Transformation of a semi-detached inter-war property in Surrey with a two-storey extension that pushes planning restrictions to its limits to offer extra bedrooms and open-plan living spaces with undisrupted views of the garden.
The two-storey house had undergone only minor renovations since being bought by the family in 2014 and was in poor condition and in need of a complete overhaul. The clients expressed their desire to maximise open-plan living spaces and to have a better connection with the garden which was previously only accessible by a set of steep steps. The north facing kitchen and dining room were dark and cramped so it was important to maximise glazing and re-design the existing layout.
Planning restrictions and the desire to maximise space influenced the form of the two-storey rear and side extensions with the height kept as low as possible along the neighbour’s boundary. The roof-form of the new extension mirrors the steeply-pitched unique rooflines of the original houses, providing height on the first floor to become a new master bedroom looking onto the garden.
The palette of external materials was chosen as a response to the original house, keeping a low height red brickwork band at the base of the extension which continues round to the front of the house. A smooth grey render was chosen for the ground floor walls to provide a contemporary twist on the existing pebble-dash walls, which were stripped back and re-rendered with a fresher off-white colour. The first floor was clad in a blue-black natural slate hand-cut on site to create a unique fish-scale texture to the façade that visually sets the contemporary extension apart from the original house.
Improving access into the garden was an important part of the client’s brief. A patio, now flush with the internal spaces, is raised above the lawn bordered with deep planters to blur the boundaries between garden and house. Large slimline sliding doors opens the new living spaces onto the patio for a seamless transition between inside and outside.
Within the extension, light and space have been maximised. An open-plan layout was created by demolishing much of the existing structural walls, including down the entire side of the property. New steel structures were inserted to support the first floor hidden away within the ceiling. A single exposed circular column is the only visible evidence of the major structural work to the property. The column was intentionally placed to create two distinct zones in the extension, the kitchen and dining room, becoming an anchor in the space allowing the kitchen to become a visually separate space. A frameless skylight above the kitchen allows light to pour in and offer frameless views of the sky whilst a large square window offers view out into the elegantly planted garden whilst cooking. The previously dark areas in the centre of the house have been partitioned off as a separate utility room to better utilise the extra space and bring the kitchen further towards the garden.
A clean, pared-back approach has been taken to the internal materials and detailing to help create a calm, serene family space with lots of hidden storage. The kitchen floor is laid with large, pale ceramic tiles that extend out onto the patio, an effect which enhances the seamless open-plan layout. A rich deep green kitchen is used as a counterpoint to become a centrepiece in the room. The bespoke kitchen, with pale quartz countertops, was designed and made to perfectly fit the new space seamlessly integrating it into the architecture with the high units blending into the walls to maximise the feeling of space.
On the first floor, two new bedrooms and two bathrooms have been added including a new master suite that faces onto the garden through a large frameless window. Utilising the height created by the unique form of the roofs the master bedroom has a curved vaulted ceiling that allows light to stream in from the skylight above. The new en-suite bathroom is tiled in handmade deep green glazed tiles which offer a tactile surface texture and references the green kitchen below.
‘The project provided a very interesting challenge as there was a desire to maximise space for the growing family on a restricted budget, coupled with very constraining planning restrictions on how much we could extend the house. We explored multiple options and negotiated with the council to achieve a design that offered something distinctive whilst respecting the unique roof geometries of the original semi-detached houses. By mirroring the roof shape, the extension was kept very low on the boundary whilst providing height for an extra bedroom on the first floor. Height and light are important themes in all our projects to create beautiful and healthy living spaces. We lowered the floors in the new extension to maximise the height and introduced a skylight and huge glazed openings to bring in as much light as possible. The kitchens became a focal point of our design as it is the most used space in the house – by introducing a bold colour it transformed the room and can provide visual pleasure to the clients every day when they are not looking out onto their beautiful new garden.”
“We decided to renovate and extend the house because we love the area and had so much underused space in the house. Moving is a chore and we felt we could get better value for money by making the most of what we already had. Our main priorities for the project were to create an open-plan living area for the family, create some extra space upstairs for an extra bedroom, and make a better connection with the garden. We spoke to a few different architects but chose Oliver and his team as they were a small studio who had so much enthusiasm for the project and their vision aligned with ours. We got a very personal service and we are delighted with the outcome. The way Oliver was able to get so much light into every part of the house was fantastic and the best moment of the project walking into master bedroom for the first time when the windows were installed and being able to see the view into the garden.”
Material Used :
1. Aluminium windows: Velfac
2. Aluminium sliding doors: Maxlight
3. Floor tiles: Parkside Designs
4. Bathroom wall tiles: Habibi
5. Sanitaryware: Bathroom Discount Centre
6. Lighting: Mr Resistor
7. Pocket doors: Portman
8. Timber flooring: Jordan’s Wood Flooring
9. Kitchen worktop: Caeserstone
10. Paint: Paint and Paper Library
11. External render: K-Rend