We were recently commissioned to work on the renovation and extension of the garden flat within an historic Arts and Crafts late Victorian house in South Hampstead.
We always get started by preparing a series of hand-drawn concept plans and sketches with a view to arriving at the 'bones' of a scheme asap.
Here is a section of the proposed ground floor plan which includes an extension to the rear and remodelling of various grand reception rooms.
Whether modern or traditional in design, it's always important to work out the overall 'flow' and proportions, whilst maximising space and light, before getting into too much detail.
With a view to moving away from the current long entrance corridor and crude partitioning of the original house, an elegant lobby has been introduced by the existing front door.
This affords relocated access to the grand front and rear rooms (and a new north-south vista) and some 'breathing space' before moving to the large open-plan space beyond.
The grand front reception room, currently overly long and gloomy, will be reduced in size to make way for the entrance lobby and a new bathroom. It will serve as a guest bedroom or study.
Original features (such as the window architraves and doorcases) will be restored and some new ones introduced (such as the coffered ceiling and build-in wardrobes) in-keeping with the originals.
Minimal interventions will be made to the existing rear reception room, including the installation of a more elegant fireplace and a new doorway to the kitchen/dining area beyond, thus opening-up a new east-west vista. This will be used as a living room.
One of our clients' principal requirements is a large open-plan kitchen/dining/sitting room which better connects with the rear garden.
This is achieved by merging the original rear room with an enlarged rear extension which inludes an elegant bay window, rooflight and French windows opening onto a raised terrace.
The kitchen is located at one end of the new space and includes a range cooker (centred on the new living room opening), island and peninsula units.
A zone of full-height kitchen appliances and a pantry/larder, matching the proportions of the bay window opposite, acts as an acoustic buffer to the communal staircase beyond.
The sitting area is located at the garden end of the space and includes a long low counter/ drawers within the bay window.
The overall feel of this space will be bright, airy and quite contemporary, whilst drawing on the period of the house in the rooflight, window and kitchen cabinetry detailing.
A new 'back door lobby' located off the kitchen will afford access to a guest lavatory, stairs down to the lower level and a guest bedroom/children's playroom with original features reinstated and discreet storage added.
A new lower level will be created by excavating part of the existing semi-basement and extending into the garden at the rear.
A 'picture gallery'-like corridor will link the internal staircase with the master bedroom suite, an additional bedroom and bathroom and extensive built-in storage.
The Master Bedroom, located in the lower storey of the rear extension, includes French windows opening onto a terrace with steps up a half-level to the garden.
The Master Bathroom is accessed via a spacious dressing room and includes a walk-in shower and elegant freestanding vanity with a built-in medicine cabinet behind.
This view of the rear elevation shows how the new two-storey rear extension links with the rear garden and raised terrace and looks to work with the overall 'grain' of the existing property.