London, the capital of our wonderful country, is one of the most diverse and international urban environments in the world. A leading city in arts, finance and fashion, it is said to be the most visited cities on the planet. The architecture and homes of this fine city are as diverse and eclectic as the people who reside here. With a population of 13 million, and with one of the world's highest living standards, this city boasts some of the most grand and elegant homes of anywhere in the world.
Blending in with the historical buildings that dominate London architecture is modern London, with 21st century structures sitting beside buildings hundreds of years old, creating a skyline blending the old and new in perfect harmony.
Residential London still looks a lot like it did centuries ago, with many buildings being heritage listed, therefore the exterior of the building cannot be altered. Step inside some these historical buildings and you feel like you are walking into a different time, with many Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian era buildings being completely renovated or modelled, completely changing the interior without modifying the charm of their facades.
Today we would like to take you on a tour of some of London's most beautiful homes, across all parts of the city, to show you the diversity and beauty of modern British design and architecture.
Many British architects are taking advantage of the old buildings they are working with and contrasting the existing historical charm with their modern designs to great visual effect. This project was undertaken by Mailen Design, in the highly desirable leafy suburb of Muswell Hill . This terrace home proves sleek modern architecture can perfectly blend in with its existing surroundings.
Large glass panels catch our eyes, contrasting with the small windows of the existing building. The ground floor has been opened up and extended into the backyard, allowing more of the home to be used year-round with its large glass panels ensuring the area is never without light. As we move to the upper level, it was decided to remove the existing loft and roof to create a whole new level, vastly increasing the size of the home and creating a third floor bedroom with views across the rear garden.
This stunning East London loft conversion is in Shoreditch, one of the city's trendiest neighbourhoods. Designed by Space Group Architects, this property was short-listed for the LEAF International for 'Best Use of Space Award' 2013 & New London Architecture 'Don't Move, Improve!' Award 2013/14 for Best Interior Design.
The ultra modern steel finish of the kitchen has been juxtaposed with the existing exposed brick walls, and floor to ceiling glass has been installed to maximise the intake of natural light. The large panels allow us to appreciate the view of East London from the seventh floor penthouse. The glass also features high performance glazing for an enhanced acoustic and thermal performance.
What better way to decorate a modern British home than with a true British icon, Penguin books. This publishing house created many classic titles, and influenced public debate through its books on topics such as politics and science. By creating well designed, affordable books with quality content, reading was bought to the masses. In an ode to Penguin books, the designers at Poulsom Middlehurst decided to decorate one wall of the redesigned kitchen and dining space that now opens up to the rest of the house, with different titles of books, covering all topics. The rainbow-like wall on one side, brick wall opposite, white roof, as well as the timber floor and timber kitchen all come together in perfect harmony to create a unique space in a British home with an ultra British theme. To see more photos of this home click here.
This chic, modern cube space sits in the garden of a typical London terrace home in Canonbury, in inner North London. The bespoke steel and glass room is in stark contrast to its surroundings of greenery and traditional brick. The garage was designed by IQ Glass, of greater London, and is used as a small garden retreat and car storage space.
Click here to check out some of the other great work from IQ Glass.
Where better to come home to after a busy day in the office than to this perfect pool and spa, a calming underground oasis in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the busy London streets above.
Designed by the London Swimming Pool Company, this pool sits on the third floor underground level of the home, and required a 25m excavation before construction. The pool features a moving floor, with a unique water holding system. This allows the pool to be raised for children to play in, and lowered for exercising. It also has the ability to disappear, being raised to sit flush with the floor of the room. What an ingenious way to maximise floor space, perfect for entertaining in the large downstairs room.
As Brits, we love to complain about the weather; too much sun is never enough. It is for this reason it would not be fitting to showcase some of the finest homes in London without a reference to our favourite topic of conversation: the weather.
London's climate is mediocre at best, so when the sun is beaming and the mercury is rising, we love to spend as much time outdoors as possible.
This Tufnell Park rooftop deck from Sam Tisdall Architects is sure to please any Brit, allowing for maximum sun at any time of the day. A perfect space for lounging, barbequing, or entertaining, this is the ideal place to spend hot summers days and those balmy summer nights.