The Vawdrey House

Rowan Road London W6

This house in Brook Green was a wreck when bought by our clients in 2011. Empty for some years, it was the last on the street to be modernised. Both creative people and experienced in renovating houses together, they had taken it on as an investment with a view to capturing the high-end rental market.

For this development, they chose to work with The Vawdrey House to ensure the property got, not only the benefit of their own practical experience, but also a bit of extra sparkle - something they felt had been lacking in some of their previous developments. 'People always said "Oh this is lovely", but they never said "WOW"!’ recalls the owner, of some properties they had renovated in the past.

We felt it was important to retain the traditional feel of the rooms at the front of the house and to hang on to as many period features as we could, in order to ensure the finished spaces did not lose their character. However, the overall feel was always going to be contemporary, and at the back, the house opens up onto crisply detailed architectural spaces.

The whole house has been reconfigured, with the addition of a new basement; a ground-floor rear extension; plus a mansard roof conversion with Juliet balcony. It now offers six bedrooms, four bathrooms and a flexible layout, which is perfect for today's discerning London family.

The ground floor now features a dramatic central lobby, created within the darker internal room, which is often the product of a rear extension in these London terraces. Entered through elegant double doors, this book-lined haven acts as entrance hall, library and additional living space, with potential as a study area, music room or den - whatever the family needs.

Square-cut dark timber reveals lead through to the formal lounge at the front of the house and the family kitchen-dining space at the rear. The period features are offset by raft ceilings with concealed lighting, and the library and timber panelling provide a modern take on the traditional.

Light floods into the rear kitchen extension via an oversized rooflight, while tall glazed doors lead to the garden.

The garden has been landscaped with oak sleepers, and softened with classic English border planting with a swing seat looking back at the house. The rear façade features cedar cladding at ground level, with lead clad dormers in the new mansard roof and a frameless glass balcony.

Below ground, the basement excavation forms a flexible 9m x 5.5m reception room with fantastic natural light and high ceilings. This large room is softened by bespoke linen wall panelling and features a built-in projection system for film nights.

The luxurious master suite offsets the period features of the bedroom at the front of the house, with a more contemporary dressing room and ensuite bathroom behind. Sliding etched glass doors with leather wrapped handles link the two rooms, and the language of the dark timber door reveals continues at this level.

The variety of tones and textures of white used throughout the house ensures that while the palette is neutral, it is never bland.

The new top floor offers an additional bedroom suite with balcony and rooftop views. A rooflight, coupled with glazed slot windows to the bathroom, brings light into the stairwell and down through the house.

With a clever ground-floor utility/cloakroom arrangement; large storage areas in the roof and basement; bicycle racks in the front garden; plus masses of built-in storage throughout, all the day-to-day practicalities of family life are well covered.

"The creativity which The Vawdrey House has introduced has been invaluable and has significantly increased the value of the property. We found tenants very quickly and the house is achieving a very good rental return for this area."

Photography by Siobhan Doran

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More about us

Established by Jennifer Hamilton in 2012, The Vawdrey House offers a unique combination of bespoke design, strategic thinking and creative flair.

Now a RIBA Chartered Practice, we bring architecture and interior design together to create spaces which work for you from the inside out.

Jennifer Hamilton and Graeme Montague, two thirds of The Vawdrey House trio, have a shared history as Directors of award winning design consultancy MoreySmith, working with clients such as Sony Music, EMI Music, Cadbury and Channel 4 as well as on high end residential refurbishments.

Third partner Ian Chapman, a RIBA Chartered Architect, adds his expertise in contemporary architecture for exciting educational and public spaces.

Their combined experience of 55 years in the industry brings a level of professionalism and creativity to the design and management of your project which is invaluable.

Working across London and the South of England we have a growing portfolio of happy clients and inspiring spaces.

With a small, select team of designers and architects, The Vawdrey House is passionate about what we do and most of all, want you to love it too.

Whether for your home, or a public space, we take the time to get to know you, understand your requirements and find exciting design solutions for your project. Our 'top to toe' design approach involves bringing the client into the process, designing a space for you, with you.

Close affiliations with brand consultants plus graphic and web design teams mean we can also provide a fully coordinated scheme for your retail or business space, down to website, menus or signage, whatever is required.

We work closely with you throughout, following everything through to the smallest detail, and helping you through the process.
That is what we believe makes a great design, even better.

We are design-led, and like to review the way the whole building works, understanding how you use the spaces and suggesting functional and layout changes to improve the way the spaces work together. We design the exterior architecture, the internal layouts and all the interior design and fittings, right down to furniture and accessories. 

We progress the design in stages, working up the outline usually with a multitude of options in the first instance, then gradually firm up the scheme as you clarify which direction you want to go in. Once we have the overall scheme in place we work into the detail and start to specify every element, ending in a production package incorporating everything you need to tender and construct the project.

We can also manage the entire process for you, putting together the project team, gaining planning consent and party wall awards, finding contractors, tendering the works, managing the building contract and monitoring the works on site.

We stick with you to the end, ensuring all snagging is resolved, and produce a completion pack with all necessary certificates, guarantees, maintenance and supplier contact info so you have everything in one place.

Have a browse through our latest projects and see the end results!