Once Morgan and Kim Ward found a period house in a lively yet leafy location, they set about turning it into a bright and spacious home.
Feature Richard Webber Photography Fine House Photography / Monica Jackiewicz
Kitchen-Diner – A skylight helps maximise the amount of natural light at this end of the room.
The Property – Mid-terraced Victorian House
Location – West London
Rooms – Sitting Room/ Kitchen diner. snug, cloakroom, three bedrooms, two bathrooms
Purchased – 2017
Previous Property – ‘Before moving here, we lived in an Edwardian terraced house a few miles away’, says Morgan.
Snug – with its tactile fabrics and cosy seating arrangement, this space is the perfect spot for winter evenings.
Morgan Ward and her twin sister Kim both had a clear idea of what they were looking for when they set out to fine a new home in West London. ‘We wanted a larger living space, better transport links, a livelier area and a south-facing garden’, says Morgan.
The sister viewed around 20 properties before finding a house that fitted the bill. ‘We thought it had a great feel to it as soon as we stepped through the front door’, says Morgan. ‘It offers so much in terms of restaurants, amenities and boutique shops. There are also lovely green spaces all around – for a built up city like London, its a bit of an oasis.
Although the property was in a fairly decent condition, it only had 2 bedrooms, a tiny kitchen and small living areas with no meaningful connection to the garden. With the help of Plus Rooms, which specialises in improving and enlarging residential properties, Morgan and Kim added a loft conversion and wraparound extension. ‘It was essential that the new layout was suitable for three adults to live in comfortably, with each having their own private space’, explains Morgan whose mother regularly come over for visits from South Africa.
Creating a natural sense of flow between living spaces was integral to the design. With an open-plan kitchen-cum living area, its very important the kitchen blends directly into the space, just as a piece of furniture would’, Morgan explains. ‘We achieved this by fitting built in appliances, and pale coloured handleless units. Also, we used mirrored splashbacks as a way of reflecting light and making the space appear bigger’.
For the flooring the sisters selected engineered oak, complete with underfloor heating. ‘We love the natural feeling of warmth that oak floors bring to a space. Once you have such things sorted, the rest falls into place quite easily.
Sitting Room – At the end of the day, Morgan and Kim love chilling out in their new extension.
Whilst some neighbours have opted to squeeze in a fourth bedroom, the Wards didn’t want to compromise on space. So with the renovation complete, Morgan and Kim now have a striking home with three double bedrooms and two generous bathrooms.
Loft bedroom – Morgan has kept with neural but added interest through gold accessories and soft furnishings.
But downstairs is the star attraction. ‘with the garden facing south, light pours into the house all day, and the sliding doors link inside with outside’, says Morgan. ‘When we were organising the layout of this place w were inspired by light, modern homes we’d seen in Australia and South Africa. In warmer climates, houses seem to connect well with outdoor areas and we wanted to reflect that’.
The only significant challenge the Wards faced was sticking to their budget – as with most refurbishments, unexpected costs arose. ‘When buying a property you tend to take the drains for granted, but issues with them can be costly to fix – especially if you’ve just finishing paying concrete over them’, says Morgan. ‘The old clay pipe connections had shifted and collapsed in the pipe. This led to complications such as rats entering underneath the house’. Fixing the problem, which included relining the entire 12-metre pipe and fitting a rate blocker to the front manhole, ate into the budget significantly.
with their rodent nightmare a distant memory, Morgan and Kim feel they have created their dream home and plan to stay long term. ‘The renovation has given us our much needed living space so it’s now a home we can enjoy for a long period of time’, says Morgan. ‘It’s open, modern and links with the garden. We love having this connection to green space, even in winter, and we couldn’t be happier.
DESIGN TIP : Make storage a priority and have plenty of it – its crucial when designing a clutter-free space where everything is tucked away out of sight!
Bathroom – Gentle curves soften the look of this contemporary scheme.
Guest bedroom – Built-in cupboards in the alcove provide extra storage.