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An ambitious project to create a dream family home has gained industry recognition with an SBID International Design Award nomination in the ‘Residential Design Over £1m’ category. The home, five years in the making, is 15,000 sq ft with five floors each designed to blend in with the woodland surroundings.

The company responsible for designing the home was Moderno Interiors whilst the main contractor was Henley Homes. Lead designer Kajal Patel had a particular interest in the project as it was her family the home was being built for. She talked to Premier Construction about what she wanted the design to achieve and how she went about realising that dream:

“I’ve been doing interior design for about 15 years, I used to do a lot of hand painted furniture and bespoke murals. This project was a modern build I took on and also happens to be my home. I have project managed it from the concept of the layout of the house to the design and interiors.”

“The dream was to create a modern home with lots of floor to ceiling glass to let in a lot of natural light into the space. The property is in a location that used to be woodlands, so is by a lot of trees. The idea was to embrace that. The main design element was the glass.”

Kajal added:

“If we start from the basement, it’s divided into two. There is an entertainment area with an open plan lounge, an eight foot origami inspired bar and a full size snooker table. In the other half there are more recreational features such as an indoor infinity pool and access to the gym which is in a glass box so you are able to see through from one end to the other. The idea was to see the space from wherever you are and not feel like the room is separate. We also have in the basement men’s and ladies changing rooms, a sauna and a massage room.”


“The ground floor is much more open plan. We’ve got relaxed family kitchen dining, a library and a smaller studio. The first floor houses the bedrooms for the main occupants of the house. There are three bedrooms with en suite and walk in wardrobes. The second floor is a further three guest bedrooms with a balcony that overlooks the garden.”

Natural, high quality materials like solid wood, marble and concrete have been used throughout. Large glass panels help to achieve the aim of embracing the natural surroundings whilst attention to detail was key. The large landscaped garden includes a courtyard adorned with a curved green wall and a kitchen barbecue contained in a pagoda. The side of the house features tiered decking that leads up to an Oaktree seating area.

While the trees and woodland surroundings were incorporated into the build, many were also subject to preservation orders. Circumventing this issue was one of the projects main challenges.

“One of the main challenges was obviously to work around tree roots which, in places, was difficult. The other big challenge was just the scale of the house and trying to make it warm and homely rather than clinical and cold. I think that was achieved using lots of natural materials and different textures and fabrics.”

The award nomination has been an added bonus to what is Kajal’s dream family home. She was also keen to stress the importance of the awards as a whole.

“I think it’s a great platform for any upcoming designers to be amongst those who have been in the industry for years and to be recognised for their work.”


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