Sunday, 29 March 2020

Design day helped Henley couple find the best way to extend their home

Design day helped Henley couple find the best way to extend their home

THE eighth annual Henley Design Day, for all budding self-builders, renovators and home-improvers, is to be held in the town centre this weekend.

The event, organised by Sarah Miller of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), is an opportunity for Henley’s residents to meet professional architects, kitchen and lighting specialists, interior designers and building professionals.

Visitors are invited to bring along their ideas for home renovation or extension projects — with the professionals on hand to discuss their plans, give them advice and help them to explore their options.

In previous years, visitors to the show have discussed a wide range of issues, such as the need to extend or make better use of their existing living space, and plans to modernise an older property.

Roger and Canny Appleyard of Reading Road, Henley, visited the event last year with a home improvement problem that seemed insurmountable to them at the time. The couple had been refused planning permission to convert the garage of their Victorian semi-detached home into additional living accommodation for their family, by replacing their garage door with a wall and a bay window. They had appealed the decision, but the appeal was turned down.

Mr and Mrs Appleyard discussed the problem with three separate architects exhibiting at Henley Design Day and then chose to work with Allister Godfrey.

Mrs Appleyard said: “He listened really carefully, he completely understood what we wanted — nothing fancy, just an extension that looked as though it was meant to be there.

“Choosing the right architect for your project isn’t always easy, but we knew Allister was the one and we were happy with everything he did.”

Mr Godfrey subsequently redesigned the garage conversion so that it would have two storeys instead of one, a new front façade built with matching brickwork, and sash windows to match the existing house.

He also contoured the new roof so that the second-floor windows and views were unaffected. And he ensured that the eaves line closely matched the extension on the next-door house, so that the pair look neatly balanced.

Inside, the garage was turned into a playroom and the new floor above became the master bedroom with an en suite, a dressing area and a feature vaulted ceiling.

Henley Design Day takes place at Henley town hall in Market Place tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am to 3.30pm. The event is being sponsored by Hamptons International and Chris Lewis Group.

Admission is free but advance tickets are available online at — or just turn up on the day.

For more information email Sarah Miller at RIBA on or call her on 0118 987 4900 or 07909 442019.