Editor’s comment – September/October

This month we feature two self-build projects which vividly illustrate the rich variety which is present in schemes across the UK.

Our case study (on page 22) is a fairly extraordinary black-painted house sitting on a Cornish clifftop, which may not look conventional but gains amazing views of its scenic surroundings thanks to some big windows. It’s an example of what self-builders can do if they have an unrestrained sense of fun combined with a fairly hefty budget. You have to admit that providing one of your kids with a Narnia-style wardrobe with fake fur coats that actually leads into another room is pretty cool!

The contrast with the extension to a Victorian dwelling which is the subject of our Secrets of Success (page 29) is quite dramatic on the surface, with this being a typical constrained urban site. However the key design aspiration, of bringing as much light in as possible, was similar for both projects. Beri and Julie Cheetham’s story shows how successful refurbishment often comes from a combination of choosing the right architect and using your initiative to preserve attractive aspects of the existing building – and help a modern addition settle in. We hope you enjoy the issue!

James Parker