Cornwall LivingIssue #76
Realising a vision
We speak to Tom Russell from RA Design, who tells us all about his own impressive home project.
After settling on a home in Helston close to Parc Eglos School, RA Design’s Tom Russell, his fiancée Georgina and their two children embarked on transforming their new family home. Taking around 16 weeks from start to finish, they were able to turn a three-bedroom bungalow – where one bedroom was little more than a cupboard – into their five-bedroom dream home.
“It’s easy to get stuck on one design aspect, but we’re lucky enough to have a second, fresh set of eyes to help us overcome things.”
Tom was able to realise his family’s vision with help from business partner, Chris Strike. “Chris and I always bounce ideas off each other about work projects, and it’s no different when it comes to our own homes”, Tom tells us. “It’s easy to get stuck on one design aspect, but we’re lucky enough to have a second, fresh set of eyes to help us overcome things.”
To achieve their goal, Tom and Georgina decided to demolish everything except for three of the outside and half the internal walls. Extending the north and west with a timber frame flat roof, they were able to gain a fifth bedroom on the northern side, as well as a utility room. “It also allowed us to have a very large, open plan kitchen, dining and living room, with bi-fold doors leading out to the garden.”
“The flat roof extension was constructed using a parapet wall design, giving it a much boxier, more modern look. Downstairs, we extended the two bedrooms into the garage and made them large doubles with walk-in wardrobes.”
But it’s not just the inside they transformed. Once the build was complete in November last year, Tom and Georgina set to work on the garden. “We now have a triangular decking that wraps around to the utility door. This hides the manholes in the rear garden but still allows easy access. We have rubber chippings in the kids’ play area, where we’ve installed a swing, and there’s even a quiet area that the two of us can enjoy.”
Despite the restrictions that the original home presented, this project proves that with a little determination and by putting their heads together, Tom, Chris and the rest of the team at RA Design can work to even the most demanding of briefs. With a wealth of experience in some of Cornwall’s most unique properties and beautiful locations, if you’re considering a home project but need expert advice to help realise your vision, why not give the RA Design team a call?
"It’s easy to get stuck on one design aspect, but we’re lucky enough to have a second, fresh set of eyes to help us overcome things."