48 51 property & interiors abersoch architecture - Glenn Cavill

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We all dream of a home by the sea. And best of all a seaside home here on the tip of the Llyn Peninsula in lovely Abersoch. There have been some stunning individual properties created and larger developments come forward in and around the village over the last couple of years. Older homes have been taken down to be replaced by Californian style Malibu Beach homes, former hotel sites rediscovered as beautifully designed new houses and remarkable homes appearing on newly identified sites. Equally the original housing stock of the village has enormous character and potential – it’s those buildings, framing our remarkable seaside vistas that helped first drive the appeal of the village as a holiday destination more than a century ago. Increasingly whether your home is new or old, large or small (and in truth whether it’s here by the sea or deep inland but you want to stay in touch with your seaside memories) there is a growing demand to create the ‘coastal look’. So Abersoch Life has teamed up with award-winning North Wales Architectural Designer Glenn Cavill to pick his brains on how to tackle a project here in sunny Abersoch:

I WOULD LIKE TO GIVE MY HOME A CONTEMPORARY COASTAL MAKEOVER. HOW SHOULD I APPROACH THE PROJECT AND WHAT ARE THE LATEST DESIGN CUES TO CONSIDER? The initial approach should be to meet with your designer at the house to discuss the project aspirations in more detail in order to create a customized



“design questionnaire” that we think is useful in finding the answers to a number of key questions. These questions form a framework for uncovering the client’s needs and desires for the house, what you expect in a home (including expectations that you may not have consciously examined) and how you may plan on using your home.


We ask clients to answer these questionnaires separately since many of our clients will need time alone to think deeply about their expectations from a house. Clients can often be influenced by others, sometimes distracted, and even dissuaded from their own needs and desires by their spouse or other family members. Ultimately it is a compromise to bring the design together but initially it should be the individuals honest opinions and design desires. The answers then can assist in forming what I like to call “The Wish List”. The Wish List is a detailed list of items that the client wishes to incorporate into the design. This can be anything from a specific item of furniture, a particular function (e.g. cinema/ media room) or a certain lifestyle they wish to achieve. The Wish List is the key document to the start of the design process. I will then seek to fuse this wish list into a design that ultimately is loved by all members of the family, creating a wonderful home for everyone. Coastal style living should be a relaxed affair, where you feel as though you have checked into their favourite hotel whilst having all your homely comforts to hand. Key design cues to consider in such a design are: The colour palette: One of the best aspects of a coastal home is its ability to make you feel relaxed and comfortable. Whether you’re only a few feet from Abersoch beach or miles away, the easiest way to achieve this is by using colour psychology to your advantage. Start with a base of neutrals that reflect the coastal landscape. Try sandy tans, off-whites and soft greys to create an environment that feels equally soothing and inviting. Then focus on more beachy connotations like aquamarine, coral and turquoise with any splash of your personality and character. Simplistic layout: The layout is where modern coastal design really differs from its predecessor. In this case, rather than sticking to the overly filled floor plans that were popular in the past, embrace a minimalist approach that conveys a sense of modern sleekness. Easy and relaxed living will stem from a home that flows.


Textures: Where coastal is concerned, visual weight — or how the design elements look like they feel — is crucial. Going to the beach is a tactile experience - from walking on the sand to feeling the sea breeze on your face. You want to re-create similar sensations with your design choices.
Woven rugs or timber cladding can provide physical touch sensations whilst colours on cushions, pictures and artwork can work with your visual senses.
In addition, include plenty of soft elements. Coastal design is ultimately about feeling relaxed and conformable so soft fabrics, cushions and comfy furniture should be used throughout.
The accessories are where you put final coastal touches into your aesthetic. In modern coastal design, you want to stick to fewer accent pieces than you would use in a more traditionally styled coastal home. A mixture of refined coastal design with a touch of modern Scandi that be fused effortlessly together to form a home that has key accessory pieces but not feeling cluttered. ARE THERE SOME PARTICULAR DESIGN FINISH IDEAS THAT WE SHOULD BE LOOKING OUT FOR IN 2018?
A: THERE ARE A COUPLE OF IDEAS WE’D LIKE TO HIGHLIGHT FOR YOU: Terrazzo – bears a close resemblance to a sandy beach as it made from embedding little chips of marble, quartz, granite and even

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glass into concrete or resin



