From the manor born
Our clients had purchased a 5-bedroom house with several acres of land, a lake and a swimming pool, all set in a quiet valley near the ancient village of Rackenford. In the 1960’s the then owner of the manor house built the property as a home for his mother. Originally constructed from stone-effect blocks it was then extended in the 1990’s by a brick-built sitting room with garden bedroom beneath.

Client desires
Moving from Oxford to Devon to be near their family, our clients sought a large house which would enable their extended family and friends to visit and enjoy Devon and its peaceful backwaters.

The internal layout was jumbled, with poky bedrooms, dark bathrooms and a prefabricated feel to the internal walls. Alongside perfectly ineffective heating rendering the house freezing in winter, it needed renovation throughout. The mix of external wall styles made the building appear discombobulated.

Design and demolition
New layout designs were generated by EJT Architectural Surveyors. All the internal walls were removed, except for the original external wall of the 1960’s bungalow. The area set aside for the bedrooms was then extended to incorporate half of the adjoining garage space. Our clients were heavily involved in the creative design and layout, with many ideas also contributed by Raleigh’s Managing Director, Luke Denno.

Letting in the light
One key client requirement was to bring light into all parts of the property. The kitchen was flipped across the house from the NE to the SW, to create an airy kitchen-dining room. This change bid farewell to views of the driveway and embraced views of the lake and fields.

Double sets of French Doors delivered seamless access to the patio and garden. Within the new bedroom suite, a skylight brought ample light into a central landing. The front door was relocated in a glass-paned oak porch, containing double-width inner doors and enabling natural light to flood into the large entrance hall.

Raleigh Property / Addition of grandeur

Adding grandeur
All the woodwork was replaced. Georgian-paned windows were installed to enhance the look of the property. Stone window sills were added at Raleigh’s suggestion to bring the grandeur of a period property into a modern house.

Similarly, all the flush doors were replaced with oak panelled ones. Skirting boards and architraves were made more substantial and decorative. Each change helped to transform the property’s feel into one of substance and quality.

Unifying the outside
In order to bring consistency to the fragmented exterior, the flat roof of the garage was exchanged for the elegance of a pitched roof consistent with the main building.

As well as adding sills to all the windows and a new porch, the roof overhang on the gable end was extended to improve its aesthetic effect. Beyond the French Doors of the kitchen, a wall that had confined the patio was removed to open up sight lines. Finally, the brick-built part was rendered and the whole building painted, so that the house now looked the part within its pleasant surroundings.

Topped off with a chimney!
At the suggestion of Raleigh a mock chimney was added to take receipt of an electricity power line. This avoided the need for an unsightly pole and provided an agreeable aesthetic benefit by breaking up the overpowering expanse of roof and giving a focal point for the onlooker.

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