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Modern seaside living

Taking a standard 1960s seaside bungalow and turning it into a lightfilled contemporary house packed with design flair, durable finishes and practical solutions has been a very personal project for Leigh and Charlotte Bowen

Eco-architect Leigh Bowen and his wife Charlotte searched long and hard to find the right property to transform into a holiday home and potential rental on the Sussex coast. “We honestly weren’t looking to buy a house to make a profit”, says Charlotte. “We wanted a pad here in West Wittering for us to enjoy with our children and extended family. It’s a special place to us and to my mother, who used to come here year after year on holiday as a child. We want that for generations to come.”

After a 12 month search, they found a bungalow on a local estate agent’s website. They were taken by the fact it was set back from the main areas of the town, had a southern aspect and that there was opportunity to extend. Although not directly on the seafront, it was only a couple of minutes’ walk to the coast, which was a big attraction for their children Phoebe (13), Nesta (10) and Felix (8). “We love going to the beach, walking, crabbing, swimming – all the seaside pursuits that I enjoyed when I was young”, says Charlotte.

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About Build It

Looking for ideas and practical advice to help you create a tailor-made home that suits your lifestyle perfectly? The July issue of Build It has you covered. Here's a sneak peek at what's inside: - Self-build secrets: 10 things you need to know before you build - How to get planning permission for your extension - PVCu windows: are they the right choice for your project? - The best ways to insulate foundations - Going off-grid: options for heating & electrics - Budgeting basics: how to get an accurate estimate for your build ...and more!