Charlotte Woodward and the New Forest home she built with her husband
PUBLISHED: 10:45 07 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:45 07 September 2015
Spencers of the New Forest
Charlotte Woodward is living the dream in the New Forest. She chatted to Emma Caulton from the home she built with her husband
Since moving from Berkshire to the New Forest just over ten years ago, Dr Charlotte Woodward has achieved many ambitions. First she retrained in aesthetic medicine. Second she and husband Lee fulfilled a dream to build their own home. Next she set up River Aesthetics, with friend and fellow GP Victoria Manning, a leading, doctor-only, medical cosmetic clinic in Lymington. On top of that she’s run two full marathons and three half-marathons, and looks after her two daughters, Hannah, 14, and Emily, 12. She’s also an impressive advertisement for her business: looking as fresh-faced as a 20-year-old. How does she do it all?
We meet at Lynes Mead, the house Charlotte and Lee built, tucked down a quiet lane on the outskirts of Burley. New builds in the Forest are rare and finding a plot wasn’t easy. It was three years after moving to the Forest before they bought Lynes Mead. It was an opportunity for Charlotte and Lee to work with architect Robert Young of Lymington Design Associates, retaining the elegant Regency appearance, with its classic symmetry, deep sash windows and arched doorway, while reconfiguring the interior to create a home designed for 21st century luxury living.
Lee says, “People rock up and don’t even realise the house is new, but inside we wanted a more contemporary look.”
They rearranged the planned living space. Downstairs they moved the kitchen from the front of the house to the back, to create a big, open plan kitchen-family room opening onto a garden room. Upstairs they moved walls to make a big en suite bathroom for the master bedroom - with walk-in shower and Philippe Starck fittings including a freestanding tub under the window. They also maximised living space by creating a lower ground floor comprising cinema room with 65” screen, music room, wine cellar and gym.
Lee was project manager, overseeing a staggeringly impressive high-level specification. Top notch block and beam construction has not only ensured excellent thermal and sound-proofing qualities, but allowed underfloor heating to be installed on the first floor as well as the ground floor.
Best of the best materials and fittings include solid oak doors, stone flooring from Artisans of Devizes and a handcrafted and handpainted Mark Wilkinson kitchen with a comprehensive selection of appliances from a range-style cooker with griddle to a filtered drinking water tap. In the sitting area is a suspended and rotating Stuv woodburning stove, the first of this design to be installed in the UK, while in the drawing room is a Chesney’s of London stone fireplace.
Features include the double height atrium entrance with galleried landing and bespoke curving oak staircase and the conservatory, handmade by a local Lymington company with special UV-reflecting glass so shade is not necessary - although the back of the house and gardens are southerly-facing. The house is wired for sound, with a Sonos system allowing music to be played throughout the house or within specific zones, including outside terraces - while a Lutron lighting system creates atmosphere at the touch of a button. Every detail has been carefully considered right down to architectural features such as a contemporary architrave.
Charlotte has designed the house to have a contemporary country vibe with squashy leather sofas in the drawing room and painted furniture in the bedrooms. Her favourite room in the house is the kitchen: “We spend so much time in there as a family, we live in it really, and it has a great, light, bright, open plan feel.”
However, she is also appreciative of the cinema room on the lower ground floor: “I’m so glad we created that space as it gives so much storage, and the cinema room is great for the girls. There’s a separate Sky box and when they have their friends round they have their own space and upstairs we don’t hear a thing.”
The house is also perfect for a health and fitness aware doctor. Not only is there a gym, but a deck-level swimming pool, hot tub, paddocks at the bottom of the garden and open Forest for running and riding at the end of the lane.
Charlotte says: “It is very easy to go running from our home - I went running in the Forest with Hannah yesterday and we also regularly use the gym as Hannah is preparing for Run or Dye in Bournemouth, a 5k fun run, and raising money for Help for Heroes.”
Charlotte met her business partner Victoria through her daughter Charlotte, who was in the same class as Victoria’s partner’s daughter. This was not all they had in common. They were both GPs. They had both retrained in aesthetic medicine and although they continued to work in local GP practices, they both had ambitions to open their own business.
Charlotte recalls: “Victoria was already looking for a premises in Lymington and we thought we’d join forces.”
The pair opened River Aesthetics three years ago in November 2012. She continues: “We are two doctors doing all the treatments: non-surgical face lifts, medical peels, dermal fillers, intravenous vitamin therapy, non-surgical breast lifts...
“I don’t know of any other clinic with two doctors. People like to be looked after and as GPs we’re used to doing consultations and putting people at ease - we can give each other second opinions, it’s good to have that level of personal and professional support.
“No one is doing what we do locally. In fact we are doing things London isn’t doing. We are the only place in the country doing non-surgical breast lifts, that’s a first in aesthetic medicine, and one of the few places undertaking intravenous vitamin therapy – a quick, safe and effective way of receiving tailored concentrations of vitamins to build up your immune system or boost recovery following a sports injury.”
Charlotte and Lee are selling Lynes Mead, but they’re not leaving the Forest. And with Charlotte and Victoria’s ground-breaking aesthetic medicine business continuing to thrive, the move to the New Forest has been a personal and professional success story. I just wonder what Charlotte will achieve next...
• Architect: Robert Young of Lymington Design Associates, 01590 670022, www.lymingtondesignassociates.co.uk
• Bathroom: Similar Philippe Starck fittings available from The Big Bath Company, Lymington, 01590 610030, www.bigbathcompany.com
• Kitchen: Mark Wilkinson, 01380 850007, www.markwilkinson.co.uk
• Limestone flooring: Artisans of Devizes, 01380 720007, artisansofdevizes.com
• Sash windows: JH Joinery, Lymington, 01590 671870, www.jhjoinerylymington.co.uk
• Staircase: Complete Stair Systems, Romsey, 01794 522444, www.completestairsystems.co.uk
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