Try imagining this…! You are a very special human being (it goes without saying) and twelve months ago, you were magically gifted’ an ability to transport your sentient being through time to an undisclosed year in the future. You find yourself in an alternate dimension where people barely leave their homes and when they do they are alone or at most in twos, their faces covered, and they step aside as you pass. The busy streets you are used to are filled only now with the echo of passing tumbleweed, whilst apocalyptic weather reports and oscillating rules and images of morgues and care homes and bewildered teenagers who never leave the house fill your TV screen. Home, in this sci-fi scenario, has become your only real sanctuary from the uncertainty of outside, your shelter but at the same time, your prison.
After the year that was 2020, a fantastical plot such as this resonates more than ever with us all. Our lives have changed irrevocably and whilst we all yearn to return to a semblance of normality, the pandemic has made us reflect upon our lives, our relationships and our surroundings. We have never had more time to be ‘in’, and the effect that our homes have on us, and the way we in turn affect our homes is palpable.
We’ve thought long and hard about where we live, and who we live with even, with millions of us questioning our life choices. Our homes have been subject to close scrutiny (aside from Netflix and baking yet another cake what else is there to do but examine our four walls closely?), as we’ve experienced the space we inhabit on a deeper level than ever before, the good, the bad and the ugly. No longer do we simply reside in our homes, they have become our office, our gym, our school, our pub, our cinema. We’ve bought office furniture, bread makers, outdoor kitchens – and outdoor heaters – as our homes – and gardens – become multi-discipline, multi-seasonal, increasingly adaptable spaces to suit our new way of life. We’ve found it necessary to open up spaces in our homes, in pursuit of light and freedom to move around, but we’ve also needed to shut down spaces, to create zones for the myriad of functions our homes now need to fulfil.
So although we are looking back at what was before with a nostalgia and longing, we are also thinking about what is to come, the changes we can make for the better. 2020 was a very busy year for us here at The English Listed with clients coming to us with all of this very much top of mind. We’ve thought long and hard with our clients about the best possible outcomes for their homes, to make them environments that really do answer their needs whether it is about a better, more flexible family space that works well for each member of the family, or the addition of new space to serve specific needs. We’ve designed and built extensions for this reason, we’ve converted lofts to allow clients to work from home, we’ve designed a cutting edge, contemporary woodland artist’s studio and a stand alone music room. We’ve transformed an unloved Victorian farmhouse into an elegant and future-ready family home and designed an oak-framed guest annexe.
We’re really looking forward to showing you these projects in detail, but the lockdown has temporarily prohibited us visiting our clients to take post-project photographs. In the meantime, here are some tasters of what we’ve been up to – from beautiful interior details to
And to 2021… if you are locked down, looking at your home and wondering how you might make it work better for you and your family and your specific needs, we’d love to talk your ideas through with you. Our designers and technicians, our planning specialists and our team of highly skilled trades people can really add something – and shape your home ready for the new tomorrow, whatever exactly that might be!