Don’t Judge This English Home By Its Traditional Facade

Laveta Brigham

Behind a very traditional facade, Rob and Cath Shrimplin’s house is hiding a contemporary surprise. Confronted with a 1930s home with a whole litany of problems to overcome, the couple embarked on a radical remodel which involved taking a big bite out of the back of the property and replacing […]

Behind a very traditional facade, Rob and Cath Shrimplin’s house is hiding a contemporary surprise.

Confronted with a 1930s home with a whole litany of problems to overcome, the couple embarked on a radical remodel which involved taking a big bite out of the back of the property and replacing it with a wide column of glass.

The project began five years ago, and was triggered by a change in the couple’s working lives. They had been living in a four-bedroom terraced house in Wimbledon, the neighborhood in southwest London which is home to the famous tennis tournament. When they bought that house, both had been working in the West End; Mr. Shrimplin, 43, as a planning consultant, and Mrs. Shrimplin, 41, as a finance director. Then new jobs brought relocations. By coincidence, both found themselves working in offices in the “home county” of Surrey, on the southwest fringes of London.

“We were commuting out of London, and it just didn’t make any sense,” said Mr. Shrimplin.

They began house hunting and in August 2015 they sold their house for $1.747 million and simultaneously spent $1.76 million on a seven-bedroom 2,206-square-foot home set on the hillside overlooking the affluent commuter town of Guildford, Surrey, 32 miles from central London.

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