Antique vintage tiling in a geometric pattern and patchwork design in shades of grey and blue can add enough detail and interest without being overbearing I WANT TO CHANGE THE EXTERIOR OF MY HOUSE BUT DON’T WANT TO SPEND A FORTUNE UPDATING IT. WHAT WOULD BE YOUR POINTERS FOR UPDATING THE EXTERIOR? There are several points to consider when looking at this design dilemma. Many people love their homes and its location but want to give it a facelift. One initial thing to remember is that it is not usually just the house that would appreciate a facelift, it is the surrounding exterior. Key points we like to consider on such a project are: Perimeter of the site: Consider the existing boundary treatments. These may be plants, hedges or fences. Do they need updating, replacing or will they suffice? You may need to consider security alongside the way it looks and how it will ultimately work with the new house design. Look at varied finishes, styles and the requirements of the boundary
 Define the driveway: Having a good-looking driveway can add great kerb appeal this forms the first impression when visits arrive at your house. You need to consider the practical elements of how much space you need, parking areas, turning areas, etc. but you need to also remember that you do not want a sea of hard surface and the colour/finish needs to soften into the setting for the house. Tidy the garden: Scrappy garden beds and random tufts of greenery can give the impression of a neglected, unloved front garden and home. You firstly need to consider what type of gardener you are as upkeep is key. It is false economy to have an amazing garden when finished but that will prove impossible to upkeep. Considering what type of gardener you are and the amount of upkeep you


want will then steer the design in a direction which will produce a garden that looks good all year round, year after year. House: Now it is time to also consider the house. Is it the whole elevation that requires updating or can portions of the house be renovated to give an overall facelift. Is it just the look or do you also want to consider energy efficiency of any products such as insulated render, cladding with insulations, etc. One thing I would recommend is sketching the existing house and then looking at varied options through the use of varied 3D and rendering software. The exterior finish and indeed the colour can be the biggest and hardest questions to answer. Modern computer software can assist greatly, providing you with a finished image of the house prior to actually carrying out the work. Make an entrance: The final task to completing the façade renovation is to look at the entrance. Do you need a new front door, can you renovate the existing or would a new porch or entrance canopy add greatly to the overall design? Also consider associated greenery, house numbering or name, colour scheme and accessories. All these items can be thoroughly researched and then incorporated into design proposals and presented to the client through the medium of 3D visuals which can


be tweaked until a chosen design is agreed upon prior to commencement of work.

of your dreams and successfully achieve planning approval. In summary the design process is a collaboration between I AM CONSIDERING AN designer and client. Choose EXTENSION TO MY HOME the right architect and help IN ABERSOCH. WHAT’S them with a clear brief. A THE PROCESS FOR good architect will help with COMING TO A PREFERRED that process – guiding you to DESIGN? understand your priorities and how to respond to them. It’s In the same way as we particularly important if you are approached the first living, working and playing by PHOTO: SOME OF THE LOVELY ORIGINAL question we need to start the sea – you want to maximise HOUSING STOCK FRAMING THE HARBOUR BY TOTALLY ABERSOCH with the creation of a “Wish the time you have to enjoy this List”. If it is an extension wonderful place! Your home to an existing home or a and how it ‘works for you’ is complete new build we like to utilise this wish list alongside integral to that aim. We realise such projects are very personal and other key points such as: look to work through a range of design options and approaches, undertaking amendments throughout until a final design can be Orientation: sign-off ready for the next stage. We look to sit down with the client As all our work is in 3D we like to firstly create the existing home and go through the design ideas and explain each element in detail and it’s exterior and place this model into it’s exact location and also visualise the scheme in 3D as if it was finished – it’s vital the using our software. This way we can then also start to consider client can understand and visualise the proposed finished project.. the surrounding landscape and (particularly here in Abersoch) the views and the path of the sun throughout the year. That way So if you are thinking about an Abersoch project, make sure you we can bring light into the kitchen in a morning but have lovely take professional advice – get in touch with an architect who sea views and light entering the living areas throughout the day understands the particular challenges and opportunities of this area and evening. Priorities will be uncovered via the clients “Wish and let them help you realise your dreams. Large or small! List” To see more of Glenn’s work please visit www.glenncavill.com Any key planning issues: Using local and national experience we consider if there are any key planning related matters, will the scheme require planning, or will the proposals come under Permitted Development Rights. FOR SIMILAR ARTICLES VISIT: Will any proposed scheme of works be influenced by any planning guidance and/policies? We can then look at these factors and ‘Wish List’ items in order to fuse them together to form a design that will create a home


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