Transforming a small bungalow into a spacious contemporary family home 

Homedene has recently obtained planning consent. This upgrade, located in the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), required collaborative negotiations with the local authority to achieve the desired dwelling for our clients. The proposed form and chosen materials were subject to controversy, but through careful discussions, we were able to create a design that met our client's dreams.

Project Status: Pre-construction

Local Authority: Wealden District Council

Project Size: 154 sqm

The proposed design of Homedene involves removing the existing clay-pitched roof and introducing a spacious flat-roofed element, effectively adding a whole new storey to the house, as well as opening up the connections and views to the garden and considerably upgrading the thermal envelope. Additionally, a side extension with a projecting master suite provides breathtaking views of the Wealden countryside that were previously inaccessible.

The metal-clad single-storey entrance porch floods with light from a large overhead roof light within the vaulted ceiling of this space. Large cupboards line the space, providing much-needed storage for busy family life. To the right, the staircase leads up to the first floor, but a secret snug is also accessed from the half landing—a quirky device employed to create a private sanctuary and maximise space.

Passing through the entrance hall, a walk-through 'show pantry' helps organise the overflow of kitchen paraphernalia. A utility room and downstairs toilet are accessed from this transitional space. A 'hidden door' opens up to the kitchen, where views through floor-to-ceiling glazing extend across the garden—these views can be appreciated from the moment you step through the front door. The kitchen, although modest, utilises clever storage solutions, a pantry cupboard, and a social kitchen island.

The L-shaped living space at the rear of the house creates a cosy yet functional social area, with the dining table overlooking the patio and large sliding doors creating an alfresco experience. A comfortable seating area with a log-burning stove is designed for the family to enjoy each other's company and for friends to gather. A timber-clad wall conceals the opening to the playroom—a flexible space that can be viewed from the kitchen while cooking or closed off when the toys threaten to take over.

Upstairs, three double bedrooms, including the master suite, and a family bathroom await. The ceiling will feature expressed joists, enhancing the sense of height, as part of the planning consideration was to keep the overall height of the extended dwelling to a minimum.

The master bedroom is a beautiful space, with a projecting element that allows for a window seat with views over the Wealden countryside. An ensuite bathroom is accessed away from the sleeping area, and a dressing area adds a touch of luxury to the suite.

The proposed materials are charred timber and black standing seam metal, a nod to the Wealden vernacular and a modern simplicity to blend the dwelling into the shadows of the site.

Family living and flexibility are at the heart of this project, with the practicality and storage required for a multitude of overlapping activities for all ages occurring in the same space, from playdoh and homework to baking and entertaining. The robust yet beautiful spaces at Homedene really reflect the activities and varied users of the house; cosy and comfortable, stylish and chic, tough and moppable are all adjectives that have been considered in tandem during the design of this house.

Our clients are self-build pioneers; their vision is to create a highly insulated and sustainable home, incorporating contemporary materials such as charred timber cladding and standing seam metal and proving that good design can be built to a budget with hard graft and resourcefulness. We invite you to stay updated as we progress with this exciting project.

Homedene will be under construction in Spring 2024.

This case study will be updated; watch this space.


Do you have a bungalow that you feel could be so much more? Contact us today to learn more about the design process and how Studio Bloom can help you realise your dream project.