Transform your home, without extending

29 April 2022 by Darren Leach

Alloway Road 22

It always amazes us how often we hear homeowners state that they need to extend their home in order to create a bigger / lighter / better layout to work for their lifestyle. Whilst this can often be true, in many cases it is possible to achieve an incredible change to a home without having to add any additional internal floor area.

Through careful planning we can reimagine a house, making it possible to deliver a richer, more thoughtful home design; a more sustainable and generally cheaper option with less waste, fewer materials needed and minimal impact to the surroundings.

Extension and refurbishment of a large Victorian terraced house 6

Internal flow

The layout of a house can have a huge impact to how it feels internally, for example older properties tend to have smaller rooms, with a cellular layout usually with the kitchen disconnected from the main living space. This often results in dark and uninviting spaces, with those in the kitchen feeling very isolated from the rest of the house, however with a little rearrangement it is possible to alter this internal plan to create larger rooms with a better internal flow. 

At Limburg Road the original reception rooms felt cramped, by removing the partition wall we knocked the two spaces together to create a large, bright living space. This also gave us space to reconfigure the circulation at the front of the property, to make enough space for a downstairs WC & utility room.

Please note that you need to consult specialists to ensure the structural stability of the house is kept secure before taking any walls out, please don’t try it yourself!

Contemporary kitchen living space London

Connecting to the garden

If you are lucky enough to have some private outdoor space, it is a shame to have the home and garden physically, or visually disconnected. We believe that enhancing this connection can create calmer, more inviting interiors that also benefit from natural daylight. 

At Slaithwaite Road the house had been previously extended, leaving the interior dark and drab with a detached, and uninviting courtyard garden. Our design has introduced large glazing into each elevation, transforming the interior of the home. Each opening offers views into and through the courtyard, from all sides of the dwelling, and seamlessly connects the house with this tranquil garden space. The courtyard has also been refurbished, with freshly rendered walls, contemporary garden furniture and installed with large vertical green walls to transform the space into a sanctuary at the heart of the house.

‘George & James Architects helped us through all the stages of transforming our dated, dingy downstairs into a bright and modern space that we truly love to live in. From coming up with some clever ideas of how to reconfigure the space, to handling the tender process, to advising on finishes and white goods, and even to handling adroitly some tricky situations with builders, they were professional, responsive, and above all friendly and a pleasure to work with throughout.’ - Russel & Madalina, owner Slaithwaite Road

Refurbishment of the front light well and basement of a large Victorian terraced house

Improving Light

Light makes such a difference to the feel of an interior, often spaces can be totally revitalised with the addition of extra daylight to make them far more inviting spaces to spend time in with a positive impact to your general mental wellbeing. We have previously written about this topic in our blog post on the Importance of Light & Air.  

At Cromwell Grove, a large Victorian terrace house, the existing basement layout was too cellular, because the space was too divided it was not working to bring the family together as each room was too small and dark. Additionally, the utility room was positioned to enjoy the prime location overlooking the garden!

We opened up the basement as much as possible, by removing as much of the internal walls as structurally possible, creating a larger living space the whole family can fit in with light flooding in from the front and back of the property. The layout was reconfigured to move the utility space into the center of the plan, creating sightlines to the garden through newly installed full height aluminum doors leading outside.

Internal refurbishment Victorian house Conservation area Tower Hamlets 7

Maximising space

Often homes may appear too small when they do actually have enough internal area, it is just the layout creates underutilised areas which waste precious internal space.  With some careful studying of what client really need, a home can often get replanned to make far better use of the space available. 

At Alloway Road the ground floor was disjointed, with the kitchen in the centre of the home and a shower room at the rear of the property, so the whole family had to walk through the kitchen to have a wash! We rearranged the plan, moving the shower room to the centre of the property (reconfigured as a wc with adjacent cloakroom), which unlocked the valuable space at the rear of the property to create a much desired open plan kitchen with a dedicated dining area, with large glass doors overlooking the garden.

It is often possible to achieve your goals for your home with a few clever design moves, rather than always having to resort to physically extending the property. If you have questions or have a project you would like to talk to us about do get in touch

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