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06 Sep 2021

Updating a Childhood Home

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When Vic and Heidi Daniels embarked on a home renovation for Vic’s childhood home – a 1950s bungalow based in Winchester, Hampshire – they placed open-plan living at the very heart of the brief. As keen entertainers and avid cooks, the pair turned to The Myers Touch for a relaxing yet fun kitchen scheme. The resulting area is a charming place where friends and family can perch and chatter whilst meals are prepared and necessities, such as the utility room and home office, are innovatively concealed behind tall units.

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In this article, i-Build’s Editor, Rebecca Kemp, sits down with homeowner Heidi Daniels and Keith Myers, Designer at The Myers Touch, to discover more about the impressive transformation.

Heidi Daniels, homeowner

RK: What inspired you to take on this project?
HD: My husband grew up in the bungalow, and it was his mother’s wish for us to move in after she passed away. We always knew the house had great potential for renovation. We had a clear image of what it could look like. It is within walking distance of the village, marina and the New Forest. It’s a very peaceful location and is perfect to live out the rest of our years.

RK: Had you always wanted to pursue your own project?
HD: We have done two other renovation projects in the past; however, this one is our last, and forever, home.

RK: What style and age is the building?
HD: The bungalow is a typical 1953 dwelling.

RK: How did you combine the original building style with the extension?
HD: We wanted the front of the building to fit in with the rest of the street. From the road, you cannot see the renovations we have done. Every internal wall has been knocked down, and we have started from scratch, with a large extension on the back.

RK: What was the vision and inspiration behind your new home?
HD: Having a Swiss background, I have grown up around good-quality and stylish interiors. I knew exactly what colours and style I wanted for our forever home.

RK: How did you approach finalising your design brief?
HD: An awful amount of research and numerous meetings with both the architect and The Myers Touch.

RK: How long did it take to gain planning permission?
HD: It took approximately eight weeks.

RK: Are there any particular materials that you would recommend to others looking to renovate?
HD: We tried to keep away from shiny materials to keep a more contemporary yet rustic look. From experience, these are pretty hard to keep smear-free. We went for quartz worktops, as they are resistant to high temperatures and scratches.

RK: Did you remain within the original budget?
HD: The total budget was around £230,000, but with all the extras and garden improvements, total costs were about £300,000.

RK: What does the local community think of the refurbishment?
HD: All our neighbours and friends are very impressed with the standard and design of our property. Residents of the road are happy we kept the original style.

RK: Is the finished space everything that you hoped it would be?
HD: The finished refurbishment is everything and more than we could have hoped for. Since completion, we have inspired some friends and family to take on refurbishments rather than move house.

RK: What do you love most about your new home?
HD: We particularly love the open-plan aspect; it’s so light and airy. The bi-fold doors give us that indoor-outdoor style of living that we both like.

RK: What is your favourite room and why?
HD: The kitchen/dining room is our favourite; it’s where we spend nearly all of our time. The room feels cosy; however, it’s also brilliant for entertaining.

RK: Is there anything that you would have done differently?
HD: The only thing we would have done is made the spare bedroom slightly larger.

RK: Would you do the whole thing again?
HD: We have really enjoyed the experience, but this will be our last renovation. We knew this would be our forever home when we started, so we appreciated this project the most – making decisions like choosing the colours of the bricks and picking the bathroom fittings and starting from scratch, so everything suits our lifestyle and needs.

RK: What advice would you offer to anyone looking to renovate?
HD: My advice would be to get yourself a good architect, choose your builder carefully, get recommendations and check out their work before committing. Obtain a price for the job and get a fixed price in writing if you decide on any extras. If possible, move out and let them get on with the building work without interruptions.

Keith Myers, Designer at The Myers Touch

RK: Were there any challenging aspects to the project and build?
KM: The most challenging aspect of designing the kitchen was that there was too much space! There was a large L-shaped spacious room to fill. I cut one section off the L-shape to make it straight and rectangular. Then, I used the part of that shape to incorporate the utility, pantry and boot room area behind the pocket door system – which is an excellent use of the space that Heidi and Vic loved. It also brought the island into the central area of the kitchen\living space.

RK: Talk us through the products that you used.
KM: Heidi and Vic went for the SieMatic SLC Handleless range with contrasting colours of Java Oak for the base and wall units with the tall units in Agate Grey (where their home office and utility is neatly located and accessed through hidden doors between the kitchen and bar areas). The Daniels wanted a premium product and a very warm and cosy palette, so the SieMatic range was ideal. They also didn’t want any worktop joins in the kitchen island, so we created a stone breakfast bar. Here, we used a 12mm Dekton slab, and we ran a U-shape of 30m Silestone around it. This created a combination of materials and a perfect flow of the island to the breakfast bar. A bronze mirror on the sink splashback contributes more light to open up the room further, and the mix of Dekton and Silestone worktops with contrasting colours adds to the room’s mood.

Heidi and Vic’s kitchen/diner budget:

Kitchen: £44,725
Wine area: £9000
Utility: £3800

Further information....

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