Living in Hongkong but planning in the long term to return to England as their children reached school age, a couple enlisted the help of the wife’s father, a recently retired architect, to find a perfect family home. The brief stipulated that it had to have easy access to London, a great view and plenty of space and light – a tall order, but one that produced and admirable result. Prepared to undertake extensive work, they found a country house in a perfect location down a quiet lane in Surrey. The architect and his daughter, a designer, set about the plans, largely by fax and telephone. The rather uninspiring farmhouse was turned into an enviably large light home with an elegant facade, which include the construction of a foible – height Regency-style curved front.
Old barns were demolished to create a vast kitchen and informal dining area, beyond which are family sitting-room, the designer’s office and garages. There is a lightness of touch about the interiors that reminds one of colonial living – few curtains, cotton slip – covered furniture, Asian antiques and coir matting on bare floorboards. The bedrooms are pale but cozy, with marble bathrooms.