A natural retreat in the heart of London

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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Thanks to Proctor & Co Architecture Ltd, this ground floor maisonette in Clapham Common has been transformed with an innovative side extension. The new side extension utilises the previously forgotten 1.5 m wide side return patio, with sliding folding doors leading on to the redecorated patio complete with wooden decking, oak batten wall with copper lighting, and Mediterranean style planters. Inside, a stylish dining area and living room have been created. The interiors boast fresh, natural decor that complements the design of the outdoor area, and establishes continuity between inside and out. 

The side return extension

The side return extension is a single skin brick wall in yellow London stock bricks, tied to a steel and timber frame structure. As you can see, the Oak timber battens which form the cladding have been used both inside the extension and out, in order to create a dividing fence that affords the occupants greater privacy. 

Natural materials

The Oak battens and timber dining table bring a touch of nature to the room,  contributing to the feeling of being outside, whilst still being protected from the elements by the solid structure. The large glass patio doors and numerous windows also open up the space, blurring the boundaries between domestic and natural spaces and keeping the interior bright and airy. 

Skylights

Skylights are becoming an essential part of home renovations, whether in the loft, kitchen extension, or, as demonstrated here, in a side return extension. The skylights bring a different dynamic to the room depending on the hour of day: during  the morning, the light is bright and crisp, perfect for helping you wake up and feel invigorated as you eat your breakfast at the little dining table. As the sun fades in the evening, the light is softer and more conducive to relaxation, so you can fully enjoy reclining on that luxurious corner sofa.

Modern glass patio doors

Full length sliding bi-fold doors serve a similar purpose to the skylights and windows—creating the feeling of being surrounded by nature, without having to suffer the mood swings of our temperamental British weather. The sliding doors allow for easy access on to the patio, which as you would expect for Central London, is small but sweet. Finished with Mediterranean style planters, the decked area is the perfect spot to get some fresh air and enjoy some sun.

Contemporary living and dining area

The living and dining area are open plan yet perfectly cosy, and demonstrate both rustic and Scandinavian influences. The timber dining table with contrasting chairs in a darker shade of brown plays up to the natural, outdoorsy feel of the extension, and also enjoys a direct view to the patio area. White walls and a white ceiling give the room height and further contribute to a sense of openness that has already been established by the windows and glass patio doors. The muted shades evident in the sofa and soft furnishings also work to the same effect, complementing the natural materials employed in the room. 

All in the details: copper lighting

Copper has been used for all of the lighting. Not only is copper bang on trend, it's also a perfect match for natural, Scandinavian-inspired designs such as this. Copper is minimal and sleek, and adds warmth to white or neutral interiors. 

For similar projects, take a look at the following ideabook: A house of daring contrasts.

Do you feel inspired by this side return extension? We look forward to receiving your comments!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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