A Hastings man reveals to Charlotte Pearson what inspired him to build his dream home.
Finding the perfect plot of land in a desirable area gave Paul Mintern the opportunity to do something that had been on his wish list for a number of years.
“It was always a dream of mine to build my own home so when we found the plot in an area we loved, I already had an idea of what I wanted it to look like,” he reveals. “I wanted a Normandy-style home, which is funny as on a clear day you can see all the way to France.
“Sometimes our phones change to French time, which can be a bit confusing when you lose an hour.”
Originally on the plot of land was a
1930s bungalow, which was in desperate need of some TLC.
“It was water damaged and I spoke to an architect who said it would just be easier to pull it down and start again rather than build around it,” he says. “Little Herm is described as a chalet bungalow, we did initially want to do a more square house but because of the style of the homes around it, we couldn’t.”
The plot was bought in June 2009 and they moved in to Little Herm in Fairlight, in November 2011.
Prior to this the family knew Hastings was where they wanted to move.
“We loved the area straight away,” enthuses Paul. “My wife is born and bred Hastings and the furthest she would move from there was Fairlight, which is about a ten-minute drive away.
“The village where the house is, is just lovely, there is no light pollution so at night the sky is so clear and the stars beautiful.
“You can sit out there and watch storms coming in from across the Channel.
“In the winter it is a little windy, but you would expect that. In the summer when it is clear, it is lovely to be able to sit outside and enjoy the views – that is just fantastic.
“The sun rises are amazing.
“You really can’t beat the location.”
The detached home has four bedrooms, three bathrooms and two reception rooms.
“We could have had more bedrooms but I wanted the ones we did have to be big,” explains Paul. “Growing up I was sick of bedrooms where you had to shimmy round the bed to get around, so when we built the house I made sure the bedrooms were a decent size.”
The spacious master bedroom has an ensuite, dressing room and balcony overlooking the coastal views.
On the ground floor there is a living room, kitchen and breakfast room, the fourth bedroom, and bathroom.
“This bedroom is great if you have guests as there is a bathroom downstairs,” he says. “One of our teenagers had it for many years as it has its own door, it meant when he went out at night with friends, he could come in without waking up the whole house.”
Important to Paul was that the house felt like a home.
“Some new homes can be industrial or show-homey,” he reveals. “But I wanted somewhere you could relax and kick off your shoes.
“We wanted the home to be homely and flow, something we think we have got right.”
Alongside the views, another aspect Paul will miss if he moves is the kitchen.
“It has three zones,” he explains. “You have the kitchen, dining room and then the seating area.
“It is a great space for the family, you can be cooking while someone is doing work on the dining table or you can be sitting on the settee watching television or looking at the view.
“The whole space is great for entertaining.”
Although it is clear the home holds a special place in their heart, Paul admits it is time to move on.
“We moved in when our boys were young,” he adds. “We have always moved on after living somewhere for about seven or eight years and although this house was meant to be our forever home, we have got itchy feet and are looking to down-size.
“It might be time for another project.”
Little Herm, Channel Way, Fairlight, Hastings, is on the market with House Network, Units 13 and 13a, Estate Offices, Radley Green Farm, Radley Green Road, Ingatestone, Radley Green, CM4 0LU, 01245 409116, www.housenetwork.co.uk
May 25, 2016 Interiors and Property