Architecture For London created a soothing grid-inspired design for a creative North London couple.
This North London project extends a maisonette that had previously been converted from an early Victorian house. The reconfigured and extended home flips the original bed and living rooms creating a series of connected spaces for improved daylight and views. The new kitchen, dining and study spaces are informally defined by exposed oak posts and beams, which also allow natural light to penetrate deep into the lower ground floor plan. Soap washed timber bounces soft light around the house, enhancing the layered internal partitions. Framed views are created between the spaces and direct the eye towards the lush green backdrop outside.
The orthogonal grid continues throughout the property with bricks in a variety of bonds externally, and square tiles with contrasting colour grout lines to the kitchen and bathroom. This contemporary, geometric approach is contrasted with refurbished traditional Victorian details on the upper floor. The large skirting boards were painted to match the walls for a harmonised finish
The depth of the rear extension was defined by an existing upstairs neighbour’s stair, which had to be retained to allow access to their garden. Peterson bricks, akin to the tone of whitewashed London stock, cover the rear as it tucks underneath the stair. Fluted glass reduces the impact of this stair when viewed from the new study. Garden life is brought right through the house from potted plants in the kitchen to a large planter in the hall.
The home was completed for a modest budget but with significant benefits for the clients: boutique stationer Neil and graphic designer Mark. This is a home that highly compliments the considered and detailed approach that Neil and Mark bring to their work. The clients put significant energy into decorating, sourcing discounted fixtures and furniture, all allowing the budget to be pushed to the maximum.
Cost savings were not an afterthought – they informed the design rather than compromising it. The size limitations of the affordable rear glazing system influenced the graphic arrangement of the varied brick courses, highlighting rather than hiding the framing.
In the kitchen, the lines from the raw oak beams run through the kitchen cabinets, splashback tiles, and terrazzo-tiled floor. Using terrazzo tiles with matching grout gives the impression of a site poured terrazzo floor for a fraction of the cost. Other design-led savings included using standard Ikea kitchen carcasses with upgraded fronts finished with minimal knobs.
The clients deeply engaged in the process, leading to a home that is truly theirs. Like a neatly ruled grid in a stationer’s notebook, the house is all in order.