My wife and I are delighted to give wholehearted recommendation to Alice Poole Architects.
We cannot thank Alice enough. Her relationship and expertise with the planning officers stretched conventional planning boundaries, possibly creating new precedents which I am sure others will try to follow.
Against the odds Alice convinced the planners to approve our dream for larger than regulation size conservatory. Many of our neighbours had battled on the same issue only to be left with no more than a crude bolt-on glazed cube. Just as inspiring was Alice’s ability to secure approval for a rear dormer which transformed a dysfunctional top floor room into functioning bedroom. It didn’t stop there. She also secured approval to convert an external brick out-building into a laundry room, integrated to the house with a structural glazed link. It all looks so very special. To the uninformed these may not seem much but for those that know about the challenges of tampering with the externals of the Bedford Park listed buildings and not least the vociferous local pressure group: The Bedford Park Society - these are indeed tremendous achievements.
On the inside too, Alice has left her mark. Her innovative space planning has found us an extra en-suite shower room and reconfigured a further three in to beautiful contemporary bathrooms. On the ground floor, simply creating an archway and moving the kitchen door transformed the entrance hall and enabled us to completely reconfigure the kitchen layout. She managed to re-invent our downstairs cloak room. Which although smaller: weirdly seems bigger than before. Alice finds space you didn’t know you had.
Alice is great to work with. She shares your vision and has a genuine enthusiasm to see it realised. She combines immense technical expertise with creative vision and flair. The results are amazing. She understands the reality of budgets and knows where and when to make savings and, just as importantly, where not to.
We would definitely work with Alice again.
To Whom It May Concern:
We are delighted with the transformation of our home for which we have Alice Poole to thank wholeheartedly.
She has provided us with ideas and solutions that are imaginative yet practical and made our ‘new’ home far lovelier than we could have ever envisaged. We have been pleasantly surprised by how smooth the implementation process went especially as both my husband and I work and cannot be around to supervise works. Alice is extremely conscientious, detailed and manages the works deftly, clearly having a strong relationship with the workmen she recommends. We found the builders and contractors recommended to us to be gentlemen. I would have no hesitation recommending Alice Poole Architects.
I cannot praise the architect Alice Poole enough. She transformed our cramped two bedroom cottage into a three bedroom open plan roof terraced house, and made the notoriously unsettling building process a painless one from start to finish.
Her designs combined nuance and panache, and idealism with realism, giving us a process we could trust and were excited by at the same time. Alice put the job out to tender with three different contractors to give us choice from the off, and followed this up with sound advice about which quotation provided the best value and why. She kept a vigilant eye on the whole process at every level and was our trusted intermediary with the builders, vetting all payments to them with an assured ease. In this context site visits were an extension of her control over a design she evidently cared about. The results of her approach speak very clearly for themselves.
If during the build she was always on hand to discuss everything from grand design to tiny detail, my wife and I never doubted she had the same vision we'd shared. And the finished product proved us right in choosing her to shape our family home. I repeat. I cannot praise Alice enough.
In December 2009 we were contemplating buying a four bedroom house within the Bedford Park conservation area but we wished to open up the ground floor and so decided we needed to consult an architect. Alice was one of the local architects suggested and from our first meeting we could see that we would work well with her. She is extremely client orientated and listened to our needs whilst being very diplomatic when we made a misguided suggestion!
Alice took us through every step of the process, making the whole project enjoyable and stress free. She prepared a very detailed builder’s tender and drawings and continually monitored progress after the work commenced, communicating regularly with us. She has an excellent network of suppliers and specialists and introduced us to Alan Taunton, Senior Partner of MA27, a highly professional building company. She also recommended a good cabinet maker and even directed us to good soft furnishings and carpet suppliers. Alice truly went the extra mile in helping with every aspect of the project and had many helpful interior design suggestions.
As a result we are delighted with our new house and it is far more luxurious than we anticipated when we bought it in a relatively run down state. Alice presented so many practical solutions that improved the design from relocating doors to finding a clever location for a washing machine and preparing a well considered electrical plan.
Our house is smaller than many of the projects that Alice is involved in but she demonstrated great enthusiasm for it and was very giving of her time.
As you can probably tell from the above, we would strongly recommend appointing Alice Poole if you embarking on a renovation project.
Alice Poole did an excellent job of listening carefully to our wishes and needs rather than imposing her vision, and took great care in execution to achieve exactly what we wanted. Her detail and thoroughness in preparation saved us literally tens of thousands of pounds. As well as some great design ideas Alice’s strong and precise supervision of builders saved us many problems and avoided many of the pitfalls that typically arise on a decent sized project. We would be happy to recommend Alice for similar large residential projects”.
