Smaller Homes and Gardens

Autumn is here!  Bother! 

Summer days are gone, along with the warmth and the pleasure of sitting in the garden chatting to friends (you remember them – the ones that Her Majesty’s Government will no longer allow into your house)! 

For many people, this strange year has been a chance to think more carefully about the home they live in and how to use their space.  Some of us are lucky to have wonderful areas that can be quickly adapted. Large gardens, big houses and generous rooms can quickly be made fabulous – especially during lockdown!

Most of us, of course, live in relatively small homes with comparatively limited gardens.  In many ways, designing for these smaller spaces to become wonderful homes is the toughest challenge we face.  Everything must be efficient.  Every space must be maximised.  Everything must work with everything else.

The colour supplements and advertisements are not always terribly helpful for those of us living in typical modern houses.  They want to appeal to the idea that one day we will all end up in a stunning rose-covered cottage.  Of course, whilst some of us will, most of us won’t!  In fact, many of us might find the reality of ancient plumbing, wiring and insulation a little less charming than once we thought.  I remember my Granny’s home. 

Four hundred years old and once a labourer’s cottage it had chocolate box looks under its thatched roof.  It also had a preservation order that made it impossible to modernise, a terrible problem with damp and a ceiling so low that from the age of thirteen I never visited without a trip to casualty for stitches in my forehead!  The labourers moved into nice warm modern homes leaving London exiles to solve the problem of mushrooms in the bathroom!

Here at Dovecote we love working on the big homes, but we know that most of our customers will own more modest spaces.  We specialise in helping you achieve outstanding results within the realities of where you live and work.  We want you to make new, adaptable places that are equally fun to be in during scorching Summer heat and on freezing winter nights.

Part of the answer to this lies in new technology.  New materials allow systems that are better at controlling heat and light and at the same time give you many more options on profile, colour and movement.  There are so many options available today that it can actually be rather overwhelming when you are trying to make the choices.  We always recommend that you take the time to talk to us and discuss what you want to do before you dive in with firm decisions.  Bad decisions can be costly; it’s worth getting them right first time.

A second answer is to tie together the work of different craftspeople.  Matching new windows and doors with the right heating and insulation, internal decoration and external design does not have to cost you a fortune. 

The Dovecote team also works closely with a group of professional colleagues as part of a group known as the Property Oracle.  Its members are all trusted professionals who we recommend to our customers.  Amongst them are garden and interior designers, de-clutterers, joiners, painters…. and lots more.  We work closely with these specialists to help you with your big projects and bring together all the skills needed to really make a difference to your home.  We are really proud of our friends in the Oracle!  Talk to us and you can get access to them as well.

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