After renovating and living in six-period properties, Molly Mills and her husband James decided they needed a less disruptive way of life. So when a friend’s new build house came on the market, they leapt at it. ‘During previous renovations there were times when the whole family had to sleep in one room while work was being carried out,’ says Molly. ‘As the children were growing up, an easy-to-maintain, modern home became much more appealing. For me, the challenge was to fill a modern space with character and interest.’
The family moved here from a 19th-century coach house and had to leave behind the shepherd’s hut James was using as an office. So, one of the first things Molly did was source a new structure for him to work in. ‘I found a fantastic company that could make a cabin in the style of the fisherman’s huts we pass when walking on Dungeness Beach, with a sliding barn door and glazed windows. We placed it in the front garden and built a path to it from the main door. It also doubles as a den and sleepover space for the children.’
No major structural changes were needed in the main house. ‘What was wonderful,’ she says, ‘was that the kitchen and heating system were new and the house was so light – both things we weren’t used to.’
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