Our clients approached us in 2010 with a brief to extend and remodel their Victorian semi-detached house in Wimbledon. In a departure from many of our recently-completed projects, they were looking to build-on the Victorian period features wherever possible, and decorate, fit-out and furnish the house in a 'period' style.
The front of the property has largely been restored to its original condition following the removal of an unsightly bay ground floor bay window addition. Lower ground floor extensions have been constructed to the rear and the side, the former in matching London stock bricks with 'Sky Frame' sliding French doors, and the latter discreetly located beneath the side passageway.
The ground floor of the property has been opened-up as far as possible so as to maximise the illusion of space and daylight. The two original reception rooms have been combined to form a single, grand living room with a central large opening leading to the entrance hall.
Victorian-style plaster cornices and ceiling roses, painted timber sash windows with folding shutters, painted timber architraves and moulded skirtings, and a new limestone fire surround have been installed in keeping with the period of the house. The Dinesen douglas fir floorboards have been laid on piped underfloor heating.
We worked with an interior decorator, Rebecca Leivars, towards the end of the construction period, who designed the built-in cabinetry along one side of the living room and helped our clients source some of the loose furnishings.
New painted timber French windows and shutters, at one end of the living room, open onto a roof terrace situated atop the rear extension. This overlooks and provides access to the rear garden.
This roof terrace incorporates a large section of 'walk-on' glazing, which admits plenty of daylight and sunlight to the area below.
The rear garden was re-designed by Justin Greer as part of the project and was largely implemented by the principal contractor.
It turned-out to be quite a major landscaping exercise, and included the creation of different levels and much-improved connections with the house via new steps and terraces.
The original staircase from the ground floor up to the second floor has been restored; the lower ground floor stair has been relocated towards the rear of the house so as to allow for a more efficient use of space at that level. Its balustrade and handrail match the original.
Douglas fir treads and risers on the lower ground floor stair run into a section of matching panelling and flooring. This helps visually connect the more traditional and contemporary parts of the house.
Jib doors in the panelling lead to a small study and utility room, located beneath the side passage.
We worked closely with Plain English on the kitchen design, and in particular the section of semi-recessed appliances and units within the douglas fir panelling.
A large central island unit with a slate counter houses contains many of the kitchen appliances and cupboard space, as well as a casual dining area. The oven range, additional cabinetry and open shelves are located along the party wall.
A wine cellar is located off the study, both within the side extension beneath the side passageway.
The lower ground floor of the house has witnessed the greatest transformation. A series of low-ceiling rooms were knocked-together, excavated by a couple of feet, and extensions constructed to the side and rear.
A large open-plan space has thus been created. The kitchen is located at one end, and overlooks an enlarged lightwell with a new stone stair accessing the front garden; the dining area is located in the centre of the space.
A sitting area occupies the rear of the extended lower ground floor level. Douglas fir panelling on one side frames a central television set and conceals discreet storage.
The skylight, located in the centre of the living room terrace, is formed of 'walk-on' glass and admits plenty of daylight and sunlight to this area.
New 'Sky Frame' sliding French doors fill the entire rear elevation of the space and open onto a new terrace and steps. The connection with the rear garden has thereby been hugely improved.
A pair of antique French window shutters were adapted to form double doors to a small children's playroom.
This image shows the rear extension and its relationship with the main garden level, which is situated halfway between the ground and lower ground floor levels.
A spacious master suite has been created by connecting the two principal first floor rooms via a new opening with folding doors. This view is looking from the dressing room, at the front of the house, towards the bedroom at the rear.
A freestanding zinc bath on slate tiling has been installed in front of the master dressing room window; the shower room is located off this area.
A log-burning stove has been installed within the original firebox; the panelled wardrobes were built by the principal contractor to our designs.
Here are a couple of examples of bathrooms at this project, which have a 'traditional' aesthetic. All tiling and panelling has been very carefully set-out so as to minimise cut joints.
Built-in storage and niches have been introduced, where appropriate, to provide discreet storage and additional interest.
This sketch shows the layout of the lower ground floor. The dining area and kitchen occupy the footprint of the original house.
This level has been extended to the rear (where the sitting area is located) and to the side (where the playroom, wine cellar, study, utility room and shower room are located).
Planning permission is also in place for a possible future basement extension beneath most of the front garden. This would be accessed via steps down off the front lobby.
This sketch shows the layout of the ground floor; the lower ground floor extends beneath the rear terrace and the side passageway.
This sketch shows the layout of the first floor which, apart from the family bathroom and staircase, is occupied by the master suite.
This sketch shows the layout of the second floor. The ceilings have been opened-up into the roof space in all areas and several skylights have been installed.