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furthest from their bedroom. The final layout consisted of a sitting room, kitchen/diner, snug, main bedroom and ensuite on the upper level and three further bedrooms, utility room and garage on the ground floor. And, although agreement on the design and planning was relatively swift, achieving the build itself was slightly more complex, as Colin remembers: “We were stuck in the middle when it came to builders. You have firms that build timber frame houses and then you have firms who build office blocks and hotels. We were too different for one group and too small a project for the other.” In the end they decided they had to project manage it themselves, to “bring together some of the contractors.” Even finding a decorator was difficult, as the interior was as unique as the structure. Features that the couple wanted to emphasise and stand out – such as the steelwork – they were encouraged to box in and hide. “Some tradespeople look at a drawing and try to relate it to their own experience rather than looking at the actual details,” Marta recalls. “It was hard to explain what we were trying to achieve without being able to show them an example.” Some ideas also needed some serious head scratching in order to be brought in on budget, too. The curved ceiling is a case in point with the first version being quoted at £15,000 – which simply wasn’t feasible. However, after lengthy discussions with their joiners a suggestion was made to use an incredibly flexible 6 mm ply with a 6 mm plasterboard, which could be sandwiched


24 www.sbhonline.co.uk


Their architect was also a microlight enthusiast, like Colin – and was keen to visit the airfield and hear his and Marta’s ideas


together to create the desired curved effect. On the decor front, Marta’s Spanish heritage meant that colour was going to take centre stage, as she explains: “I’ve been living in this country for nearly 25 years, and I still don’t understand why people insist on using so much grey. Colour is so important, and Colin and I both love it. We aren’t scared of colour and experimenting with it. Try a bright colour, and if you don’t like it, just buy another tin of paint!” The colours in the property are still evolving, with the fireplace only acquiring its vibrant orange hue more recently. And with so much greenery outside and an abundance of windows, experiments are still being conducted on how best to complement it. In some areas the couple have opted for a neutral backdrop with bold, colourful furniture and artwork, and in others the colour is in the main fixtures and fittings such as


jul/aug 2021


LOW POINT


“The hardest thing was trying to get the build going again after a two-year break. Building up momentum and motivation was incredibly difficult.”


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