How an architect can improve your home and your well-being

17 June 2020 by Simon Drayson

George and James Architects discuss how engaging their services can add value to your property in more ways than one.

Arlington Avenue Megan Taylor
Rooftop extension of a modern house to create a master bedroom suite and secluded roof terrace. Picture: Megan Taylor

Q: Why should I consult an architect when re-designing my home?

A: Often our clients come to us with a quantitative approach to their construction project, saying things such as “we want to extend our kitchen!”. We prefer to take a more qualitative approach; initially by understanding both your current lifestyle and future aspirations, before then communicating how these can be interpreted into a built form. In the previous example, what the clients essentially required was a space to cook and eat, as a family or with friends, that benefited from natural light and fresh air, whilst enjoying views over the garden. This actually resulted in a smaller extension that cost less!

Bolton Road Ed Park
Side return extension and refurbishment of a Victorian terraced house to create an open-plan kitchen diner. Picture: Ed Park

Q: Why should I consider adapting my existing space?

A: More often than not, our work entails undoing previous poor design decisions; by looking at your house as it was originally built, we can explore how its rooms can be repurposed as spaces more suited to how we live here and now. One of the many downfalls of conventional extensions is that they all too frequently disconnect inside from outside. By improving this connection, we find this improves well-being and reduces stress. This is particularly important now more than ever, as our home and work lives become intertwined. If moving home is not possible, you should consider improving it instead.

Cromwell Grove Megan Taylor
Refurbishment of the basement of a large Victorian terraced house to create an open-plan kitchen diner. Picture: Megan Taylor.

Q: How does the planning and design process work?

A: Our services are split into thirds: to planning, to tender and construction. At the beginning of a project, we can prepare and submit a planning application, liaising with the Local Authority as necessary to minimise the risk of a refusal. In the middle of a project, we can prepare a tender package, to obtain prices from potential builders, before then submitting these for Building Regulations approval. At the end of a project, we oversee the project on site, taking some of the headache away. Each and every client and project are unique, and our services are tailored to suit accordingly.

Q: How can I get in touch?

A: You can call 020 7231 7495 or email to arrange a complimentary initial consultation via video call. You can show us your home and present your problems, and then, we will give you professional advice and share our solutions.

George and James Architects is an RIBA Chartered Practice based in Bermondsey, one underground station from London Bridge. The practice was founded in 2013 by Simon George Drayson and Darren James Leach as a design-led studio working on architecture, interior design and conservation projects across London and the home counties. You can view more of these and their other projects at

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