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21st century update

Mark and Stephanie Fernandez have transformed an outdated bungalow into a contemporary masterpiece fit for modern family life
WORDS EMILY SMITH PHOTOS ANTHONY COLEMAN
The original bungalow

When commercial property developer and chartered surveyor Mark Fernandez was badly hit by the financial crash in 2008, he turned his eyes from big projects to domestic ones. “We ended up selling our house, pulling our three kids out of private school and almost had to start again,” he says. His first new venture came about in 2011, when his wife Stephanie spotted a fish and chip shop for sale. “We converted it into a four bedroom house, semi-project managing it ourselves and learning from all the usual mistakes along the way.”

Th eir next undertaking was an eco self-build, which featured an airtight structure and renewable tech. “I had a desire to do something green and went as far as I could with my budget – we were very close to being zero carbon,” says Mark. So when they came across a 1960s bungalow for sale ripe with renovation potential, they knew they had the skills needed to transform it into something special. “My wife has an eye for design detail and I’ve got my property background, so we’re quite a good team,” he says. “We wanted a decent sized plot in a semi-rural location – this was perfect.”

Coming up with plans

Th e previous owner was an architect, who put his stamp on the building in the late 1980s – but it was now looking dated and the layout didn’t suit the needs of 21st century family life. The entrance hallway was small and the kitchen was located in one of the front north-facing rooms, with two living rooms and a conservatory to the rear. “We gave it a lot of thought as a pair,” says Mark. “I sketched out our ideas and then Stephanie took it away and shared her thoughts.”

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About Build It

Get your self-build or renovation project started with advice & inspiration from Build It magazine. Here's what to expect in the January issue: • How the Rogers built an Arts & Crafts-style modern home • The latest on smart home technology • Are woodburning stoves eco friendly? • Heating options for renovations • Avoiding grand designs disasters • Plot Watch: Did they get planning consent? ...and much more!