Whilst the layout of the upper floor of the family’s home needed some adjustment to incorporate a wheelchair lift and accessible bathroom, there was little more for us to do than to introduce an interior design scheme that created areas of respite for each member of the family.
The key ground floor space that required our attention was the multi-functional kitchen dining space. Here, we were keen to introduce a wood burning stove as a social focal point – one that could be seen from the accessible kitchen and timber clad dining area. Added to this was the need to create good views and easy access to the garden – where a world of opportunities opened up to us.
We treated the exterior space as a direct extension of the home’s interior, and could offer up numerous ways to be active, socialise, relax and recuperate. Central to this we installed a timber pergola structure to subdivide the garden, separating off key activity areas including a breakfast café table, a fire pit, a log chopping area, and the jacuzzi - essential for Ollie’s physiotherapy.
Beyond the pergola at the far end of the garden we reinstated Darren’s shed with an accessible workbench where his tools were laid out ready for action. Adjacent to that was an exterior covered dining area to be enjoyed in all weathers, plus a hangout space for the kids – to be known as Ollie’s Bar.
Each area was further subdivided using colour and texture, including the patterned garden floor tiles – which turned out to be somewhat of an issue for one member of the build team!
The pergola and surrounding planters allowed for the inclusion of gently swaying plants and flowers (many of which were reclaimed from the existing garden), plus a water feature to introduce the calming sound of water – masking the noise from a nearby dual carriageway.
It was a total pleasure to weave our wellbeing and biophilic design approach into a home in such need of attention, delivering a wide variety of spaces for the famliy. We know that updating a home's interior doesn’t fix lives or any greater problems, but it’s certainly a way to help create a happier, safer space to boost psychological wellbeing for those suffering.
We wish Darren, Harvey, Mike and Ollie all the best for the future.
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