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At home on the Deben

PUBLISHED: 11:59 27 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:06 20 February 2013

At home on the Deben

At home on the Deben

This lovely lodge house, close to the river at Waldringfield, has sleek interiors, great views, and owners who are thrilled with the quality and style local tradespeople have brought to their home

Perfectly placed for a view of the river


Messing about in boats has long been a passion for Clive Underdown, who sailed the River Deben as a boy. In recent years, a move Suffolk-wards from Hertfordshire now sees him settled with his wife Denise in a spacious American-style home alongside the river at Waldringfield, their own jetty and his boyhood dream of a boat moored at the end of the garden fulfilled.
We realise that we are very privileged to live here, says Clive, and thanks to the discovery of a perfect plot sited on the Underdowns land, it was clear that there was further opportunity for visiting family and friends to enjoy the privacy afforded by the tranquil waterside location, while having the benefit of their own space.
And so the couple planned to integrate a three bedroom lodge house into the grounds of their existing home. The Underdowns believe passionately in supporting local businesses, and had already seen the quality of Kesgrave builders Bell and Wrights work when they created the garage for their existing home.
Although, laughs Denise, this is a not a traditional garage! My husband likes to spend time there with his cars, and so it had to be done to a very high standard, with heating and beautiful windows.
In collaboration with Bury St Edmunds-based architects MS2, the couple developed the style of the new lodge house to reflect its waterside location and the need for an unfussy approach. Flooded with light from expansive windows, and full of design touches that Denise has masterminded, its planned to relax guests into an easy lifestyle.
Theres an open plan feel to the ground floor, which also features one of the three double bedrooms with en-suites. The hall then leads you through to the kitchen/dining room. Contemporary kitchen style can be quite clinical, but this stylish kitchen is anything but. A sleek mixture of glossy surfaces and ideal appliances, the kitchen not only looks great, but is a highly functional workspace which integrates seamlessly into the free-flowing interior of this new-build property.
The induction hob, state-of-the-art circular extractor fan and hidden appliances (including a washing machine and Smeg dishwasher) add to the sleek looks, while a wall-mounted blackflatscreen echoes the ebony appliances. As the room also needed to function as an attractive space to eat, a row of floor-to-ceiling cupboards along the interior wall adds to the feeling of space and calm, toning with the light marble floor and reflecting the light in this airy room.
Attention to detail is the hallmark of the house, from the stylish plasma screens featured in every room, to the American-style built-in vacuum system discreetly placed throughout. Upstairs, the flow of bedrooms maximises the light, and colour details are carried through in the soft furnishings which Denise took great delight in choosing. Michael Morgan Interiors co-ordinated these, even matching the shades of the blinds to a painting we have in sunset colours, explains Clive.
A beautiful stainless steel balcony makes the most of the wonderful views, and each of the double bedrooms has its own en-suite, including a wet room in one which is perfect for children to use.
Outside, the compact plot was brought to life thanks to clever landscaping by Bourne Garden Centre, creating a delightful environment to sit out and eat in the warmer months. At the rear, the retaining wall of huge brick kilns that were previously on the site creates a quiet courtyard space.
The entire project came together so successfully thanks to collaboration between all the different elements involved. In fact, the Underdowns were so delighted with the hard work of all the local firms who participated in the project that they held a party for their contractors at the end of the build.

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