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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Snowdonia sensation

Simon Baker has transformed this compact Welsh barn into a stunning modern home
Slate is a major characteristic of the conversion, featuring on the roof and south elevation. In addition, a picket fence has been formed with slate offcuts
The dark grey air source heat pump blends in with the external finishes

Simon Baker gained his degree at the Royal College of Music and worked for several years as a professional pianist – before going on to make a big career switch to become a London policeman. In order to cope with the stresses of his new job, he soon realised a complete overhaul was required to attain the right work/life balance. Simon had already remodelled a Victorian semi-detached property, which ignited his appetite to take on an even bigger project. “I then bought a flat in Stockwell in early 2012 when prices were still a bit depressed,” he says. “Selling that provided capital for a more ambitious undertaking.”

Change of pace

Simon’s research turned up an old barn that was up for auction in the heart of Snowdonia, and the agents said the vendor might be open to an offer. Since the location was promising, Simon went to take a look. “I fell in love with it on the spot,” he says. “_e place ticked all my boxes, though it had no formal permission to convert and was in a National Park with restrictive covenants.” Plus, dual planning procedures with both the Snowdonia National Park and the National Trust (NT) were in effect. This was due to covenants dating back to when the latter organisation had owned the land.

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About Build It

Make a success of your self build home project with inspiring design ideas and practical advice from Build It magazine. Our October 2019 issue includes: - Smart Home Technology Special Guide - 10 Projects to Add Value to Your Build - Planning your Renovation Project - Learn from the Most Common Self Build Mistakes - Inspiring Reader Homes ... and more!