BLOG: Creating your dream family home

22 January 2019

In our latest blog, client Emma Brambell discusses working with the Roger Coy Partnership to create her dream family home

My husband, David, served in the army for 28 years and for 21 years we lived in married quarters which meant we had no choice about the décor or the carpets, and walls certainly couldn’t be knocked down!

When David left the army, we both wanted to find a property which we could make our own because we hadn’t had that option previously.

We wanted a house with a big, open living space and a modern kitchen but we found it difficult to find a property that already ticked all our boxes and was ready for us to move into within our budget. Our search was made more difficult since houses within the M25 are among the most expensive in the country.

Initially, our estate agent wasn’t going to show us the house we have bought in Surrey since it didn’t meet our brief because it was a 1970s four-bedroom house with many of the features of the decade – checked carpets with its original plumbing and wiring and a family bathroom and one en-suite without a shower but it was immaculate.

We decided to buy it and we then started searching for an architect who could help with our modernisation plans.

I looked at the work the Roger Coy Partnership had carried out at other homes on their website and I was impressed because it was exactly what we were looking for – a modern home but not outlandish.

We contacted the firm and met with Phillippa Watkins and she immediately understood our vision and created designs that fitted our thoughts perfectly for a large kitchen/dining room with a snug family area, a separate sitting room, five bedrooms, big windows, a utility room and a stand-alone garage. In fact, one of the en-suite bedrooms is situated where the garage used to be.

Phillippa’s design work also extended to the garden and the garage. She incorporated the original stand-alone garage into the new house to make it wider and it is now a fifth bedroom with an en-suite. The new garage is now in line with the front of the property.

In the garden, the fence has been moved from its original position to the property's boundary which means the garden is now much larger. 

We have had to make tweaks to the designs along the way to achieve planning consent but Phillippa has kept in touch every step of the way with emails and photos.

We bought the property for £620,000 in March 2016 and we moved into rented accommodation six months later for the work to begin. With a mild winter and excellent workmen, we moved back in at Easter 2017 so it was eight months from start-to-finish.

We have recently had the house valued at £1.1 million – but we have no plans to move. This is our dream family home and we intend to enjoy living here thanks to Phillippa’s fantastic designs.


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