10 Minutes With Temple & Co

As Director of the family business, Adib Farid talks about his own 1920s barn conversion project in Sussex.

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Temple & Co is a property development company that works with a number of clients from first time property investors to experienced entrepreneurs. For his most recent project, Adib took on the more personal challenge of developing his family home.

What made you want to take on this project?
I knew that this would be a massive project, and it was obvious that it needed a lot of work. The roof was practically falling apart when we bought it, but we saw it as a challenge. Straight away we could see the potential of the building itself.

It’s a property of interest to the Council because it’s a heritage asset, so the whole renovation had to be done very tastefully and in keeping with the surrounding area.
 
This was a project that my mum and I took on together. It was really great to work together on such a personal project.
What’s the history behind the original building?
The building itself was a 1920s barn and stables owned by an English family. You used to be able to drive through the barn to get to the main house, which is now our neighbors’ home. There’s a second floor in the front part of the house where a fully functioning clock tower used to be, so it’s an interesting place.

It was never really lived in - it was more of a shell of a building but it still had so much character. As it hadn’t been a house before we felt like we had a bit of a creative license, however we still wanted to respect the history of the building.

What’s the inspiration behind the interior?
With it being such a large space, I wanted to go for a very natural aesthetic with lots of light coming in from all sides. The barn didn’t have many windows at all, so we were very fortunate that the Council allowed us to have a courtyard in the middle of the property. We kept the original pentagon shape of the barn, so the courtyard sits in the centre with all the rooms dotted around it.

We created glass corridors with crittall style doors and managed to achieve a beautiful flow of light into the house. It was lovely to have that outside feeling whilst being indoors. It also allows you to see the greenery of either the courtyard or the back garden from every room in the house which we really love.

A few ideas were floated around when it came to the kitchen as it was a very important room for my mum. At one point we were thinking about going for an industrial style, but we decided on a more traditional English feel which worked well with the the minimal farmhouse vibe throughout the rest of the house.
How important was it to use sustainable materials?
We really focused on using high quality, sustainable materials in terms of windows and doors. We went for steel frames which really complemented the original features of the barn and its rustic feel. If we’d gone for aluminum or something cheaper it just wouldn't have had the same effect, nor would it have been as environmentally friendly.

The building has amazing oak beams and high ceilings so we wanted to carry on this aesthetic. We decided to have all the walls made from lime plaster which makes the house completely breathable and non-pollutant, as well as charming.

Throughout the project we tried to use local materials wherever possible. For example the driveway is made from Horsham Stone and we sourced our timber from a local supplier. The floors are all made from concrete, although we were in two minds about it. I’m glad we did it as it makes them blend into the rest of the interior – we didn’t want the floors to be a focal point.
 
The house is run by two air source heat pumps, so we don’t use any gas at all. It’s a really efficient set up.
What challenges did you face with your renovation?
The biggest challenge for us was having so many things to think about in terms of making the space work. We did change our mind on a few things along the way, such as the kitchen design and how we wanted the corridors to look.

There were also a lot of set conditions that we had to meet to protect the composition of the original building. My mum worked very closely with the heritage team who were amazing. We got there in the end with their input and ongoing support.

What made you go for Bronze switches and sockets?
I've had so many compliments on the switches and sockets, they’re so elegant and go really well with the crittall doors. They also add to the rustic effect of the lime plaster walls perfectly. I'm really glad I chose Corston products.

Why are the small details so important?
As a developer, it’s the finishing touches that are really fundamental to a project. I think a lot of people make the mistake of neglecting these details when it comes to the end of a project because they’ve already spent a lot of money. However I always budget for the finishing touches during the planning stage.

Of course it’s so important that the construction phase is done properly and to the highest standard possible, but the interior fittings are the first thing people see when they come in. These small details make up the bigger picture. When people view a property I always want them to experience high quality fittings because it’ll make them remember the building.

What’s your experience been like as a Corston trade customer?
The service at Corston is amazing and everyone is super helpful in terms of creative design ideas and knowing the products inside out. If you suddenly realise you need extra parts or more products, they’ll get shipped out to you so quickly.

The trade discount is so helpful and makes everything a bit more achievable when money is tight at the end of a project. It also makes Corston really competitive with a lot of other companies whose offering perhaps isn’t as high quality.