About Us

Kay Pilsbury Thomas Architects is an award-winning practice of RIBA Architects & BIID Interior Designers, who specialise in works for historic houses. We are RIBA Specialist Conservation Architects & AABC Architects Accredited in Historic Building Conservation, so have the highest level of expertise in working with your old buildings. We love working on all types and periods of listed and historic houses throughout East Anglia, UK. 

We will join you on a great adventure with your historic house. We are passionate about old buildings and the stories they tell! We will carefully and thoughtfully design your dream renovation, extension or conversion with you, and make it fun along the way! The practice is led by Conservation Architect Sibyl Thomas and her highly qualified team of specialist Conservation Architects and Designers. 

What services do you provide?

Architecture and Interior Design

How would you describe your style?

"Every historic house we work on is made up of layers and generations of historic builds and styles. Our skill is in understanding all these layers and knowing how to repair and conserve the significant elements of fabric, whilst being able to design new additions carefully, to allow your house to evolve for C21st living. 

We are highly experienced in conservation repairs appropriate to the style of the house. Then for new extensions and alterations, we take a bespoke approach depending on your tastes and what works with that particular house and its existing style. This might be a traditional style extension echoing the existing architecture or a contemporary addition that still harmonies effortlessly with the old house."

Please describe a recently completed project or tell us about the bespoke service that you offer

"A recently completed project is the extension to a Grade I listed Country House in Suffolk. The house is described by Pevsner as “belonging to the time of Henry VII & Henry VIII, with alterations and additions of the 18th,19th/20th century. As it stands it is one of the loveliest houses of its date in England, neither small nor overwhelmingly grand.” It has a courtyard plan and a gatehouse entrance. 

The house has been in the same family for generations and the next generation was moving in with their young family. They love this house and were excited to carefully repair the oldest parts of the fabric, along with the challenge of upgrading the archaic plumbing system! They also wanted the house to evolve for C21st living, by adapting the C20th service wing for modern family life, where the Kitchen is the heart of the home. 

Our skill was to understand the historic layers and construction, so we could carefully select and alter those areas that were less significant, to ensure no damage to the older fabric. 

We added breathable lime floors with underfloor heating into the C15th great hall, making one of the grandest rooms now usable and comfortable. We also opened up some of the cellular early C20th service rooms, that were no longer used, creating a large, open-plan Kitchen, evening room and entrance hall. The newly formed Kitchen was then extended with a contemporary glazed Morning Room, incorporating lime plaster on the walls to maintain a sense of harmony with the old house. This morning room space has a high ceiling, large contemporary roof lantern and modern glazed doors, that fully open back and welcome the garden into the home. The resulting architecture adds another story and layer to this beautiful house and one fabulous entertaining space!  

Being Grade I listed we carefully consulted with the Council Conservation Officer and Historic England, along the way. The construction was by a local specialist building firm and we created construction drawings in meticulous detail and oversaw the whole project on-site. We loved working with the owners who have such adoration for this house and we are now working on another project with them to create an outdoor swimming pool within the gardens, working with a renowned garden designer."