Set back from the road on a quiet village lane, this seemed the perfect location for our client's family home. The large garden backed onto their parents’ property, so when it came on the market, they snapped it up.
The house that stood on the site however was not to their taste. A red brick neo-Georgian suburban development property, the house had the typical limitations associated with this type of developer approach. Low ceilings, conventional layout with small rooms and small windows, made the house feel cramped and lacking in flow and natural daylight.
We explored various options with the client, including knocking the property down and building a completely new structure. However, this felt wasteful and unnecessary.
Working closely with the family to understand the way they lived, we settled upon an adaptive approach that sought to enhance the existing structure, incorporating and extending it to create a home that would look, feel and function completely differently to its previous form.
Two storey extension
Total external re-clad
New zinc roof & windows
Full internal strip out and refurbishment
Before - 211
After - 311
5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms
'The Vawdrey House helped us design something truly innovative. They understood what we were looking for and added value from the outset.'
The outside of the home has been totally transformed. A pair of salvaged French glazed doors invite you in and offer a hint of the eclectic nature of the interiors beyond, but from the street it is almost impossible to imagine that this strikingly modern lateral home started life as a humble suburban neo-Georgian new build.
A two storey brick extension was built to the southern flank of the building housing additional bedrooms and bathrooms on the upper floor with a large front to back living area on the ground floor.
A new zinc roof was added and the existing red bricks were painted black ensuring that the old and new parts of the building are no longer distinguishable.
In the existing building a double height glazed internal atrium was created in the centre of the home providing height, space and light as soon as you enter the home.
Sometimes you need to lose space, to create space.
On the upper floor this enabled a galleried landing to be created with sweeping picture frame views across the gardens and hills beyond.
A large open plan kitchen resides in the old part of the building embracing the existing lower ceilings to create a more intimate atmosphere.
The island has been made from reclaimed timber doors but features all modern conveniences.
The flooring throughout the ground floor is micro cement, lending an industrial edge, meeting reclaimed herringbone timber in the living area.
To gain better head height on the ground floor we sunk the floor by a couple of steps in the new extension and added floor to ceiling glazed openings on every elevation bathing the room in natural daylight from all directions.
A cantilevered corner sliding door has created a dramatic year-round connection to the garden that was so instrumental to the brief.
The windows in the old part of the house remained largely in the same openings reducing the amount of structural change necessary, but all of them were enlarged to full height, flooding the home with light.
On the northern flank of the building, we connected the house to the garage which was converted into a gym with a mezzanine chill out space above for the children, partially clad in OSB board.
The link incorporates a new bathroom, utility, and study.
The master bedroom windows now run floor to ceiling and a contrasting timber-framed sliding window was added, creating a juliette balcony, as well as a visual connection between the windows on the upper floors with the sliding timber kitchen door beneath.
The interiors are a fabulous reflection of the homeowners. Working with the client we developed the interior concept designs which our enormously resourceful and highly creative client, sensitively meshed with heirloom pieces, antique finds, and modern functionality to create a bright, eclectic, incredibly individual home with a few fun whimsical touches.