In 2013, David and Arielle Barratt fell in love with the property, then called The Overstrand Hotel (see before and after pictures left). Although the house seemed to be in reasonable condition, it turned out to have a myriad of problems: leaky roof, crumbling stonework and shabby pebble dash, ivy growing through the walls, ancient plumbing and wiring, old central heating, rusting and broken leaded windows, no insulation, blocked fireplaces, flooding in the basement, etc. Nonetheless, they bravely embarked on a much bigger renovation project than either of them had ever done before.
To restore the original rooms, the partition walls built in the 1950’s to make small hotel rooms, had to be demolished. Unfortunately most of the old lath and plaster ceilings, cornices and walls also came down with that work. By March 2014, there was nothing left inside the house but brick walls, floors and rafters. The only original features from Overstrand House were the main staircase, the Arts & Crafts fireplace in the Drawing Room, a small cast iron fireplace, and a tarnished copper fireplace rescued from inside a wall. Hence all the period features of Haven Hall today have been lovingly added to enhance the original house. Local Island builders, bricklayers and stoneworkers were employed for over 3 years to complete the work.
David project managed all the major works: initial demolition, new construction, earth moving, fencing, drainage, plumbing, heating, commercial kitchen, air conditioning, CCTV security, IT & Wifi, planning & legalities, not to mention funding – plus managing up to 55 men on site.
Arielle did all the creative design work, from initially drawing plans for renovating the old building back to Edwardian splendour, to designing the new build. This included re-shaping 15 bedrooms, 9 lounges, 8 kitchens, 3 dining rooms, 22 bathrooms and 2 sheds. To stay in keeping with the late Victorian flavor, all the interior design, plaster cornices, antique fireplaces and other period features and furniture were sourced from auctions, reclamation yards and on-line. Arielle also designed the garden, adding the patio, steps, terraces, gazebo and pool house to enhance charm of the property. David managed all the building of the steps and terraces, car park & garage. The Lutyens steps were copied from original plans of the steps at Great Dixter, Kent. In 2017, The Isle of Wight Society bestowed an award for Landscaping to Haven Hall.