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A simple start; a spectacular end.

Alissa Ugolini—homify UK Alissa Ugolini—homify UK
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Today on homify, we are taking a look at a fantastic renovation project that resurrected a house from the 1940s and brought it into the 21st century. Architect Frank Labbay has transformed a home that was once constricted for size, offering a further 46m of additional housing for the occupants. Ignoring the constraints posed by the site, the experts have designed a stunning wooden extension that was easier to implement than a more traditional design. By freeing itself from the traditional character of the existing home, the home has been reinvented in such a way that it is unrecognisable from its former self.

The structure fits in perfectly with its environment, and now affords the occupants the chance to enjoy a relationship with their garden. The wide skylights and high level windows allow natural light to penetrate the space, changing the internal ambience from dark and cramped to spacious and light filled. The home is now a wonderful example of environmentally friendly design, using materials for both the façade and roofing that are consistent with the time. Take a look…

Before: The street front

The exterior of the home in its existing state leaves very little to the imagination. Tired, worn and old, the combination of brown brick and outdated features leaves much to be desired. Though it's not exactly a home owners delight, the age of the property has a certain something; you can tell the walls speak of times gone by…

Before: The rear of the home

The original backyard is more like a wasteland than a pretty garden, and is certainly not a space that one would want to spend their time in. Weeds have developed haphazardly over time, thanks to the little care that has been afforded to the space. There is no harmony or sense of respite—two words that should be used to describe a garden area. The proportions of the space are not used correctly, nor to the best of their ability.

After: The new extension

Wow—it's hard to believe that this is the same house as the preceding images! A new material palette is evident, as is a totally new spatial awareness for the home. Now, there is a strong relationship apparent between inside and out, with the large openings provided a view for the occupants. What is most intriguing about this new extension is the geometry—such a contemporary form for a house that was once antiquated and outdated. We especially love the bold contrast provided between the black steel and richly stained timber panels.

After: The interior of the extension

Here you can see the effects of the new skylights and high level windows. The garden and sky are invited inside, altering the internal ambience on a daily basis as the weather and seasons outside change. The fully retractable extension brings the house well and truly in line with 21st century living standards, and is now a pleasure to sit in solitude or with friends.

Before: The kitchen

The kitchen really represents an era that we'd much rather forget. The melange of orange, yellow and brown wall paper reveals the tragedy of 60s and 70s interior design—a decorating style that should be left in the past. Though the colours and cabinetry are a disaster, the layout is basic, making it easier for the architects to resurrect this space into something functional and aesthetically pleasing.

After: The kitchen

Now, the kitchen has totally be transformed into an oasis of light and calm, and is definitely conducive to interaction. The occupants may not be masterchefs, but now they have the chance to explore all their culinary dreams (and nightmares) in a space that is as beautiful as it is practical. A casual meal can be taken atop the tall bar stools, perhaps even used as a quick space to do some study or calculate some bills. The use of white and pale timber is reminiscent of sleek Nordic design and makes for a kitchen that will likely never go out of fashion.

Before: Bedroom 1

Floral wallpaper and damaged floors reign supreme in this room, which definitely does not create an atmosphere for a bedroom that is inviting or welcoming. Just as in the kitchen, the age of the house is ever present here, and the whole room is in desperate need of repair.

After: The master bedroom

The new master bedroom, as with the other rooms in the renovation, is contemporary and fresh. The new colour palette and sleek furnishings are sure never to date. The architects have created a home that is sure to transcend into the decades to come. The pale colour palette is a great choice to ensure that a room with limited constraints can look as large as possible.

Before: Bedroom 2

The second bedroom is much like the first with a dowdy colour scheme and outdated furnishings. Lacking imagination, the architects had to use their gift of foresight to transform this room into a liveable and exciting space.

After: A child's bedroom

Lastly, but definitely not least, our final view is of the renovated child's bedroom. This is indeed unlike many kid's bedrooms today, where a mature colour palette and decorating scheme has been adopted. This is a smart choice as it means the child is able to grow with the room, negating the possibility or need to update the space as quickly as they grow.

To see another exciting home transformation, check out the following ideabook: Before & after: A fresh twist on an old bakery

Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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