This project for a young family in Islington was constructed in stages, so that restrictions on time and budget did not lead to any reduction in quality. The existing house is meticulously restored with long-lasting natural materials. The rear extension is a calm family space to relax and enjoy the garden. The glazed pantry acts as a natural-light box, bringing daylight into the home office through an internal window, and the back of the deep kitchen through full-height glass doors.
Questions and Answers
Who are the clients and what’s interesting about them?
A family of 3 becoming 4, two professional parents and a toddler, had to be completed for the birth of a baby.
What were the key challenges?
Restore the original house to be a beautiful example of a Victorian terrace house, while the extension to be contemporary with a high-specification kitchen. Both needed to feel part of the same home and not compete with each other.
Making sure the rear of the living room didn’t become too dark and uninviting.
What was the brief?
• In the first phase we renovated the upper floors to a high standard, but the client couldn’t afford an extension at the same time. Rather than rush it, they installed a temporary kitchen for a few years so they could do the same quality as the rest of the house.
• Needed more space for expanding family, better link to garden, and better connectivity between spaces so that family could do own things but still remain connected.
• Were looking for a pantry and a cupboard big enough for a pram, lots of light. The site determined the footprint but wanted to do something unusual with the form of the roof. Had to conceal it with a parapet externally.
• Materials are very important. Wanted a natural feel, with the micro-cement floor (as seen in Portugal hotel), marble worksurfaces, and metal frame glazing.
How is the project unique?
Meticulous use of natural materials that will age well and maximise the qualities of natural light.
Clever use of glazed pantry as light well.
Key products used:
- Micro-cement floor
- Mosaic tiles
- Oak and marble parquet
What were the solutions?
Made pantry a lightbox in the heart of the plan, with glazing facing the kitchen, a big high window into the living room, and a high-level external window. This brought extra natural light into the living room and kitchen, and added visual depth to both rooms, with extended views.
Careful specification of natural materials that coordinate throughout the ground floor, such as embedding mosaic tiles within the micro-cement to reference Victorian floors, concealing hallway storage, pram, and basement door behind dark wall panelling. And metalwork for window frames and details such as hearth are consistent throughout.