Louise and Sven started working together some years ago when Louise’s son, a very old friend of Sven’s, thought they might work well together. Their partnership has proved to be a solid matching of ideas. They have chosen to develop the company slowly, making sure they bring their ethical values with them: they want to create homes, not just houses.
After years of running a successful property development company, Sven and Louise realised there was a lack of options available to homeowners whose land or home had potential for redevelopment. Their goal was to offer an easy, convenient and transparent service for home owners to realise such potential.
They chose a hedgehog as their company symbol because hedgehogs are a British icon – sadly, a rare sight nowadays, resilient little creatures doing wonders for gardens. For Sven and Louise, hedgehogs represent strong character and independent spirit.
My job includes sourcing properties, arranging finance, planning how to improve/add value to properties, and working with designers to gain planning permission. It also involves project management, recruiting and customer liaison.
My favourite aspect of the job is meeting such a wide variety of people – every person and property has their own unique story. Plus, I get to take my dog to work!
My ideal house would be a fairly traditional country house with stunning views and plenty of modern tech inside. This vision does constantly evolve, though, as each property we deal with gives me inspiration and new ideas of ways to improve my own dream build.
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time outdoors, either walking across the South Downs with my dog or playing – and watching – a range of sports. Keeping fit allows me to indulge in another passion – food and wine. City breaks and holidays are often centred around trying new food and drink!
Sven is the powerhouse and creative force in the company. I am the sounding board in the background, providing professional contacts, accounting and business advice, financial backing, and sometimes a female point of view.
What I most enjoy about our work is the excitement of seeing an architect’s plan and a plot of land becoming a home, or seeing a wreck of a house transformed into a beautiful home we’d like to live in ourselves.
A couple of our builds have come pretty close to my ideal home. I like a property with quirky details that add character, but I also want every up-to-date feature in my kitchen. The house has to have a relaxing flow through the rooms to be comfortable for everyday life as a couple, and it should work just as well when family and grandchildren visit. Outside areas are important too, for barbecues in the summer or for sitting and enjoying the outdoors.
In my spare time I prefer to be active, and am often outdoors, dog walking or gardening. I love getting together with family and friends for meals or outings. I spend part of each year in Australia visiting family and soaking up the lifestyle. This has influenced the interior design of our houses.