How did you find your inspiration?
My travels have certainly influenced the build, but above all, I was terrified of spoiling the beauty of what we already had, which is extremely easy to do when you extend a period property - something already time-worn. So, with the help of some excellent architects, we designed a modular style extension that mimics local farm building vernacular.
Although a contemporary build, I didn't want a shiny new, modern interior. The new needed to respect the old, so we chose natural raw materials throughout - all beautifully imperfect. For example, we have raw plaster walls - there's no paint - it’s sealed with beeswax. All the windows are lined with oak. The gable end of the original house which is now an interior wall, was repointed with lime and left exposed. The kitchen is also oak with Welsh slate worktops, and the floors are raw concrete - a modern take on flagstones. All of these materials are perfectly imperfect and will age and develop a patina as a result of use - and that was a key principle.
I also wanted a large family space with far-reaching views where everyone could congregate. The rooms are pretty small in the old part of the house, so it wasn't big enough for us all, especially if we had friends over. The kids would disappear up to their bedrooms, separating the family. The new light and open-plan space means everyone now hangs out together, which is really lovely.