The clients bought this tired 1980's house with a view to making it into a contemporary family home. Whilst accommodation would have been considered well-proportioned in its day, the kitchen was small by modern standards and the bathroom disproportionately large. An additional room with no defined purpose had been tacked on at the rear, causing an inconvenient step in floor levels, convoluted circulation and poor natural lighting to the kitchen.
Requirements were for a large open-plan kitchen / dining / seating area, Utility Room, Larder, Home Office, and four large bedrooms, with Dressing Room and En-Suite for the Master Bedroom – all without impinging on the mature gardens!
The Design Process
We undertook a full dimensional survey of the house and drew up a complete set of existing plans, elevations & sections to enable the fullest set of options to be considered. The rectangular footprint with central stairs presented many opportunities for remodelling but limitations on head height above the stair prohibited a sympathetic full roofspace conversion, while the requirement for minimum intrusion into the garden added a further layer of complexity. The clients were available for, and amenable to, on-site design sessions which enabled many options to be sketched, considered and either developed or discarded in the most cost-efficient manner.
The under-utilised rear extension became key to achieving the contemporary open-plan kitchen required. By establishing that the structure was suitable for additional loadings we were able to use the existing foundations and walls as the basis for the extended kitchen, raising the floor and roof levels, and taking out the full rear wall of the existing kitchen. With a mere 12m2 of extension we created a 500ft2 kitchen area, and even achieved a large larder and utility room. An abundance of natural light was achieved by adding a feature wall of doors and a large roof lantern, and the open-plan ambience was completed with the installation of glazed double doors from the hallway.
On the 1st floor, relocating the bathroom to the smallest bedroom equalised room proportions for the family. Converting an adjacent bedroom alcove gave the en-suite required for the Master Bedroom, while a new stair was introduced within the bedroom giving access to a 600ft2 Dressing Room created by converting half of the roofspace.
Finally, as an added bonus we converted another small area of roofspace to create a 2-storey library within the clients' daughter's room, complete with mezzanine reading platform!
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