The design brief:

To create a timeless, elegant and comfortable space for day-to-day family life. And to deliver a ‘wow factor’ when entertaining guests both inside and outside of the property.

Design principles in action

Biophilic design:

  • Prioritising the connection with nature, inside and out.
  • Focusing the nature of the space on refuge and relaxation.

Ecological design:

  • Sourcing local materials wherever possible
  • Using natural materials and commissioning artisan makers
  • Planting for wildlife and pollination

The project in focus

The property is wonderfully positioned. It sits in Windermere, part of a National Park and UNESCO world heritage site. The location is stunning and mature beech trees and gardens surround the house.

The original building was in poor condition. Charlotte oversaw a full refurbishment, modernisation and substantial extension with the creation of a large garage block.

Significant strategic amendments to the layout allow the house to flow. They also optimise garden views.

The key to this was to add a large two-storey extension to the house. This included a new kitchen-diner and a full luxurious master suite above.

Additionally, Charlotte added a garden room to the building. This draws the eye out to the wonderful garden and woodland beyond. The experience on arrival is a large entrance hall flooded with light and a wonderful sense of space.

Outside, the gardens were fully landscaped. They now feature:

  • a gated and cobbled entrance drive
  • raised borders and beds
  • water feature and topiary planting

The scheme is lush with a focus on wildlife- and pollinator-friendly planting.

There’s a large family-friendly lawn to the rear of the property. And large terraces flanking the property. Sited on either side of the garden room, they are perfect for al-fresco entertaining.

The significant garage block has a bespoke clocktower. Charlotte sourced locally for the hedging and high stone walls. They create absolute privacy and refuge. 

A biophilic and ecological design

Charlotte emphasised natural materials and quality daylight. Each room invites captivates and intrigues. The neutral, calm colour palette features subdued nature-inspired accent colours. Extensive use of stone, wood and upholstery adds a greater depth to the space.

Each material provides a sensory connection to nature, whilst being practical and tactile.

The house felt dark due to the lack of windows. Those that existed were small and too high. Adding many new windows introduced great amounts of daylight. They also frame the views out to the gardens and ancient woodland beyond.

Natural limestone flooring provides a practical surface for the family and their animals. Running through the main areas it’s warmed by underfloor heating.

Upstairs, a luxurious natural Brintons carpet runs throughout. And there’s natural stone flooring and tiling to the bathrooms.

Charlotte collaborated with Tom Howley to create a large and luxurious bespoke kitchen. This kitchen is an immersive room and has become the heart of the home.

Volga blue granite worktops connect to the sense of being in the Lake District. Lake Windermere is only a stone’s throw away. The colours within the granite echo those found in the natural rugged landscape. Streams, rivers and lakes abound.

A large solid oak butcher’s block sits atop the drum cupboard. It adds warmth and comfort and speaks of the woodland seen from the kitchen windows. A neutral shade for the cabinetry and walls provides a calming atmosphere. The kitchen is bright and spacious.

Combining old and new

The bones of this building were solid. The original stone was indicative of many significant buildings in the local area. Charlotte honoured this and designed the extensions to ‘match in’. You cannot tell where the old house ends and the new elements begin.

An automated ‘home control system’ includes:

  • Intelligent lighting
  • CCTV
  • Bang and Olufsen sound system
  • Heating control

All operate remotely if required. The sound system extends to the rear entertainment patio. And to the front breakfast patio.

Window seats and inglenooks create strong indoor refuge conditions. They also frame views internally and out to the gardens.

Chesney’s installed three fireplaces, perhaps the most impressive in the entrance hall. It’s a stone chimneypiece of Italianate design. Its proportions are generous, it has a very wide mantle shelf, and a hearth made from local slate.

This huge fireplace provides a focal point and grounds the open space. Once lit, it’s a sensory stimulus. It creates a magnificent atmosphere within the entrance hall.

The garden room is full height with exposed timber trusses with windows to three sides. It includes French doors that open onto the large terrace. A bright, light and informal space in which to relax and enjoy the views out onto the garden and woodland beyond.

The study has bespoke oak bookcases and storage cabinets. It provides refuge from the household. Charlotte designed this space to help improve creativity and productivity.

Two of the statement bathrooms feature Philip Stark sanitaryware. The third features Kohler. The guest suite bathroom includes fittings from Kohler. Its large roll-top bath takes advantage of the woodland views. What a restorative experience for house guests.

The vaulted ceiling in the master bedroom creates a feeling of space. It is home to a statement light fitting. To create a serene space, Charlotte included handcrafted wardrobes and drawers and built-in media cabinetry.  A luxurious master en-suite incorporates ‘his’ and ‘hers’ basins. There’s also an oversized bathtub and large rainfall shower.

The end result is a timeless, relaxing house. The garden is ideal for entertaining. The whole project incorporates family-friendly spaces.