A painstaking restoration and extension of a Grade II listed former mill house that breathes new life into a characterful and much-loved family home.
What was the client’s brief?
For many, mill houses evoke the romance of pre-industrial Britain, juxtaposing practical workspaces alongside traditional cottage-style living areas, and often located in sought-after rural enclaves. With higgledy-piggledy charm in spades, The Mill House presented its new owners with an unmissable opportunity to create a unique family home in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside benefiting from spectacular views. The Grade II listed building required an ambitious plan and sympathetic handling to restore its character, though, with a vision to unite the disparate sections into a design that was fit for modern living and ready to face the future.
What did we do?
We felt it was important to take a fresh eye to the centuries-old house, establishing a better flow through the rooms and, where possible, designating comfortable, open-plan living spaces that would allow the family to spend time together. But we also wanted to celebrate the survival of a mill house that had witnessed much over the years – not least, regular visits by the late Queen Mother who was a good friend of the previous owners! Preserving the charm of a venerable building, while writing a bold new chapter in its history means achieving a happy balance between restoration and innovation – a balance we believe is fundamental to the success of the Mill House.
What challenges did we need to overcome?
The building’s fabric had been sadly neglected and required careful restoration. Because of its proximity to water – the remnants of the old millrace can still be traced through the garden – the house has not only seen accelerated deterioration of its infrastructure but is also classified as being situated in the highest-possible flood risk area. Because of its listed status, every replacement requires the consent of the local conservation team – with whom we, thankfully, enjoy a close professional relationship. Thanks to our non-contact laser scanning technology, Point Cloud Survey, we’ve also been able to share precise design details with project partners in a simple and visual way – something that’s created tangible efficiencies along the way. Did we mention the seven types of protected bat species that occupied the site?
What is the finished result?
The mill house now proudly showcases the different chapters in its life story – clearly documenting its journey through the years. Now free of its unsympathetic additions – including the 1970s conservatory – and with the stunning new contemporary extension in situ, the Mill House can finally make the most of its glorious setting, providing enviable views over the surrounding fields from what is now a wonderfully characterful country retreat. With an awkward hodgepodge of rooms transformed into layout that makes sense as a family home, the house now looks forward to another century of useful life – something that should please the generations of occupiers yet to come.
See photograph’s from the completed project.
We’ve helped transform many wonderful living spaces through renovations and extensions over the years.
Whether you’re looking for a contemporary glass addition, a complete makeover for a period Victorian or Edwardian property, internal remodelling options for houses built more recently, or a complete restoration of a derelict building, we’ll be able to help.
Using our 3D design process, you can explore a range of alterations before embarking on the more detailed phase of your renovation or extension.
With our wealth of experience working on listed and heritage properties across London and the South East, HollandGreen has successfully negotiated consents with Local Authority Conservation Officers and with Historic England for a wide range of renovation and extension planning requests.
We work with Specialist Heritage Consultants, and Archaeologists to provide detailed assessments of historic buildings, and have gained approval for ambitious, but sympathetic alterations to properties of historic interest, including those Grade ii* which fall within the top 3% of protected properties in the UK.
For many people the prospect of building their own home is the ultimate dream. At HollandGreen, we’re proud of the fact that we have helped a number of people achieve this dream.
If you are fortunate enough to have a plot of land that has the potential to be built on, or a house that you would like to knock down and start again with a blank piece of paper, we’d love to help.
We can advise on likely planning implications to help establish the feasibility of your project. Our exciting design journey will help you navigate through planning, choosing your builder, and delivering your dream new home.
Barn conversions offer the perfect opportunity to create a unique countryside home, packed with character. At HollandGreen, we’ve had extensive experience in converting existing agricultural buildings into residential dwellings, in accordance to the recent changes to ‘Class Q’ Permitted Development Rights.
From traditional listed stone walled buildings with slate roofing, to more modern metal clad farm sheds for the modern, industrial look, you can create luxurious country living perfect for you. What a great opportunity to create a characterful family home that’s sympathetic to its rural setting, and generally larger in volume and scale than a modern build.
Many properties fall within locations specified as a Conservation Area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) and we have specific experience working with planning departments across London, Surrey, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire.
Please do get in touch if you have any specific questions around what can be possible within a Conservation Area, even if you are just at the early stage of purchasing the property.
Luxury Basements & Pools.
If you’re battling to add space to your property, creating a basement storey can provide the perfect option to add significant living space, without having to move.
To find out whether adding a basement to your property will add value to your house, we recommend seeking advice from your local estate agents. Talk to us about Permitted Development Rights, as basement extensions are often possible, if a cellar space already exists.
Luxury Kitchens & Lofts.
The way people use their living space is changing. We find that for most of our clients, the kitchen is now the hub of the modern home, and we’re proud that we’ve become known for our inventive and aspirational kitchen extensions.
We’ve helped hundreds of home owners across London and the South East create open, bright and contemporary kitchen living spaces that combine cooking, dining and living within one social and inviting area.
We’re also known for our carefully considered, aesthetically pleasing loft extensions that both increase living space and add a wonderful new aspect to your home.
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- Luxury Kitchens & Lofts