Dream Devon Home

Transparently Clever

This period bungalow has been reinvented as a striking modern home, with improved energy efficiency and space for socialising

6 November 2015

The owners of the 1940s/50s bungalow wanted to retain the essence of what had been their father’s home, while redesigning the house to provide flexible entertaining space. Harris McMillan Architecture and Design was approached by the clients to come up with a creative, but also sensitive, solution.

The requirements were to modernise the facilities, maximise the amenity value of the garden and improve energy efficiency. The clients wished to use local tradesmen and suppliers and natural materials wherever possible. Looking ahead to retirement, they also wanted accessible wet-room-type bathrooms.

The property is located in a village on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, but there were no specific planning restrictions. Harris McMillan’s first step was to prepare some alternative layout options by creating a model of the house as it was using 3D software. Once planning permission had been gained, detailed proposals were prepared with the advice of professionals and suppliers.

A holistic approach was key in reducing energy consumption. Improved insulation and new heating and ventilation systems were installed, including underfloor central heating, with back-up provided by a solid-fuel stove. The solar thermal hot-water system was augmented by air-source heat pumps. A mechanical ventilation and heat recovery system (MVHR) was installed to catch heat and energy that is usually lost. All this was completed by Cooks Energy in Newton Abbot.

A key feature of the design was unlocking the potential of the loft space by raising the pitched roof. This enabled the double-height extension to be fully integrated with the main room and allowed sufficient headroom to create the study and first-floor bedrooms. The internal area was increased by 50%, adding value and transforming the bungalow into a light and airy home, perfect for socialising.

Entrance lobby

About Devon Home magazine

Devon Home is published by We Make Magazines, a family-owned Devon company. The only specialist interiors magazine for the county, Devon Home is a celebration of homes, gardens and interiors, with expert information from local designers, architects and craftspeople. Together with our Devon-based writers and sales team, we show you how to improve and love your living space.

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