Located in the South East of England, and just a few short miles from Greater London, Surrey is one of the most popular residential counties in England – and boasts a diverse array of picturesque villages and large towns.

As you drive through Surrey, you will see as many street signs for National Trust properties and country estates as for Thorpe Park and other family attractions, underpinning the incredible juxtaposition of a county which is both historically significant and modern.

More than that though, Surrey is home to some of the most exquisite properties, sprawling estates, and architectural statements in England. Its countryside made up of rolling hills and wood parklands, backs onto towns where the properties are impressive, and the community vibe is welcoming. Meanwhile, the towns themselves give way to cobbled streets and timber-framed buildings, embracing the modern convenience of 21st-century amenities and facilities, but built in a way to resemble and reflect the architecture which has populated the county for centuries.

As a county, Surrey is an attractive place to call home and is both coveted and expensive in terms of the properties – particularly detached homes with gardens and enticing countryside surroundings.

In this blog, we’re looking at what makes Surrey the traditional yet modern and incredibly sought-after destination it is today, with emphasis on how classic influences are enhanced with contemporary designs, and how you can inject a little Surrey style into your own home.

The hallmarks of Surrey architecture

What’s really interesting about Surrey from an architectural perspective, especially from a design and build angle, is that the highly attractive area complete with its AONB status, is just a stone’s throw from Heathrow Airport and from some of the most frequented spots in England. This creates a desire for properties which are modern, and which support the modern lifestyle, without losing the intensely historical charm which lies in the background of every town and village in the county.

Surrey has long been considered the garden of Londoners and is home to countless commuters who revel in the proximity to the city and the rural countryside beyond. Such is the popularity of Surrey among London commuters that it is now an incredibly sought-after and expensive place to live – despite retaining some of its original architecture and natural beauty.

Some of the hallmarks span impressive driveways and surrounding grounds, detailed brickwork, an emphasis on the colour of build materials and the way they translate to and impact the look of the building, and the use of standalone structures including vast gate posts and statues.

It is pleasing to see how Surrey has adapted many of its old buildings and architectural statements for modern use – with the next section of this blog dedicated to just some of the buildings and the people behind them.

Surrey Traditional Architecture

Some notable architectural statements in and around Surrey

As you browse Surrey on your own architectural tour, you will notice how many of the market towns and residential areas are built around and in support of notable landmarks and buildings. Many of the churches around Surrey are exquisite and retain the same aesthetic as they did centuries ago, while educational buildings including Royal Holloway and some of the private schools are all embedded in old and timeless structures.

Other buildings including Waverley Abbey, Farnham Castle, Sutton Place, and Loseley Park boast historical prominence – all spanning huge grounds with incredibly ornate and manicured gardens which create a neat aesthetic around the building.

But it’s not all elegant history in Surrey, as the county also owes much of its architecture to the mediaeval farmhouses and buildings which surround the suburban estates. Norman Shaw was a notable British architect whose influence and design can be seen throughout Surrey, specifically across the country houses and large estates.

Shaw’s influence was felt most keenly around the 1880s and 1890s, as he practised and designed around a homely and serene style – boasting large chimneys and hidden interior nooks.

Tips for infusing your home with the timeless style of a Surrey property

In a bid to embrace the timeless beauty of traditional style with the convenience and practical functions of modern living, one of the first and most prominent stylistic changes you can adopt is to feature exposed brick and wooden beams. Wooden beams are reminiscent of the timber frames that can be seen across many traditional market towns in Surrey, while the use of exposed brick injects contemporary and modern spaces with colour and charm.

However, if you want to embrace more of a Norman Shaw style of design then it’s the overriding architectural features that you will want to showcase – emphasising chimneys and finding innovative uses for corners and hidden nooks and crannies which might otherwise be ignored.

One thing which underpins a great deal of Surrey’s architecture is the blend of inside and outside beauty, finding ways of bringing the outside in through design features and build. Many of the most notable Surrey-built country houses and estates span expansive grounds which are equally manicured, and which enjoy the same attention to detail as the properties themselves. For those modern homeowners who want to reminisce and inject Surrey’s historical architecture into their family home, attention to the outside space and detail is just as important as the inside.

Finally, what better way to bring the blend of old and new into your family home than with traditional interior features juxtaposed with contemporary artwork. Some of the best ways to do this include exposed and natural foundations and interior finishes, alongside neutral and modern details and accessories – from artwork to sculptures and beyond.

As a county with a high number of stately homes and country houses, Surrey is one of those county’s you visit and will almost certainly want to bring back into your own home. To learn more about how to balance your own interior aesthetics and create a home which is functional but with timeless charm and design, get in touch with the team at TN Design & Build.

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