Let there be light!

It may be small, with just two bedrooms, but “Little Lodge” packs a mighty punch in the design stakes. The project won the “Spirit of Self-Build” section of the Daily Telegraph Homebuilding & Renovating 2019 awards. It was also short-listed in the 2017 West Midlands Local Authority Building Control (LABC) awards.

The Brief

Marketing and advertising agency boss Sam Parr had earmarked a tricky, compact site to build her dream home. Measuring just 10m by 14m, in a conservation area next to a Grade II listed property, at Chenevare Mews, off High Street in the South Staffordshire village of Kinver, the plot was in a flood zone with shallow sewers.

The Creative Solution

Due to the constriction imposed by surrounding buildings, Andrea decided to “flip” the house so that the main, open plan living spaces are upstairs, where the vaulted ceiling allows light to flood down the staircase, even to the bedrooms on the lower level.

A raised ground floor was incorporated to overcome the flood plain issue.

Samantha, who managed the project herself, used local builders and sourced materials from the nearby area, from the concrete to the conservation approved bricks.

The structure, featuring French oak, was manufactured off site and transported to Chenevare Mews piece by piece.

The energy-efficient building used the latest construction techniques but, because of restricted access to the site, the 2m deep foundations had to be laid through hand-digging, alongside the use of a mini digger.

The Result

Wow! A real bijou residence full of light and warmth, with controlled views out over the trees bordering the flood plain of the River Stour – and multiple views of the sky.

Andrea was great at flooding light into the property with the use of glass – and the design maximises space as it has a vaulted ceiling.

Client Sam Parr

This beautifully designed compact self-build is a masterclass in what can be achieved in a remarkable 15 weeks with a clear vision, a dose of tenacity and sheer grit. Building on such a tight site wasn’t easy but with the traders, designers and homeowner all working together, the result is a house that’s packed full of well-crafted detail and personality.

Michelle Guy, assistant editor of Homebuilding & Renovating magazine

Lyndon Darkes Design & Photography