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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > June 2017 > American beauty

American beauty

Mark and Kerry Yates have transformed their 1960s home, taking weatherboarded New England architecture as their primary inspiration
Before the renovation

Like many city dwellers, Kerry and Mark Yates had long dreamt of exchanging their urban location for a more tranquil setting in the countryside. Back in 2010, they decided to make their fantasy a reality and moved out to the Chilterns, a 40-minute commute to central London. “We rented initially, and started out by looking exclusively at country cottages, ” says Kerry. “We didn’t find anything suitable, so we broadened our search to include more modern houses.”

Lucky find

After searching for over a year, Mark and Kerry finally found their current home – a spacious seven-bedroom detached dwelling with a substantial garden, built in the 1960s. “The exterior of the property was far from appealing, which initially put us off viewing it, ” says Kerry. “But the interior had been completely refurbished, so we decided to think again and discovered that the house actually ticked a lot of boxes. We’d gotten to know the location and liked it, and our children were well settled in the local school.”

The couple were drawn to the house’s high ceilings and generous proportions. “The previous owners had installed new bathrooms throughout, as well as a new kitchen, ” says Kerry. The pair realised that apart from opening up a doorway between the playroom and study and repainting the kitchen units, the interior needed little work.

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About Build It

The June edition of Build It magazine is packed full of inspiration and advice for your self build, renovation or extension project - including: • An amazing oak frame self build (page 20) • Total makeover of a 1960s house (page 39) • How to self build on a budget (page 64) • Can solar hot water panels save you money? (page 71) • Design details: exposed beams (page 74) • Guide to designing the perfect barn conversion (page 90) • Assessing a building plot's potential (page 100) … and more!