When David and Ann Lofthouse bought an average 1960’s home, who would have thought today it would be a luxurious New England style home that stands in the beautiful hamlet near Hartley Wintney in Hampshire.
David travelled extensively through the USA through his twenty two year career as an Investment Banker and lived in New York for a while. Whilst in America he visited the New England region and fell in love with the style of homes there. David started collecting magazine cuttings as inspiration for when he could bring his dream to life on his return back to the UK.
The Lofthouses purchased the property back in 2012 for £700,000. They started the renovations in April 2013 and moved in nine months later to enjoy their first Christmas in their new home. They continued to work on the property over the next few years and completed the top floor of the house much later in 2017.
The couple always knew that they would have to totally rebuild the property, in fact they ended up rebuilding about 80% of the property and renovating 20% as they really wanted to save and use as much as possible of the original property as they could. This resulted in removing the back of the house, taking the property down to the original foundations and adding two stories. An important aspect was to align the house with the garden so that it had an uninterrupted view over the entire garden. In order to achieve this they undertook the complicated task of realigning the house so the sight line from the house through to the garden was perfect and gave the ultimate view.
The property was originally 1500 square feet and had four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The main focus of the home was a very ugly brick centre circular wall, which encased a central staircase within the property. David and Ann really liked the original staircase and solid wood bannister and therefore they decided to keep and incorporate them into the new look home.
The end result of the project was a 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom property covering 5000 sq ft (430m2).
David and Ann said how they had three key focal areas throughout the house build project. They really wanted to build a low maintenance home that would serve a busy working family. Therefore they wanted the most suitable windows and door options as well as cladding options to deliver the ‘New England’ look which also kept maintenance down to a minimum. In addition, they wanted to be as eco-friendly as they possibly could and thirdly, they wanted to utilise the expertise of local craftsmen to support the local economy.
FOCUS ON WINDOWS
When it came to the windows and doors, with the help of local based experts Sherborne, they made the decision to opt for Evolution wood effect timber alternative windows and French doors, all in a wood effect white finish both internally and externally, which at the time, their architect was unsure if the right look could be achieved.
“We were told that we would never get the look of a timber window and that we should look to invest in solid wood windows.” David stated, “We worked incredibly closely with our local window expert Chris Long from Sherborne Windows to find the perfect solution for us and our home. On Chris’s advice we opted for windows and doors from Evolution Windows as we knew that they would deliver the authentic look of a timber window but with none of the laborious up-keep needed for maintaining wooden windows. Our Architect did eventually admit that they weren’t aware of timber alternative windows and that they were the most realistic wood effect windows they had ever seen!”
David and Ann were very proud to tell us that everyone that visits the house are totally convinced that all of the windows are real timber and they can’t quite believe that there are not. They really feel strongly that Evolution Timber Alternative Windows are the perfect solution as they have got the look of real wood to complement the ‘New England’ style but without the need for regular sanding and repainting.
Sherborne fitted twenty-four Evolution windows throughout the property. They chose very specific looking Stormproof windows to maintain the clean traditional lines of the property, which included handcrafted Georgian bars as well as clear panels across the bottom with floating mullions to maintain a perfect view out of the window as well as small top lights. Another important detail to the windows was the addition of traditional wrought iron Monkey Tail handles throughout that helped to achieve the timber traditional window aesthetic.
Chris from Sherborne Windows also added; “The windows were designed to fit perfectly within the cladding to create a New England feel to the property, we came up with the design and specification for the way the windows sat within the cladding/cheeks to ensure the required look was achieved.”
A series of Evolution white wood finish timber alternative windows and doors were fitted throughout the property including three bespoke round Porthole windows, keeping the nautical theme within the home as well as a mix of Storm and Flush windows, three French doors and two single patio doors from the English Door Company from Evolution.
GALLEY STYLE LANDING
A key focus within the house is the ‘galley’ style landing and staircase that really is the heart of the home. David and Ann wanted to achieve a ‘ship like’ galley centre piece to the home and this was achieved by the addition of using two Evolution Flush square bay windows on the landing and lower landing area. This gave a contrast between the square bay of the landing area next to the curving staircase and bannister.
BEDROOMS AND BALCONIES
The impressive upstairs extension housed an incredible ‘celebrity style’ dressing room, superb luxury bathroom and large master bedroom, with picture perfect views out through the Evolution French Doors onto a Juliet balcony with a stunning view of the garden and pool.
We asked David what his favourite part of the house was and he answered that his 11 year old daughter really has possibly the best bedroom in the house as she has the benefit of stepping out to an expansive ‘sun trap’ balcony overlooking the pool and gardens with amazing views from her bedroom and ensuite.
From the balcony you have a great view of the roof of the Orangery that was fitted to the ceiling of the kitchen area. Sherborne Windows again, worked very closely with David and his Builders and Architect to design and fit a unique glass Orangery roof that was lower than the normal specification to ensure they didn’t lose the New England look to the rear of the property.
STRESS FREE EXPERIENCE
So were David and Ann glad with the end result? They both seemed incredibly happy and proud of the property and David was excited to see his New England aspirations finally come to life.
David also spoke about how actually it was fairly stress free experience mainly down to the partnering of great, reliable and cost effective local craftsmen and suppliers. He cited that he couldn’t have achieved these results without the honest and supportive counsel of window and door experts Sherborne Windows as well as his other trusted suppliers; “Everyone got so involved in the project and we now recommend the suppliers to all of our family and friends. We will certainly have an easier time on our next property now we know a good group of reliable professionals.”