In a small Buckinghamshire village, Helen and Craig Lawson live with their two young daughters Pippa and Ottilie, terrier Alfie and their chickens. The Lawsons moved to the area to be closer to their family, get the girls into the local village schools, and have the great outdoors on their doorstep. This made them willing to take on a property that needed work to transform it into their ideal family home.

Embarking on the transformation

As an outdoorsy family, Helen and Craig knew that their home would require modifications to add daylight to the rear of the house and open it up to the countryside.

Helen explains, “One of the things that we were really focussed on when designing the house was making sure that we had that connection to the environment outside by bringing the outdoors in.”

Where there’s a roof, there’s an opportunity for daylight

A roof window in the stairway wasn’t a viable option for Helen and Craig as there wasn’t an exterior wall in which to place it, so as a workaround they installed a VELUX sun tunnel to bring natural light into this large area.

“One of our missions for the house was to bring in as much natural light to the upstairs as possible. The sun tunnels have just been a fantastic way of achieving that.”

Helen and Craig were concerned that the surplus landing space would leave them with a big unused area. However, after installing a VELUX roof window, the natural daylight created an enticing area for the whole family to enjoy.

“When designing the upstairs, we realised we were going to have this enormous landing and thought it was a really big waste of space. But there was nothing we could do, so we tried to embrace it and work with it.”

“We’ve ended up with a beautiful light, airy space. The kids love it and are always playing on it. It feels very welcoming and open when you walk up here; it’s a lovely space to read our books at the end of the day before we go to bed.”

Escaping to another world outside

It was important for Helen and Craig to connect their daughter, Ottilie, to the surrounding nature, and they did just this by maximising her view of the outdoors from her bedroom.

“We decided to install the VELUX combination roof window to maximise the daylight, and this connection to the outside has just been fantastic for her. She can sit in her window, watch the lambing and the chickens run around the garden and enjoy all the seasons through it.”

Comfortable space to play and dream

In addition to the VELUX combination window, Helen and Craig also opted for the blackout blinds for maximum comfort at night, and awnings to maintain mild temperatures on sunny days.

“We’ve installed the awnings on Ottilie’s window, so that in the summer when we need to maximise ventilation and still let all the sunlight in, we can open all of the windows but just filter the sunlight, so it doesn’t get too hot upstairs.”

Successful revamp

Craig concluded, “When we first moved in it was quite a project. Going from that position and gradually evolving the space and turning it into

what we wanted it to be and making it feel fresh and light - has been such a rewarding journey.

“We’ve just breathed new life into the place and made the space how we want it to be.”

sun tunnel transformation-children playing

“We’ve ended up with a beautiful light, airy space. The kids love it and are always playing on it. It feels very welcoming and open when you walk up here; it’s a lovely space to read our books at the end of the day before we go to bed.”

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