London luxury: Big secrets in Balham

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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The title of this ideabook doesn't lie. There really is a big secret hiding inside this Balham home. Though part of it is visible from the outside, the true essence and glory of the new extension cannot be felt until you are inside. It seems that many British homeowners are following the trend of extending or reconfiguring the internal layout of their homes rather than opting to jump ship and move; perhaps the rising housing prices are to blame, or, we're just realising how well resolved a home can become if we address the issues that are inside, rather than out.

In saying that, the side return of a home is often a tricky section to play with. Once upon a time in the Victorian era, these passageways served a purpose (that is debatable for some!), for occupants to go from the rear kitchen door to the garden. More often than not, it was to access an outside toilet or outhouse, which, as we all know, is now a notion that is totally obsolete. Many designers are coming up with creative ideas to use this wasted space, and as you will soon see, loft conversion and kitchen extension company nuspace, have cleverly converted and made use of precious metres to give this home a brand new kitchen, dining and living space. Take a look…

An unassuming exterior

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights: modern Houses by nuspace
nuspace

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights

nuspace

The typical brown brick exterior façade of this London house doesn't reveal much of what has taken place inside. In fact, and credit to the architects, you wouldn't be able to tell via the street frontage or an aerial view that a modern extension has been added. From this angle, we can see something is a little different, the giveaway of course, being the large cut-out that now occupies most of the ground level wall. Little would you know from this view, that a flat portion of the roof has been added to the right hand side, in which a series of skylights have been installed to maximise the penetration of natural light.

Inside, out

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights: modern Kitchen by nuspace
nuspace

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights

nuspace

As you can see, there is now a wonderful relationship between the inside and outsides spaces. The glass doors have the ability to be folded all the way back, meaning the lines between the two rooms have become totally blurred. The combined living and dining room is now optimal for both relaxing and entertaining, with the open plan nature conducive to interaction for both guests and occupants.

Seasons pending

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights: modern Kitchen by nuspace
nuspace

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights

nuspace

You may or may not have noticed, but the doors that were opened out entirely to the courtyard above have now been closed. This image shows off the versatility of such a space, proving that even the when the weather is harsh, and the outdoors is the last place we'd want to be, that we can still enjoy a view. After all, there is really something magical, albeit, romantic, about witnessing the snow or rain fall outside when you are cosied up underneath a blanket.

Colour pop

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights: modern Kitchen by nuspace
nuspace

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights

nuspace

In this image, we see a view from the backside of the contemporary kitchen counter, revealing a set of bright orange bar chairs. You can also more clearly see the inside of the low hung lamps, which too, are an exciting shade of yellow. Throwing off a quasi-retro feel to the space, the introduction of these colours helps to lift a fairly neutral spacde to another dimension. The combination of recessed downlights and rectangular skylights means that this space is constantly illuminated, leaving the occupants feeling inspired and creative during even the most testing times of their home culinary feats!

Space heroes

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights: modern Kitchen by nuspace
nuspace

​kitchen side return extension balham with flat roof and sky lights

nuspace

Before we say goodbye to this wonderful extension, we take one last glance back at the view which forces our eyes directly to the rear. We also can see how clever the new layout of the home is, with this pocket of space behind the new kitchen extension housing a clever storage and utility area. Those who are used to living in apartments or small spaces know all too well how frustrating and how much of an eyesore it can be to have your washing machine or dryer in the same area as your oven and cooktop. Now, they can be hidden out of sight, with the shiny new appliances taking centre stage.

To see another exciting extension on a period property, we suggest the following ideabook: Period property goes modern.

What is your favourite aspect of this project? Let us know in the comments section below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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