We love living in a Victorian house, but having a number of small rooms didn’t suit the needs of our growing family. We were also keen to avoid the stereo-typical side-return extension that would have clearly been a bolt-on to the existing house.
The layout of the new extension works brilliantly well and has significantly enhanced the amount of time we spend together as a family. Beforehand I would disappear into our small kitchen to cook dinner, which meant I hardly saw the kids before they went to bed. Now I can indulge my passion for cooking whilst spending time with the kids as they play in the family room.
Re the bathroom
Alice did a great job of translating our thoughts and ideas for the family bathroom into a workable design .
We wanted to achieve a contemporary look, but without compromising the basic functionality of a family bathroom that would need to withstand the rough and tumble of young kids.
That means plenty of storage for plastic toys & bubble bath, but hidden out of the way behind flush fitting panels to retain a modern, clean finish. Recessed cubbyholes with mirrored tile backs and soft lighting finish off the look.
As a bonus the bathroom has a ‘wow’ factor and is much admired!
Everyone who comes to see my loft is impressed by how clever it is. Every inch has been liberated to create a spacious bedroom (14’ x 11’’ plus one wall of built in cupboards), a very clever bathroom in the eaves – and I still have a loft (a lot of useful space above the existing dormer window – great for longer term storage such as suitcases and Christmas decorations). A bespoke stained glass window (designed by Alice to echo others in this listed Norman Shaw house, and incorporating the colour I wanted to use but bringing it to life with contrasts and a bit of sparkle) gives the stairs and bathroom an arty focus; a clever glass window in front of it means that natural light flows on to the stairs. I’d heard that Alice was particularly good at making the most of space and I now know it is true. She is also very realistic about what is achievable within local authority regulations which meant we didn’t waste time applying for something we wouldn’t get. She organised quotations from three builders, all of whom I felt I could work well with. As I was going to have to live in the flat while the work was going on, I chose the firm I felt most personally in tune with – we had similar senses of humour which I thought might be needed with the dust and disruption got too much (it was and it worked). The quality of their work was extremely high; even the trickiest slots of space and the tightest corners were finished to perfection. Alice’s work incorporates a rare combination of practical skill and creative flair. I can’t recommend her highly enough.
The new kitchen/dining room has completely transformed the way we use the house. We spend far more time in this room now than before and it has become the centre of family life. The old galley kitchen, while good to work in, was far too narrow to accommodate anyone other than the cook and the old dining room was more formal than the room we now enjoy. The extra light from the glass box at the end has made a dramatic difference and we love opening the folding doors and using the patio. Everyone who knew the house before is amazed by the transformation of the old kitchen and dining room into this stunning space. We asked for a wow factor and you delivered! I wish we'd done it years ago
The master bathroom is a delight. It makes far better use of the space and is light and spacious. We like the simplicity of the design and the uncluttered look. Matching the doors to the dressing room wardrobe doors was a master stroke.
3 years on and our house is wonderful to come back to. Not only does Alice have an eye for a space that looks good; in our case, she understood the way we live as a family and incorporated this into her design perfectly.
We really enjoyed working with Alice, and are very pleased with our "new" house. We had a clear idea of what our objectives were for the project, but Alice helped us think through the various options for making use of the space available, and worked with us to develop a solution that was right for us and our needs. Having heard a number of stories of architects "taking over", we were pleased that Alice looked to develop and improve our own ideas, rather than impose a style. In the final stages of the project, Alice lifted the great majority of the burden in dealing with the contractor - organising a detailed tender and then keeping the builder to the specification agreed. If we ever take on such a project again, we would be very happy to work with Alice and her team.
"Alice Poole has designed us a kitchen that gives us the modern wow factor that met our brief in full. The mix of white gloss with walnut wood panels contrasts really well, with the changing colour lights providing the entertaining moods. From a practical side there is loads of storage space and the layout optimises the food prep and cooking as well as the cleaning up. The bar area facilitates easy eating for just the two of as well as gathering point for our friends when they drop by. We are really delighted with the result which is only reflected by the amount of time we spend in it!"
I would just like to thank you for all your hard work this year on the house and for all the extra help and support you have given me during the project. So many decisions to be made but we are delighted with the final outcome – the house looks great but also works much better for living in! I am looking forward to finally unpacking the boxes and getting organised. Hopefully it won’t take another 10 years to get the garage done!
I have seen some of your architectural drawings from recent planning applications, which are of an exceptional standard. There are very few in fact that I have come across that match your presentation.
I’d like to thank you for your approachability and willingness to discuss proposals over the previous two years, which has resulted in a number of high quality developments throughout Bedford Park.