We transformed this dark and cluttered Victorian terrace in North London, into a light-filled and spacious home for a young family of three. The project comprises a side and roof extension, as well as extensive internal refurbishment featuring open-plan kitchen, dining and living areas on the ground and lower-ground floors.
The clients required a larger property with space to grow. The brief was to create a light, airy, family-friendly environment: an abode featuring sophisticated simplicity, clever uses of space, an open-plan feel for entertaining, contemporary touches, yet with a respect for the original period style and featuring high-quality, timeless design.
The spaces for eating, living and working are arranged over an open series of half-levels, exploiting volume and light. Removing the third bedroom at the first half-landing resulted in a study half the depth, and a spacious double-height living room. This creates a visual connection between the dining room, kitchen, front living room and study.
The selection of materials was kept to a minimum so that the house would feel 'streamlined' and not too busy. This restriction was echoed in the choice of colour palette to enhance the space in terms of size and fluidity. Oak flooring was laid throughout, except in the bathroom and WC where we used patterned, porcelain tiles.
Plywood is used for all the bespoke joinery, which we also designed, as it is a common material which can be used in different and extraordinary ways. It is relatively cheap, stable, flexible and very strong. We exposed the edges of the ply to add warmth to the design, while covering the faces with a scratch and heat-resistant, anti-bacterial nanotech material called Fenix NTM.
Zinc cladding is used on the side and roof extension as it blends well with the surrounding context, and for its physical properties. We chose a colour similar in tone to the neighbouring tiled roofs to ensure that the new extension sits comfortably next to them.
Sometimes, houses such as Elfort Road can be overlooked because of their relative normality and small scale. However, these sorts of properties offer the chance for us to be even more creative because we have a limited space and budget to work with. First and foremost, we wanted to create a sense of comfort for the family, from bright, open areas, carefully arranged to maximise space, to refined materials and finishes which bring everything together. Of utmost importance, however, is that they love their new home, and we hope it continues to bring enjoyment for many years to come.