House Renovation | Chidingly

Client review: “Darryl created a splendid property when asked to design our total renovation and extension. We were very precise in what we wanted. The builders found the plans easy to follow. He also has some good contacts such as structural engineers and project managers.”

The Brief


Our mission is to skillfully rejuvenate a derelict cottage, transforming it into an expansive 4-bedroom family residence. The design will thoughtfully incorporate the stunning views of the Sussex National South Downs, while emphasizing ample storage, abundant natural light, and a harmonious open-plan living space. With a delicate balance of professionalism and creativity, we strive to craft a home that inspires unforgettable memories, nestled within the picturesque landscape and reflecting modern architectural elegance.


This project certainly had its fair share of challenges!

The existing cottage was in a less-than-ideal state, and during the build, we faced a few unexpected surprises. As we unveiled the hidden elements of the cottage, we discovered that it desperately needed underpinning to ensure structural stability for the future. But every cloud has a silver lining, and this project was no exception.

In the midst of these hurdles, we found opportunities for creativity and sustainability. Some of the existing roof timbers could be salvaged, recycled, and repurposed as unique design features elsewhere in the transformed space. By incorporating these reclaimed elements, we could breathe new life into the home while preserving a touch of its original character.

Key Requests

Our client had a clear vision for their dream home, with a keen focus on four essential aspects that would come together to create a space that’s both inviting and functional.

  • Captivating views: To fully appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the South Downs, our client desired to make the most of these stunning vistas from every window in the home. A design that frames nature’s masterpiece, bringing inspiration and serenity to daily life.
  • Spacious bedrooms: The request was for four generously-sized double bedrooms, each complete with ample storage solutions. A well-planned layout ensures privacy and comfort for every family member and guest.
  • Honouring heritage: Paying tribute to the existing building’s history, our client wanted to ensure the design respected and preserved the essence of the original cottage, infusing it with new life and purpose.
  • Open-plan living: To foster a sense of togetherness and seamless flow, the client envisioned an open-plan living space, where family and friends could gather, celebrate, and create lasting memories.

    With these key requests in mind, we set out to design a remarkable family residence that beautifully intertwines modern living, nature’s splendour, and a nod to the past.

    The Outcome

    Woodside Cottage has been beautifully transformed into a modern haven, spread across two levels and enveloped by picturesque gardens on three sides. This charming residence boasts an array of inviting outdoor spaces, including courtyards, decked areas, and a lush lawn, perfect for relaxing and entertaining.

    On the ground floor, you’ll discover:

    • An open-plan family room for shared moments and memories
    • A spacious living room, perfect for cosy evenings
    • A dual-aspect dining room that invites lively conversation
    • A high-specification kitchen, complete with modern amenities and underfloor heating

    The custom oak and glass staircase gracefully ascends to a generous open gallery landing, featuring:

    • A comfortable seating area for relaxation
    • Doors that open onto a rear south-facing garden, inviting the outdoors in

    Key Features:

    • Exposed beams: A nod to the cottage’s heritage, adding warmth and character
    • Sympathetic design: A harmonious blend of old-world charm and contemporary aesthetics
    • Modern living arrangement: Thoughtful spaces that cater to the needs of today’s families

    Step into Woodside Cottage, where timeless elegance meets modern comfort and experience a home that truly captures the essence of luxurious living.


    Our expertise in Architectural Design extends beyond the aesthetics of this project. As part of our comprehensive approach, we offer services to design a house plan tailored to your unique requirements.

    Our Architectural Design process involves the creation of detailed Architectural Design drawings, which meticulously capture every aspect of your dream home. We also navigate the complexities of building regulation plans, ensuring that our designs adhere to both building regulations and planning permission guidelines.

    By incorporating innovative Architectural ideas and working closely with you to draw a house design that reflects your vision, we strive to make the planning and design process as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Our commitment to excellence ensures that you receive a bespoke, high-quality living space that meets your needs and exceeds your expectations.


    Our Services

    At Shear Architectural Design, we offer a range of services to help you bring your vision to life:

    We assist with gaining planning permission and building regulations, ensuring that your project meets all necessary requirements.

    Contact us today, on 01273 740642 to learn more about how we can help you create the home of your dreams!

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