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Ron and Tricia Berry have transformed a dated bungalow into a family home that combines practical, flexible living with exciting modern design

At a time when many old singlestorey abodes are being knocked down to create building plots for modern houses, architect Ron Berry is something of a visionary. When he saw an unimaginative 1930s bungalow in a prime suburban position, his first thought was not to knock it down, but to bring it bang up to date by remodelling the dated interior and giving the property an overdue facelift. “We were looking for a place that would see us well into retirement, but we didn’t want anything old fashioned,” says Ron. “We wanted to have flexible, open spaces, lots of light and a modern design.”

Ron and his wife Tricia were in a good position to find exactly what they wanted. They had sold their previous home – a large Victorian terraced house – so they could be chain-free cash buyers and were renting a duplex apartment in a converted mill. The open-plan, L-shaped living space was in stark contrast to the classical period home they had lived in for 30 years, but the couple found the change inspiring. “It was really different to what we were used to, but ultimately, we just loved the sequence of spaces so much that it had a heavy influence on the design of our next property,” says Ron.

With this in mind, when the pair found the bungalow for sale in a sought-after suburb of Huddersfield, they could already envision how the space could work. Saying that, they could see that it would still need a full refurbishment and a new extension to create the kind of modern, energy-efficient home they desired. The couple bit the bullet and bought it, then started to plan the ways in which the traditional and rather dated building could be turned into a first-class showcase for modern living.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Installing underfloor heating - Flooring cost guide - New routes to self build - What are building surveys?