Experts in extensions and transforming small living spaces, Tom Kaneko Design & Architecture, were the only professionals for the job when it came to renovating this small terraced house in Hackney and extending into the back garden for valuable extra space. With a budget of £70,000 to completely transform this home, introducing natural light and allowing air to circulate were key priorities as, particularly during the winter months, the thick walls blocked out the little natural light that found its way into the property. There was no freshness or vibrancy in the house and no connection between the interiors and the outdoor space.
Fast forward to the project's completion and it's a totally different story: The living area has been extended and opened out, creating an illusion of space within the narrow terrace. White washed timber rafters create a calming vibe removed from the hustle and bustle of the busy city beyond. The interiors are modern but steer clear of cold minimalism in favour of homely, rustic charm.
See for yourself what was achieved with this original project!
Here we have the original view of the back of the house before the additional extension. A standard terrace property, it lacks stand out features and there is no colour or life in the back garden.
The property was a blank canvas ready to benefit from some individual flourishes and a contemporary lift. As you can see from the image below, the garden went from a grey and miserable courtyard to a luxurious outdoor retreat, perfect for relaxing, entertaining or just getting some fresh air to clear away the cobwebs.
As with all extensions, creating a visual connection between the two parts of the property is of utmost importance. Luckily, the acquiescence of the original property, with it's lack of dominating or distinctive features, allowed for a seamless integration of the new build with the older exterior.
The wooden panelling that forms the façade of the extension is appropriately matched to the new slatted garden fencing. The garden has been brought to life with lush green plants and climbers, which could easily make you forget you're in a back garden in East London! We've even spotted a barbecue, which will no doubt be a focal feature in its own right come summer time.
The brief given by the client was to create a light and open space where she could enjoy cooking and dining with friends. In order to achieve this result, Tom Kaneko Design & Architecture inserted skylights and chose a light-reflecting floor that perfectly complements the grey paving stones in the garden.
The fluidity between the open plan dining area and the outdoor area furthers the illusion of space. Moving between the spaces to serve food and drink or to socialise at parties is now as easy as it could possibly be.
There is a touch of the eclectic about this kitchen and dining area, with white washed wooden panels contributing to a contemporary Scandinavian feel. The hanging copper saucepans give a touch of industrial chic and the retro cabinets pair wonderfully with vintage style crockery and portraiture.
The personality of the occupier easily shines through, which indicates the design has been carefully adapted to her tastes and requirements. Everything fits together despite the intentional mix of styles and the room is both stylish and real, giving a relaxed, welcoming impression.
The wood used here is Norwegian Spruce—the cheapest and most readily available timber. The contrast between the light wood interiors and heavy brick exteriors is easy to spot and we realise how much of a difference the materials used can make, from the texture to the specific tones.
This cosy but fresh snug displays some oriental inspired décor, with the quirky paper lanterns and palm print cushions. Natural colours strengthen the dialogue between indoors and outdoors, which is perfectly embodied in the symmetry between the wooden panels and green leaves either side of the large window.
A light well has been positioned between the old and new sections of the home to draw in as much natural light as possible. The space is small and sweet and, though it's currently being used as an office, it could be used for anything depending on the changing needs of the occupier.
At the moment funky art work and framed prints decorate the space to provide an interesting view during working hours. The limited space presents no issue when it comes to personal and creative expression. As with the rest of the house, this room looks lively and bold. Another small area nearby is sectioned off and used as a utility room with a WC. No space in this property is without purpose!
To bring this tour to a close, let's take a look at the floor plan, which demonstrates how the entire space is organised and divided into attractive, practical and enjoyable living areas.
It's clear that this house isn't the largest or most extravagant home but that is part of its charm. This project goes to show that you don't need a never ending number of rooms or a bottomless pit of cash to create an impressive and characterful home.
To see another beautifully updated Hackney home, check out: Modern Renovation of a Victorian Home.