Ex­tend­ing a home is al­ways fraught with risk, es­pe­cially in the case of pe­riod prop­er­ties. it’s all too easy to com­pro­mise the in­tegrity of the orig­i­nal build­ing it­self and the nat­u­ral in­cli­na­tion is to try to match the style of the ex­ten­sion to that of the prop­erty – i’m sure we’ve all seen the re­sults when this ap­proach goes awry. how­ever, of­ten an ex­ten­sion is far more suc­cess­ful if the aim is not to cre­ate a ho­moge­nous look, but in­stead to make it very clear that the ad­di­tion is just that: an ad­di­tion. For a shin­ing ex­am­ple of this the­ory in prac­tice, see page 72. In this case, a listed for­mer brick­works in ox­ford­shire has been given new life and made fam­ily friendly, not with a faux 18th-cen­tury stone-built ex­ten­sion, but with a mod­ern glass box de­sign, which won the coun­cil’s ap­proval due to its clar­ity.

Cre­at­ing a sense of co­he­sion through­out a home can be dif­fi­cult, whether or not you’ve added an ex­ten­sion, and i’m en­vi­ous of those who have gone boldly back to scratch and com­pletely rein­vented the in­te­ri­ors of a long-stand­ing fam­ily prop­erty. Think­ing of my own home i have to ad­mit that i wouldn’t in­clude a teenage boy’s bed­room in my dream scheme – not that i be­grudge my son’s pres­ence, of course. turn to page 84 and you will see what has been achieved by one home­owner once her chil­dren had flown the nest and she didn’t have to con­sider the prac­ti­cal­i­ties of fam­ily life in her aes­thetic.

Else­where in this is­sue, you’ll find a con­tem­po­rary spin on the well-loved coun­try look (page 61), our pick of stylish linen napkins (page 37), cov­etable fur­nish­ings show­cas­ing the mar­bling trend (page 21) and de­li­cious sea­sonal seafood recipes (page 163) – there’s all sorts to in­spire and de­light.

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