Bowers Way:   by Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects

The almost invisible home extension

Caitlin Hughes Caitlin Hughes
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Extending your home can be stressful enough without having to worry about restrictive planning conditions. However, that's exactly what the occupants of this Hertfordshire home and the architects they enlisted to carry out the transformation were up against.

The owners wanted to adapt their home to their changing needs and requirements by creating an open plan space that could house a new modern kitchen and dining area. Living in a conservation area certainly has its upsides but in this instance it proved to create more of a challenge in terms of design. However, London based Bradley Van Der Straeten Architects navigated the project without a hitch and were able to create something truly impressive despite the challenge posed by the strict regulations.

Intrigued to see the finished result? Read on for a full tour…

Before: Prior to work beginning

Before the new extension was added to open up the interior and create a stronger connection to the outdoors, the rear of the property was looking run down and in need of an update.

The existing conservatory was quite obviously dated and didn't blend in with the original building. The family wanted a modern extension to replace the conservatory and the new design was to provide much more space for practical and sociable living. 

After: A wonderfully integrated extension

Restrictive planning conditions meant the architects had to get creative when it came to extending this traditional detached home. The visual impact of the extension has been minimised and thanks to some careful planning and consideration, the extension is almost invisible.

The project has been driven by the ambition to create a balance between old and new. To respect the history and original design of the building whilst adapting it for contemporary family life.

After: The red brick extension

The extension has the advantage of plenty of natural light thanks to the bi-fold doors and skylights that line the pitched roof.

We can see the traditional brickwork that forms the exterior, perfectly merging with the rest of the house, unlike the conservatory we saw previously. The off-white walls and ceiling make the extension brighter and creates a calming interior conducive to reading in solitude.

After: Roof lights and sliding windows

Maximising light was a key requirement listed in the brief and the finished result more than delivers. A modern take on the Victorian window seat has been incorporated to really make the most of the natural light available. 

The long window sill makes for a great spot to sit and read in the sun or simply enjoy the view out to the garden. During the evening when the light begins to fade, the industrial inspired ceiling lights will allow you to stay engrossed in your novel deep into the night. 

After: A white modern kitchen

The layout of this stylish contemporary kitchen allows the budding chefs in the family to interact with the others as they prepare the food. A comfy looking sofa offers a spot for those not on cooking duty to kick back and relax before meal time.

To ensure cooking is as stress free as possible there's plenty of work space available, both to the rear of the kitchen, next to the state of the art oven, and on the dividing section protruding from the interior wall. 

After: The stylish dining area

The essence of summertime has been captured and harnessed by this open, airy extension.

A burst of yellow brings to mind wild flowers and sunshine in an otherwise monochrome kitchen. Just a hint of colour is all that is needed to balance out the white cabinets and cool, stainless steel worktops. A strategically placed dining table allows the occupants to enjoy a beautiful view as they eat their breakfast or a leisurely evening meal. 

If you enjoyed this project, we recommend: A dynamite home extension.

Would you like to extend your home in a similar way?
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