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Grand Designs

What happens when you push your ideas to their limit? Introducing our Grand Design.

Taking steam bending to new heights, pioneering bold aesthetics and channelling the essence of the Tom Raffield ethos and design, founders Tom and Danielle Raffield embarked on their biggest project to date. To envisage, design and build their unique family home, with every step of the journey captured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.

Having bought a long-forgotten 19th century grade ii-listed gamekeeper’s cottage in south Cornwall, Tom and Danielle set about reinventing the space, shaping an environment that would suit family life and reflect their creativity.

Tom Raffield's house of steam-bent wood
 The front of Tom Raffield's house of steam-bent wood

"This place has the potential to be Tom’s masterpiece; the summation of his life's work"

- Kevin McCloud, presenter of Grand Designs.
The living room at Tom Raffield's house, with steam-bent wooden walls and furniture
Inside Tom Raffield's house, with wooden walls, concrete floor and his steam-bent-wood lights

Working in unison with their environment, they brought fresh purpose to the materials and resources offered up by their surroundings – utilising timber from their woodland, rocks from the original excavation site, and steam bending talents from their team.

From paper plans to the finishing touches, every inch of the build was thought through in meticulous detail. Whether it was the eco-concrete flooring laid underfoot, ground-source heat pumps to keep the space warm, or the wood waste put aside to create new pieces of furniture to fill their home (many of which feature in the range today) – time, consideration, and experimentation characterised every decision made, and design undertaken. A huge thank you to Chris Strike of RA Design, who helped us design the house.

 the open-plan kitchen/dining room at Tom Raffield's wood house
 The kitchen at Tom Raffield's house

Together, Tom and Danielle have created a space that has brought the outside in, blurs the boundaries of nature and home - and showcases the fundamental role the natural world has on our imaginations. From the ground up, the build is truly original.

The low-impact home was completed to industry acclaim; blending the beauty of nature with architectural innovation and bridging the gap between honest tradition and inventive new techniques.

A large-scale architectural project. A feat of steam bending craftsmanship. A test of endurance and skill. Tom and Danielle’s wooden grand designs home has become a self-build project that's instantly recognised by many.

Tom and Danie on their Amble Hanging Seat

TWO YEARS ON...

It’s been over two years since Grand Design’s put ‘the house that Tom built’ on the map, and what a two years it’s been. We’ve caught up with Tom and Danielle to reflect on the build and see what’s changed inside their steam bent home.

Tom Raffield's steam-bent-wood house.

Grand Designs episode credits: Channel 4 TV via Daily Motion.

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