detached, five-bedroom 1930s home built in the Arts and Crafts style

The location: New Forest National Park

What they spent: The project cost approximately £315,000

‘The space is flooded with natural light,’ Wendy, homeowner

arts and crafts house home office space

This corner of the living room, which overlooks the mature garden on two sides, was chosen for the study area.

Ercol desk and Eames chair, Ebay

arts and crafts house childs bedroom white

The original ceilings have been restored and painted in neutral tones.

Raised children’s bed, Aspace. Flowerpot light, Verner Panton

arts and crafts house exterior remodelled

The exterior now marries contemporary elements with key features of the original building, such as the roof tiles and rendering.

Aluminium sliding doors, Fineline Aluminium

arts and crafts house living room modern

Original timber flooring brings warmth to this light-filled family room.

Beige sofas, Skandium. Aluminium windows, Clement Windows. The grand piano is a family heirloom

arts and crafts house large modern bedroom

The master bedroom has been furnished in neutral colours with pale-wood furniture.

Arne Jacobsen-designed Swan chair, Skandium

arts and crafts house bathroom green tiles

Calm tones and curved lines create a relaxed feel in the bathroom.

Freestanding bath, wall-hung WC and Belfast-style sink, Big Bath Company. Wall tiles, Retro Metro

arts and crafts house kitchen remodel modern

The most significant structural changes came on the ground floor, where the kitchen was extended and internal walls demolished to create an open plan kitchen-dining space. The kitchen-diner is now at the heart of the home.

‘This key space makes the most of the forest views, and the new full-height sliding glass doors mean the space is flooded with natural light,’ Wendy adds.


Laura Crombie

Laura Crombie is a journalist and TV presenter. She has written about homes and interiors for the last 17 years and was Editor of Real Homes before taking on her current position as Content Director for Country Homes & Interiors, 25 Beautiful Homes Period Living and Style at Home. She's an experienced home renovator and is currently DIY-renovating a 1960s house in Worcestershire. She's been quoted on home design and renovating in The Times, The Guardian, The Metro and more. She's also a TV presenter for QVC and has been a commentator for Channel 4 at Crufts dog show.