Renovating a listed Glasgow townhouse

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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This listed family home in Glasgow has been completely refurbished to create a more practical layout that utilises space, and bring the interiors into the 21st century. The project was undertaken by George Buchanan Architects, who had the task of making sense of the lower ground floor by removing unnecessary utility rooms and creating an open-plan living space that connects to the charming back garden. The family understandably wanted to make the most of their outdoor space, and so large openings were formed on the rear elevation to create bi-folding screens with direct access to the garden. The work didn't stop there, with the addition of a number of new bathrooms and a dressing room adjacent to the eclectic style bedroom. The old kitchen was ripped out and replaced with a modern, state of the art kitchen with contemporary white fittings. This instantly brightened up the lower floor, providing a sociable space filled with all the mod cons you could ever need or imagine!

It wasn't an easy process, with permission needing to be acquired from Glasgow City Council's Planning and Heritage Design departments proving harder than anticipated—but, everything came together, and now you can see the stunning results for yourself:

Front exterior

The front exterior really needs no words! The manicured lawn, symmetrical façade with beautiful French windows, and the old-fashioned path leading up to the front door are what many of us dream of coming home to every day. The building has been carefully preserved and it really pays off. The blossoming tree with its delicate flowers are the perfect finishing touch to this scene.

Rear exterior

This elegant build brims with rustic charm, and the large windows in combination with the open double doors show it to be an inviting and pleasant home. 

The stone exterior is typical to the area, and it's instantly clear that this property is listed (which explains the complexities when it came to permission for alterations). You can see the garden here, which appears to be a real sun trap, and you realise exactly why the family decided to open their kitchen and dining area out into the yard.

The bedroom before

Hillhead Refurbishment 08 BEFORE:   by George Buchanan Architects
George Buchanan Architects

Hillhead Refurbishment 08 BEFORE

George Buchanan Architects

The bedroom before was dark, disordered, and in need a fresh coat of paint. The original features, such as the intricate moulding along the ceiling, had been neglected and struggled to shine in this poorly thought out room. The furniture appears too large for the dimensions, the rugs make the room look cluttered, and the pastel colours are just a shade too dull.  

The bathroom before

Hillhead Refurbishment 06 BEFORE:   by George Buchanan Architects
George Buchanan Architects

Hillhead Refurbishment 06 BEFORE

George Buchanan Architects

Here you can get more of an idea what sort of condition the house was in before the transformation began. The previous bathroom was in a similar state to the bedroom: dated and tired looking, with a poorly thought through layout. 

You can see the dramatic changes that were implemented in the image of the new, modern bathroom below.

The bathroom after refurbishment

Hillhead Refurbishment 06 AFTER: modern Bathroom by George Buchanan Architects
George Buchanan Architects

Hillhead Refurbishment 06 AFTER

George Buchanan Architects

So you've seen the dull and dated bathroom from before the refurbishment, and here is the updated version that does the rest of the house proud. Modern fittings have been installed and the glass shower door and large mirror reflect light, making the bathroom, which is on the smaller side, look more spacious. 

The mottled tiles mix bronze, beige and brown tones to a shimmering effect—another clever trick for appropriating light. 

Eclectic style bedroom

Hillhead Refurbishment 08 AFTER: modern Bedroom by George Buchanan Architects
George Buchanan Architects

Hillhead Refurbishment 08 AFTER

George Buchanan Architects

The quirky décor in the master bedroom is characterful and eclectic. The original fireplace looks great with the stripped back floorboards, though the wallpaper is the first thing you notice, with it's  'feminine' colours and busy butterfly pattern. The gold bedding in the context of this room is an interesting choice that safely places it in the 'eclectic' bracket—but part of the fun of having your own house is implementing your own preferences and exercising your creativity! 

New kitchen

The new kitchen is ultra modern and sleek. The monochrome colour scheme gets the minimalist trend just right, and the completely white walls and ceiling make the room look bigger. This impression is furthered by the open plan layout, which enjoys the benefit of the reflected light from the kitchen. The wooden flooring adds a touch of Scandinavian style to the room and provides a warming contrast to the stark white interiors. You might have noticed that there is not just one oven, but two—perfect for cooking for guests who are bound to be bowled over by this impressive kitchen!

Open plan dining area

The highlight of this dining room is definitely the wide, fully opening patio doors on either side which allows natural light to flood in. The positioning of the furniture creates an aesthetically interesting space that is neither too bare, or as it previously was, too cluttered. An injection of colour comes in the form of the quirky red table and chairs and the plush purple couch that helps divide the two seating areas. 

Sophisticated seating area

This seating area leads off from the kitchen and enjoys views out over the back garden. The carefully selected items of furniture are the perfect size for this light and airy living room, and the attention to detail is apparent in the tastefully decorated table and the books lined up neatly in the cubby holes next to the fire. 

Light, bright lounge

The second, and largest, lounge has been decorated in a classic style that compliments the original features and high ceilings. The chandelier takes centre stage, adding a sense of grandeur to the already regal looking room. However, the furniture isn't pristine and uniform as you might expect to see in a living room like this. The owner has opted for an eclectic mix of vintage style patterned upholstery to give the room a more relaxed feel and reflect their personal taste. The window is another feature that has to be mentioned: the traditional white frames intensify the illuminating effect of the floor to ceiling windows, which let in tonnes of valuable natural light and face out onto the quaint and charming street below. 

If you've enjoyed this project, why not take a look at this  barn conversion in Hertfordshire?

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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