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Make it stand out

SWM spoke to Anthony Nicholls, Managing Director of HNB Exclusive, to understand how they BUILD world-leading homes that stand out and reflect their client’s lifestyle.


Anthony – when approaching a new project, what’s the first thing you need to know?

Initially, we spend a lot of time finding out how our clients use their homes and the things they enjoy doing, which allows us to understand what they might need; gyms, cinema rooms, kitchens and swimming pools are the obvious answers. We focus on taking that to the next level and elevating your perception
of what’s possible.

Can you provide an example?

Garages. Why are cars not displayed like art? If you love your cars, collect them, admire them and love the look of them, why not make your collection part of your home so that you can admire your collection while you’re at your desk, in the gym or enjoying dinner? Clever layouts and glass walls can make this possible, and remind you why you work so hard.

As the designer and builder all things are achievable, but the inspiration for stand-out elements for our clients always comes from asking the right questions.

When you have the chance to build a home from scratch, or you’re making an existing home your own, it’s easy to get carried away with other people’s ideas. But what will really make this feel like home, and enable you and your family to effortlessly settle in, is building a home around how you and your family flow.

How can you determine someone’s flow?

Determining the flow of an individual or a family, or how best to support it, is down to how they spend their days, where they are happiest, what their daily challenges are, and how they deal with the demands of a hectic lifestyle.

Looking at these elements can help us understand how to create a space that allows a family or couple to function without compromise, to feel completely supported and know their home has been built to help them make the best of everything they do.

It’s important that people can be together doing what they love, which is why we’ve designed gyms next to kitchens, games rooms next to dressing rooms, and bars in garages.

How does this translate into a dream home?

Once we understand what the design and layout of a house needs to achieve, we work with our architects and interior designers to draw up plans and develop ideas. Getting everyone involved in the project from the early stages means increased creativity and endless possibilities. We don’t like to say no and this method of collaborative working means that we never have to.

What has been your biggest client challenge to date?

We had a client that bought a 300-year-old dilapidated water mill for sentimental reasons. Despite the mill having no foundations, and being saturated with 100 years of free water flow, they wanted to restore this as a second home while keeping the water flowing through the house and making a standout feature of the mill’s original workings, as well as a modern extension. It wasn’t a usual request, but we were able to achieve it and create a unique and stunning home that lived up to the client’s vision of perfection.


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