Behind the Scenes with our Design Director

Our Design Director, Andrew Clarke, has been designing Countryside developments for 12 years – that’s thousands of homes across too many developments to name, not to mention countless happy home-owners! We caught up with Andrew to find out the inside scoop on what goes on behind the scenes to create our amazing new developments…

“When our buyers see our houses for the first time they have a few things in mind. Does the house have enough character? Does it have a good sized garden? Do I like the kitchen layout? These are pretty big and important questions and it can take a buyer just a few minutes to view a house and have all the answers they need. But what many people don’t know is the detailed thought that goes into every single feature of our new developments. The bay windows, the brick work, the street scenes – we meticulously pore over and plan every detail for months so that our buyers can find their dream home in a matter of moments.

Tiny Details are Big Details
“There are thousands of tiny details we have to consider in our development design – and no matter how small, they are all important. Variety is important so each of our house types have key design differences but all follow a complementary central theme – traditional style elevations with contemporary interior layout. To give our homes the traditional build style some have dentil course brickwork or lower edge plinth detail, some have a front-door porch, bay or dormer windows. Our buyers want modern homes but with traditional character so we make sure our elevations are high quality and have plenty of character – to offer the best of both worlds!

Take Nothing for Granted
“It sounds obvious but we can’t just arrive on a site and build houses. When we design a development we need to understand the land we’re building on. We look at locations of open space, capacity in utilities and we work with the local authorities to understand road networks and development access – it’s dry stuff but it’s absolutely vital. Once we’ve got under the skin of a site, we can then move on to the fun bit of mapping out a development. The houses, the street scenes, the tree lined boulevards, the green space. All of this builds a picture of what the development will look like but in amongst this we need to take into account privacy spacing between houses, road width and parking requirements for each house. This is the big picture, the placemaking and it’s so satisfying to see it all come together.

The Big Tick Boxes
“Everyone has a different list of priorities when buying a house and actually, these often differ within the same family or couple because lifestyle is such a big factor. Listening to our market is quite important here. Our buyers want contemporary open-plan living so we factor this into the design with spacious and light kitchen-diners with velux windows and French doors that open to the rear gardens – we create sociable spaces and these are a big plus for parents who can just sit back and relax, looking on while their children play in the garden. These spaces are designed around our buyers’ lifestyles and having a brand new fully fitted kitchen with integrated appliances is always high on the wish list. Quality of life is a big part of every design decision we make and while this applies to the homes themselves, the setting of our development is also really important. We ensure access to open space and we plant mature tree lined boulevards. These features are separate to the home but they knit the development together and make them established communities right from day one.”