Yorkshire Post - Property

High on design and dreams of rural life

Oliver Leonard, architect at Bramhall Blenkharn Leonard, a multi-award winning architectu­ral studio in Malton. brable.com

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How would you describe

your home and its style? I live with my family in a Victorian townhouse that we bought from an elderly couple who had a penchant for tap room interiors. After moving from a small flat in Harrogate we fell in love with the proportion­s of the property and its potential to create a light and airy home with wonderful high ceilings and tall windows. Over the past few years we have been refurbishi­ng the house, fitting breathable woodfibre insulation and lime plaster that has significan­tly improved thermal comfort and reduced heating bills! The original Victorian features have been retained, but the one dramatic move was knocking through the rear of the house and opening to the garden to create a large open plan family kitchen space that is such a wonderful change from the old galley kitchen arrangemen­t.

Which household items could you not live without and why? That would have to be my espresso machine. It helps me see the world in colour when our youngest child decides that midnight Is the best time to practice walking.

What is on your interiors wish list? I really value good interior lighting in a property, it can make or break an interior space, especially for rooms without access to good natural light. For that reason I’d have the Artemide Tolomeo on my

wish list.

What is your favourite building and why? I always find this a very difficult question, probably because I have never had a favourite building. I find myself drawn to different buildings and styles according to the creative mood and client I’m working with at the time. I do have a fondness for the work of Edwin Lutyens and the Arts and Crafts style of architectu­re. It is a quintessen­tially English style that valued the role of the garden as much as the building in creating a successful design.

Is there anything exciting you at the moment in terms of design? It is exciting to see some of our Paragraph 80 houses gaining support from local authoritie­s. These are exceptiona­l homes that can only be approved after a rigorous design process and designed to push the boundaries of architectu­re in the rural environmen­t. I’m fortunate that my job is something I feel passionate about and it is a privilege towork with passionate clients who value design and want to work with us to create a special home.

What and where is your ideal home? In the spirit of Taliesin, I would like to create a modern version of an agricultur­al smallholdi­ng and studio in rural North Yorkshire which is open to beautiful countrysid­e, but also incorporat­ing smaller, more intimate, courtyard spaces for reflection. I find it easy to run away with thoughts and ideas for creating our ideal home, finding a plot is a little more challengin­g.

What are you most proud of? We have two young boys who are a joy to be around and I feel very happy to be part of such a loving and supportive family.

Who would you like to have a drink with? Bill Murray, drinking Suntory whisky in a Japanese bar.

Contact: Oliver Leonard, Bramhall Blenkharn Leonard Architects, Malton, www.brable.com

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 ?? ?? DESIGN: Left, Oliver Leonard. Above: Artemide Tolomeo lamp from Nedgis; A whisky with Bill Murray is on the list – glasses,
£58, from www. nataliawil­lmott. co.uk. Oliver would like a smallholdi­ng in the country. Pictured is Commondale
DESIGN: Left, Oliver Leonard. Above: Artemide Tolomeo lamp from Nedgis; A whisky with Bill Murray is on the list – glasses, £58, from www. nataliawil­lmott. co.uk. Oliver would like a smallholdi­ng in the country. Pictured is Commondale

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