Private House, Cumbria, UK
This recently converted farm building sits on a valley shoulder with the morning sun rising over the Yorkshire Dales in the east, and setting sun behind the Lake District hills to the west.
Frustratingly, these views were compromised inside the house, and while the owners were happy enough to be outside, it rains 200 days a year, which is not ideal for taking in the views.
Furthermore, the single storey element to the north of the building was a converted garage with low ceiling, cold, and difficult to get to past a WC and utility room.
The project quickly became known as ‘Project Light’ – how to make subtle changes to the layout and fabric to maximise light in and views out.
At first floor we introduced four new rooflights – one over the stairs, and three more over bedrooms, which, along with bathrooms were re-fitted and decorated.
The single storey element was to become a multi-use space – a study for working at home, a work room for sewing, again with rooflights above and rooms made taller by removing the ceiling and building into the roof.
Larger windows and French doors were also expanded or added. A discrete utility room (again toplit) re-used the existing kitchen cabinetry, appliances and fittings; and a small WC were relocated to this end of the house. Finally a ‘cat tunnel’ through half a metre of external wall for the newly acquired rescue cat was installed.
The front entrance already consisted of a large glazed door and window, although we found this was slowly rotting; and entered into a small lobby. We knocked through to the dining room and out the other side with another large set of French doors, extended the kitchen into the former utility room and installed a log burner (which also additionally heats the upstairs bedroom).
The result is that now the owners can sit in the house and take in the views to both sides almost anywhere on the ground floor. The work room is now warm and cosy and the first floor is flooded with light.
Construction work was carried out by Ecotec Design and Build Ltd., in Kendal.
Photographs by Photography By Ward
Facts + Figures
Location: Cumbria, United Kingdom
Construction cost: Undisclosed
Programme: Completed 2019