The Vawdrey House

The Avenue London, NW6

This light and spacious 1930's Semi in Queens Park seduced our client and her three girls to move out of their tall Notting Hill terrace and try life with a proper garden, and without so many stairs.

The bones of the house were good, but it lacked the large open plan living space they craved, and while it had five bedrooms it still only had one bathroom.

Recommended by a previous client of ours The Vawdrey House were called in to create the look she wanted - a relaxed 'beach house in the city' flooded with light, and fun for the girls.



After looking at various ways of reconfiguring the ground floor we opted for a full width rear extension which would provide a large living, kitchen, dining space, incorporating a play area for the girls, all overlooking the 100 foot garden. 

In the old part of the house, the central hall still features its original woodblock parquet flooring and fireplace and a sharp painted line now runs like a dado round the room, across the doors and up the stairs. 

Using the understairs space we formed a dramatic cloakroom and wc, all clad with tongue & groove panels and painted deep sea green, with encaustic tiles on the floor.



The principal front room with the bay window remains as a formal living room, used now for music practice, with black limestone floor and a large fireplace. A new glazed door makes it feel more connected to the rest of the house. 

New double panelled doors lead through from the central hall into the living space and new rear extension beyond, offering views of the garden right from the front door. This very large space is broken up by various different ceiling treatments, which define the spaces, while rough sawn oak flooring unites it throughout. 

In the living area, the old brick wall of the original chimney-breast has been exposed and painted, and the end wall of the extension formed in painted brick to match. 

The original cornice has been retained to this space too. A log burner makes sure the room feels cosy on winter evenings, and a full wall of shelving with tiny pots of succulents & tumbling ferns adds life.

The extension mainly forms the dining area, with exposed timber ceiling joists which have light filtering between them from a rooflight above. 

The table was made bespoke and features teal blue legs and a sandblasted oak top. The large industrial framed doors bring light through to the whole space and the fenestrations were designed to echo the style of sash windows in the local area.


The kitchen area has a dropped ceiling, which separates it from the living space and also features a concealed light to its perimeter. 

The bespoke kitchen units have blue-black painted tongue & groove doors and larch ply interiors, with shimmering black fishscale tiles as a splashback. 

The large island features textured sandblasted larch drawers with a thick concrete top. Copper handles and a copper sink and tap shine like jewels against the dark backdrop. 


The playroom is tucked into one side of the new extension and is lined on one wall and the ceiling with acoustic felt which also acts as a pinboard for the children's artwork. 

Shelving and cupboards for toys fill the rear wall and the picture window provides a reading nook. The vintage school desks and chairs are perfect for homework and arts and crafts alike.

Both front and rear gardens have been landscaped to incorporate scented planting in raised beds and various seating spots for the girls.

Sensitive off-street parking has been created to the front garden by adding a new drive entrance from a side road.

Upstairs a new master suite has been created by subdividing a very large bedroom to create a dressing area and shower room.

The large bay window now has a built in daybed and with storage drawers below. The ensuite showeroom is ‘pretty in pink’ with Moroccan tiles and seamless Mortex walls.

The three girls each have a colourful bedroom with different design details to suit their own styles. 

The family bathroom features more Moroccan tiles and a small extra deep bath to make the most of the space.


Beyond the kitchen the existing side lean-to extension was retained and reconfigured to provide a carefully planned utility, storage and boiler room. 

"The Vawdrey House have fully embraced my vision for the house and been with me every step of the way. Some of my favourite details are the least expected: such as the felt panels. On our first day back in the house the girls immediately covered the felt ceiling with paper snowflakes."

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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!