Architecture – In Ex Design

Visualisation produced by The Archilime Collective


In Ex Design were approached to create a family home within a historic walled garden close to the River Exe in East Devon.

Getting planning permission wasn’t a forgone conclusion; not only is the site Curtilage Grade 2 listed, but it is also within an area of outstanding natural beauty and is classed as open countryside (outside a built up area).

We worked hard to design a building that was something special and something East Devon District Council would approve.  We submitted a full planning & listed building application for a new dwelling within the walled garden off Courtlands Lane, Exmouth in August 2022 – we were delighted to receive an approval notice almost a year later.

Melcombe was once a Christmas tree farm!

Our clients bought the property which included a large barn, a stable, lots of land and a shocking farm house that needed a total refurb. Luckily the property also had an annex which the clients choose to move into during the build. The works to this part of the house became phase 2.

Phase 1 saw the extensive refurbishment of the main farmhouse. Most of the internal walls were retained with the exception of a couple. The client wanted a light and open feel to the house and that’s what we have achieved. There are very few internal doors on the ground floor which allows for a great flow. The living room flows into the kitchen around a double sided fireplace, and the kitchen flows to the dining room. The main entrance is directly on to an impressive bespoke floating stair. Every detail was considered from larger features like the gallery which looks out through high level windows across the property, down to no skirting for a crisp look.

The detailed design didn’t stop at the living spaces, the house now has some impressive bathrooms and an amazing utility too (who knew a utility could be amazing!).

Externally the house is transformed – from mix of old stone and render the property is unrecognisable. New black timber cladding with a mix of grey and white render, the details added to the building give it an edgy modern vibe! Exactly on brief!

The client’s approached In Ex Design with a brief to create a single storey rear extension to their Victorian terrace house in Exmouth, which would make a living space as large as possible within the limited area and that would have as much natural light as could be achieved. Our proposal utilised the existing empty space at the side of the property and replaced the existing rear extension to create a new light filled open kitchen dining living space with access to the garden. The new space allowed the existing dining room to be reconfigured for much needed storage with a cloakroom, boot room and utility spaces.

Our clients came to us looking to build a new house on a wooded area of land, on a plot owned by the client’s family.  The proposal for the House in the Trees, will see the creation of a house that is a functional family home, allowing the client’s to stay close to their parents with whom they currently live.

Working on the Old Bond Store Warehouse at Exeter Quay was a real privilege. Such a prominent and historic building required a special touch. After years of standing empty since it’s heyday as a notorious nightclub, the building had fallen into total disrepair. St Austell Brewery bought the building and set about converting the downstairs into an impressive smoke and ale house – The Samuel Jones – and the upstairs into residential units. This is where we came in!

Credit: Photography by Matt Austin Photography.

Heritage Project of the Year
Michelmores Property Awards 2015

Petroc College of further & higher education has a strong Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Department (SLDD) at its Tiverton Campus. The aim of this proposal was to let the department develop and improve further. Allowing a greater number of students to benefit from what the college has to offer, all from within a specifically designed environment that is tailored to the Department’s needs.

The project included the refurbishment of 230m2 of substandard accommodation to facilitate a greater capacity of students. Plus, the delivery of 170m2 of new specialist learning space to enable the development of innovation skills of the students. This was a challenging site which required careful planning and detailing. In Ex Design worked closely with Mid Devon District Council throughout the project.

Shortlisted Project of the Year with a value under £2 million, Michelmores Property Awards 2016

Hillside is a striking, modern large-scale renovation and extension of a Victorian Property, in the coastal village of Lympstone in East Devon, in South West England.

A former bed and breakfast built in the Victorian era, the property was taken on by a great client who saw the potential of the house and its site to convert it into a ‘forever home’. The new modern 2-storey extension, extensive internal refurbishment works and comprehensive landscaping scheme allows the design to work cohesively together.

The client, who owns Complete Solutions, a high-end installer of home cinema, multi-room audio systems and smart home systems gave In Ex Design a brief to not only to create an outstanding family home but also a unique setting in which to showcase the new technologies Complete Solutions supplies. The client’s expertise of modern technology and the level of attention to detail is apparent throughout the design – from construction details to spacial design, from furniture layouts to selection of artwork. The result is a grand yet intimate five-bedroom space which adapts effortlessly to indoor/outdoor living and is modern both in terms of appearance and operation.

“It’s one of those surprising sites.” Says Julie-Ann Clements, Director of In Ex Design “Right in the middle of the village – and you would never believe what lies behind the front door!”