Sarah and Paul Cartwright bought a run-down bungalow in a Dorset Conservation Area, with a plan to “do it up”, but ultimately decided to completely transform and extend it into a contemporary holiday home. A heavily sloping site meant some ingenious design features have been employed in order to maintain privacy and make the most of the stunning views.

The couple hired architect Annie Martin to transform the property. She suggested alterations that responded to the quirks of the site, to reduce overlooking and provide a better connection between home and garden. An open plan layout on the ground floor has been cleverly designed to include a sliding pocket door which can close off the living space when required.

Project Notes

  • Project: Extension and remodel of a bungalow
  • Location: Dorset
  • Build time: May 2014 – Jun 2015
  • Size: 186m2
  • Plot cost: £248,000
  • Build cost: £350,000 (£1,882/m2)
  • Value: £700,000 – £750,000


The two bedroom bungalow was built in 1998 and was 3m lower than the road and parking, but 1.7m above the rear garden.

before image of a Dorset chalet bungalow in a Conservation Area
chalet bungalow on a sloping site before remodel

Rear Elevation

The entire rear wall of the property has been removed and replaced with glazed sliding doors which open up the living space and kitchen to the new raised deck, transforming the previously almost windowless wall. The doors lead out from the living room and kitchen can be used to access the rear garden.

decked patio and glazed elevation of bungalow

The Sloping Site

On entering through the front door from the bridge, you are met with views out over the Dorset countryside beyond. The formerly sloping front garden was heavily excavated to accommodate the extension.

glass and wood walkway entrance to sloping site home
walkway to entrance and clad exterior of converted bungalow
walkway to entrance of clad bungalow home


The house is entered on the first floor via a ‘bridge’. The staircase then leads down to the hallway and main living spaces.

stairwell with white walls and wooden stairs in split level bungalow
entrance hall of extended bungalow on sloping site

Kitchen Diner

Sarah managed to purchase the sleek kitchen for half its original price by going for an ex-demonstration kitchen.

Sarah Catrwright in kitchen diner of her converted bungalow

Open Plan Spaces

Although the living room is open plan to the kitchen and dining space, a huge pocket door can be closed to separate the spaces when required.

kitchen diner with pocket door to living room

Bedrooms and Bathrooms

The ground floor bedrooms lead out on to a sunken patio area, while three bathrooms and a shower room means the house works well for family life.

white bedroom in extended bungalow
contemporary bathroom with bath and dark wood vanity unit
bathroom with grey tiles and walk-in shower

Exterior Spaces

It was important for Sarah and Paul to maximise the outdoor spaces, given the enviable location of the house — at the front, a patio lowered into the ground makes for a private seating space, while the rear garden has been designed to make the most of the views.

sunken terrace with seating in garden on sloping site
garden of a sloping site bungalow

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