Designer homes

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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New build, renovation, extension: a 'designer home' can be any of these, but should always incorporate original and interesting design aspects. Creating a true designer home should be approached as a challenge that displays the talent and abilities of the architect. When we hear the phrase, we expect cutting edge design executed to a high standard, not to mention something 'different'; defining qualities that make the house stand out against all the others. We all dream of having our own designer homes and having some input into the finished product—of having a team of architects and designers on hand to bring our fantasy homes to life. Unfortunately, designer homes don't come cheap, and for many of us this remains a dream yet to be fulfilled. Until then, we've picked out a few shining examples of contemporary designer homes from our homify experts for you to admire and enjoy:

Contemporary concrete home

Polished panels of precast concrete were assembled to form the exterior walls of this striking home. The panels fit together for a dynamic impression that is both strong and elegant. Although the modern design is very different to the traditional neighbouring properties, the new designer home doesn't look out of place: perhaps this has something to do with the height, which is equal to that of the houses either side. Creating something that is unique which also looks as if it belongs, requires a great deal of skill and creativity. 

Concrete was chosen for its uncompromising and ascetic quality, and was used for all the main elements of the building, including walls, floors, ceiling, stairs, and the roof. Miles apart from flashy and extravagant designer homes, here we have an award winning property free of untidy or unnecessary clutter or fittings. The minimalist approach pays off, as in its completed state, the house achieves exactly the effect the architects envisaged.

Detached new build

Alvadell - South East: modern Houses by Fiddes Architects
Fiddes Architects

Alvadell—South East

Fiddes Architects

Located on the bank of the River Dee in Aberdeenshire, this house stands in the spot where a dreary and poorly laid-out 1960s bungalow once stood. The brief was to demolish the old house and replace it with a contemporary, energy-efficient family home. The layout was greatly improved, with all the new living areas facing south towards the river, and the house was divided into a North and South elevation. The façade of the south elevation is UV treated western red cedar, and the north elevation is rendered in white acrylic. A natural slate roof provides continuity between both sections, and a double glazed gable section allows light to flood into the living areas, offering stunning views over the river. 

Extended West London home

As you can tell from the image, this end of terrace home is not an entirely new build. Rather, it has been extended and remodelled for a fresh and up-to-date look. However, the aesthetics weren't the only concern for the architects working on this property—subsidence was a very real issue that they had to correct. A new space was inserted under the house and large windows were chosen to ensure plenty of light could reach the basement area. Other amendments to the original design included a new kitchen, the removal of internal walls for a more open plan living space, and the transformation of the annex into self-contained two bedroom flat. Overcoming challenges and working within the boundaries of an existing structure often means the finished design is surprisingly inventive and resourceful. 

Extended and remodelled family home

This home in Surrey was extended, remodelled and rearranged internally to provide more space for a growing family. Many changes were made to utilise the original features of the home and to transform the interior layout into a practical and usable space. A single storey garage and outhouse used to be attached to the main home, but was demolished to make way for a two storey extension housing a kitchen, utility room and master bedroom suite. The old kitchen and utility area were turned into a timber-lined library complete with a secret bookshelf door—though where the door leads to remains top secret!

The architects took every opportunity to reuse or reintroduce materials from the original property, and this included using reclaimed timbers as cladding, and taking the 1960's tiling from the kitchen and using it to decorate the downstairs cloakroom for a quirky, retro touch. The house is now a cool and contemporary home that definitely deserves the 'designer' label. 

Modern Wimbledon home

The rear elevation with large glazed windows and balconies: modern Houses by Hale Brown Architects Ltd
Hale Brown Architects Ltd

The rear elevation with large glazed windows and balconies

Hale Brown Architects Ltd

This stunning home is a new build located just around the corner from Wimbledon Village. Deciding on a simplistic, modernist design composed of horizontal volumes, the exterior hints at the stripped back and understated décor inside. Glazed areas at the rear open out onto a south-facing landscaped garden and patio area. Though the interiors are all open plan, the positioning of the furniture ensures living areas are kept distinct. The crowning glory could be said to be the top-lit timber and glass staircase which separates the kitchen and dining area from the sitting room.  

Updated family home near Richmond Park

​Sheen Lane, Exterior: modern Houses by BLA Architects
BLA Architects

​Sheen Lane, Exterior

BLA Architects

Another example of a home that had to change to accommodate a growing family, this property situated close to Richmond Park in London, has been adapted to utilise space and light. The brief was to also modernise the interiors and create a unique, contemporary vibe. By keeping an open dialogue with the clients, the project was accomplished to the client's specifications, and the attention to detail is evident throughout the property. The two main changes were the addition of a glass and steel staircase that ran through the building, and secondly, a basement extension below the garden, with glass roof lights to bring in as much natural light as possible. 

We hope you've enjoyed this selection of designer homes from our U.K. experts. For similar projects, you might be interested to check out the following ideabooks:

homify 360°: Renovated farm barn, Warwickshire

Big houses—Part 1

What do you think of these designer homes? We look forward to receiving your comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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