The battles of building your own dream home

Some people spend the majority of their adult lives trying to perfect their ideal home. This can happen by homeowners climbing up the property ladder until they can afford their ideal premises, but others prefer to start from scratch.

Converting a traditional building to suit the rigours and design trends of modern life can be a task that is initially hugely frustrating, but the end results can bring a level of satisfaction that far outweighs this inconvenience.

With that in mind, it is time to offer all those budding redevelopers a bit of inspiration by taking a look at a few projects that have seen traditional buildings reimagined and enhanced for the current day.

Cloontykilla Castle

Channel 4’s Grand Designs programme is one demonstration of how our fixation with design – and more specifically redevelopment projects – has infiltrated popular culture.

Back when the show embarked on its 12th series, it highlighted the trials of Sean Simons, who purchased Cloontykilla Castle in Ireland with the ambitious idea of restoring it, but also adding a state-of-the-art recording studio and a spa facility.

Inevitably, the show mostly features Mr Simons fretting over the logistics of the project and financial issues that – at times – look as if they could spiral out of control. However, the end result was a structure that from the outside oozed our love for the past and once inside, presented an intriguing look into the future.

Hellifield Peel

Another high-profile conversion that was also featured on the programme was Hellifield Peel Castle, in the North Yorkshire market town of Skipton. When the camera crew first arrived, it was what could only be described as a dilapidated ruin, which looked as if it was resigned to fading into obscurity.

However, after a long and arduous process it was restructured, renovated and kitted out with a host of cutting-edge furnishings. Today, the property has become a fully functioning luxury hotel and a hugely popular destination for short breaks.

This transition saw it regain its natural beauty and hold on to centuries of history that looked set to be distinguished, while also being rebranded as a profitable business and bustling tourist destination.

English Heritage regulations

For good reason, there are certain rules in place that restrict the work that can be done on buildings with particular historical significance.

This prevents their legacy from being ruined in the name of short-termism and can often lead to a certain level of conflict, if the owner is being prohibited from making wholesale changes that they believe to be essential.

However, at the other end of the scale, some older buildings are actually exempt from more recent regulations, as bringing them in line would compromise them as a historical landmark.

These are the regulations that every homeowner must abide by at all points of the process when attempting to create their dream home.

Smaller changes can make all the difference too

If you are indeed having troubles with planning permission, this does not mean to say that you will never be able to create the blend of history and modern design that you would like.

The timeless feel of the Georgian, Victorian and Tudor periods is often the focus of many fixtures that are designed in the modern day. These options can breathe a whole new atmosphere into a room and mean that you can achieve the classic look you dream of without having to break the band and invest in a castle ruin.

J Rotherham fireplaces

One firm that specialises in these kinds of products is J Rotherham. This long-established manufacturer of kitchen worktops and fireplaces offers a host of ranges that use modern materials and production techniques to create classic designs with modern functionality.

This means your home will not only wow any visitors, but could also be kinder on the bank balance in the long-run, using materials that are durable and better value.

To find the perfect balance of history and the contemporary, look no further than J Rotherham