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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > January 2020 > GREEN HOME GREEN fingers


The simple elegance to Nicola and Chris Pelmear’s home belies its complex eco credentials, where even the snowdrops were salvaged
The mezzanine space overlooks the large open-plan kitchen-living area

The minute they walked through the gate into an overgrown plot in Nailsea, Somerset, Nicola and Chris Pelmear were enchanted. At first glance, it was a mess. The site was home to a seriously dilapidated bungalow. On all sides, the land was knee-deep in brambles. But their eyes were drawn to the lawns carpeted in snowdrops. “They were covered in flowers,” recalls Nicola. “I’d always loved pottering about with plants and the thought of owning a garden like this was a dream for me.” True to that passion, before any major works began on the plot, Nicola dug up and temporarily potted all the shrubs, perennials and bulbs they could salvage, ready for rehoming when works were completed. This kind of forward thinking on their landscape has given them a dream home with a garden to match.

Spot of luck

The couple, who had been living in central Bristol for 40 years, knew Nailsea well. They had visited while caring for Chris’ mother. She had dementia and sadly passed away during the build. They later lived in her house during the project. Nicola had been working as a local government officer, and Chris ran his own facilities management company, but as retirement approached, the thought of a quieter life appealed. They wanted a grander garden, but there was no desire to be remote. “In Bristol, we could walk to probably 200 different restaurants wiThease. Theatres, cinemas, pubs; it was all on our doorstep,” explains Chris. But there were no qualms about leaving their life in a draughty Victorian townhouse. They wanted a better insulated home, with low utility bills. Selling that property would be the means to achieving their dream.

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About Build It

The January 2020 issue of Build It is packed full of practical advice, inspiring readers' homes and expert guidance on everything from planning and design through to budgets and specifying materials. The January 2020 Edition includes: - Future-Proof Your Self Build - Are Woodburning Stoves Really Eco Friendly? - Renovation Design Details - Draught Proofing a Period Home - Planning Secrets: Keeping Your Neighbours Happy - Sound Proofing: How to Create a Quiet Home ... and much more!