January 23, 2014


For those among the dizzy echelons of the, still surviving, English Landed Gentry, there is but one sentence which, when delivered by their young, is enough to make the ancestral suit of armor in the hall fall to the flagstones in a dead clank: "Mummy, I'm going to be an interior designer."

The idea of choosing how one's surroundings should be decorated, or, God forbid, moving with the times, is a truly alien concept for the landed gentry.

As Grayson Perry, Britain's most celebrated potter/transvestite, said, "Brits have an in-built class GPS."

The upper classes he tells us "have their taste dictated to them by their ancestors beyond the grave".
One of our most cutting political put downs came when Baron Jopling dismissed Michael Heseltine, a self made millionaire, with the cruel barb: "The trouble with Michael is that he had to buy his own furniture."

Hyacinth Bucket: "...the Bouquet Residence, the lady of the house speaking!  If there's one thing I can't stand, it's snobbery and one-upmanship. People who try to pretend they're superior. Makes it so much harder for those of us who really are..."

January 6, 2014

DvH Design projects 2013/2014

“Small is the new sexy.”

I am passionate about the design of small spaces.  This passion extends to my own house.  I live, by choice, in a small house (one thousand square feet) and a vacation house (six hundred square feet), and I aspire to nothing larger.  Small spaces are more convenient, less expensive, and less wasteful of scarce resources and, perhaps, more architecturally expressive, more elegant, more comfortable, and ultimately more human.
My passion for small dwellings dates back to about age twelve when I was enchanted by a tiny but elegantly engineered Gypsy caravan. This small space had something-refinement? modernity? -that made spaciousness seem quite beside the point.  It made anything more than one perfect room seem dowdy and unnecessary.  The passion was ignited, and nothing in the following decades has extinguished it.
I have been critical of the prevailing values in the realm of building and architecture, and when accepting a project I always propose alternatives.  Small dwellings represent a range of housing types and architectural styles. The differences are inconsequential but what they have in common is that - small is the new sexy.

Design like you give a hoot.


DvH 2013/14 04    Oxford, UK (attic conversion)

DvH 2014 05    Mayfair, London, UK 
(attic conversion) 

DvH 2013/14 06  UK (conversion)