Houzz Jan 2020

A modest extension and a clever living room rejig made a classic terrace layout work harder for a young family

The upstairs of this period terrace was large enough to accommodate a growing family, but the downstairs layout felt cramped. It lacked space for playdates and entertaining, the kitchen was small, and even the organising of washing and drying for the household was a problem.

James Bernard of design and build company Plus Rooms solved the imbalance with an inventive reorganisation, stealing a portion of the back reception room to create a utility room, and by adding a modest wraparound extension at the rear.

Room at a Glance
Who lives here? Tarek and Caroline with their children, Amelie and Sienna, and their dog, Bo
Location Peckham, south London
Property A Victorian terraced house
Room dimensions 7.1 x 5.1m
Designer James Bernard of Plus Rooms

Photos by Liane Ryan Photography

James designed a wraparound extension that used the side return plus a little of the garden. “The rear extension was very small,” he says. “We didn’t go out further because of the limited garden space, and quite a significant level difference.”

Building into the side return created enough extra space for a large kitchen-diner. “It used up a dead area in the garden that was too narrow to do much with,” James says, “but, as part of a multi-functional layout, makes the space more usable.”

Fridge-freezer, Smeg.

This plan shows how James didn’t need to build out very far to create the generously sized, light-filled kitchen-diner. The extension was designed to align with the bay window on the first floor.

The floorplan shows the reorganised ground floor layout. Part of the original rear reception room was used to create a utility room. “It prevents noise in the living zones and keeps it all out of the way,” James says.

Some of the original rear room was also given to the front reception to enlarge it.

The utility room is located behind the rear wall of the new kitchen-diner. “The back reception room is a difficult space to use once a side extension is added,” James says. “Rather than it being dead space or a glorified corridor, turning it into a utility room made it useful.”

Eames DAR armchair, Heal’s.

The frameless glass roof in the side extension brings light deep into the room. “We looked at different systems and the owners went for a very large skylight,” James says.

The proportions of the roof glazing meant it required support. “To break up the span, we needed a joint, and the owners’ preference was for something a bit more structural,” James says. “They liked the idea of having exposed aluminium beams.”

The detail also ties this part of the room to the steel-framed doors that overlook the garden.

Along with the aluminium fins of the skylight, the owners chose other industrial elements for their new open-plan room. The brickwork was left exposed on one side of the room, as was the steel beam, which was finished with intumescent paint for fire safety.

Metal-framed glazing opens the kitchen-diner to the garden. “The owners wanted a glass backdrop, but something that said more about the design really appealed,” James says.

Terracotta floor tiles add a warm note and a more rustic element alongside the industrial features in the room.

Plenty of leafy houseplants blur the boundary between indoors and out. “They soften the look of the room and add a bit more colour,” James says.

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The owners chose Shaker-style cabinetry in a deep blue paint for the room. The classic units blend well with both the rustic floor tiles and the industrial features, and help to create a long-established atmosphere, even though this is a new part of the house.

On warm days, the door can be opened wide to create a connection with the garden.

Rather than confine the kitchen to one end of the room, the owners chose to have a run of units down one whole wall of the space, with a second run against the utility room wall.

The design leaves the room looking spacious and uncluttered. The dining table has garden views but, with the kitchen cabinetry extending behind it, it’s at the heart of the room rather than in a separate zone.

The extension was built in brick to match the original house. “It also works well with that style of door,” James says. It’s shaped to fit with the beautiful bay window upstairs.

Outside, the garden has been landscaped, with a patio area immediately outside the extension.

Written by Sarah Warwick, Houzz Contributor: See here for full article.