Meet Sam Veale

RRA Architects > Meet Sam Veale

Sam Veale
Project Designer

I grew up just outside Cheltenham with my parents and sister, and then moved to Nottingham to study at the University of Nottingham for my bachelor’s in architecture, returning to Cheltenham for my year placement. I then moved to London to study my masters at the University of Westminster, however soon missed the countryside life, and moved back to Cheltenham to be with my now husband! I found the portfolio of properties, and the many different types you can come across, so exciting to work on, as every project is different and bespoke to the client! Moving back also gave me the opportunity to take up rowing, and I love how you can be in the town centre one minute, and then in deep countryside the next! 


What attracted you to being an Architect?

When I was 4 years old I asked my parents if I could move the furniture in my room around so it would work better, and then when I was old enough I then decorated my room myself. Eventually my parents let me design and decorate the whole house at 12 years old! I was also very lucky to be able to travel a lot with my family, and visit places such as America, Europe and Asia, which opened my eyes to different cultures. I have always been interested in the spaces people live in, seeing architecture as an incredible tool to shape our lives, emotions and feelings. When working with a client I always make sure they picture themselves living in their home, and what they want their future home to give them, whether that’s more space, connection to their garden, quality of life or just good design!


What attracted you to work for RRA?

I always knew after I finished my studies I wanted to move back to Cheltenham, as growing up in the area I fell in love with the Cotswolds, and the beautiful landscapes and properties that surround us. RRA appealed to me due to their bespoke service they offer; tailoring the design for each individual. Their portfolio also showcased innovative design, working with different constraints and opportunities such as landscape, contrasting new and old and beautiful detailing.


What did you like about lockdown?

Lockdown gave me the chance to slow down, and to concentrate on home renovations and wedding planning! We managed to update our garden so that it is now a lovely functional space on two levels, which allows us to have friends and family round for BBQ’s in the summer. My wedding also got postponed a year due to Covid so I was able to plan everything myself, and source local and small businesses to make our day that extra bit special!


Did you take up any new hobbies in lockdown? And, will you carry on with them?

I had recently taken up rowing before lockdown, so when I heard the rowing club would be closed, I quickly bought a second hand rowing machine to keep me going! I now train a couple of nights a week after work both on the water and off, and it has really improved my fitness and mental health.


Name one thing on your Bucket List.

One thing that has always been on my bucket list it to walk to the North Pole. I’ve always been very adventurous and would love to test my limits!


If you could go anywhere tomorrow, where would you go and why?

Me and my husband would love to travel to Japan one day, to visit Hakuba for the skiing and then the Kerama Islands for the hiking and whale watching! After our honeymoon was also delayed, I would like to finally go to Portugal, where we plan to visit Lisbon and Comporta! We are both huge foodies and love going on long weekends to different countries to try the all the different local dishes!


If you hadn’t gone into architecture what other career might you have pursued?

My first answer would be interior or furniture designer, as I am constantly changing my own home and following trends on Instagram and Pinterest as well as my many magazine subscriptions! I also love to buy old furniture and up cycle it to give it a new lease of life! We are currently renovating our first home in Cheltenham, so I am really enjoying going through the design process for my own space and choosing samples, colours, textures and layouts!

My other plan would be, as I always love to be either near or on water (hence the rowing) to study Marine Biology or something in the field of wildlife and geography! I am always watching David Attenborough shows and doing my best to reduce my carbon footprint!