Returning a house to its former glory after it has been split into two or more dwellings is not a task for the faint-hearted. Thankfully, Bradley van Der Straeten Architects are made of tougher stuff than most. In addition to this already being a somewhat large project, there were extra constraints in place as well, as the team explains, ’The property was originally divided into two single storey apartments. Our brief was to convert the property back into one house on a tight budget.
The new property now boasts a large bathroom with walk-in shower and three double bedrooms on the first floor. The ground floor was redesigned to provide a more spacious entrance hallway. Steels were inserted to knock two rooms together to create a generous lounge. The rear side return extension provides top light to the space as well as full height fully open able oak glazing onto the garden. Our designs have ensured that no structural supports are visible in the ceiling to maximise the feeling of space and light.’
So the question is, can you turn two separate flats back into one cohesive family home, on a budget, without the end result looking rushed or finished to sub-par standards? Let's take a look to find out!
We are only one picture in but we feel totally confident in saying that this project will not be a disappointment. How could it be when this is what you see at the back? While a little more unusual these days, the use of natural wood for the bi-fold doors and frame looks gorgeous and really melds with the natural feel inside.
Asked to create a spacious, liveable house, there is no doubt that the design team not only accomplished that goal, they surpassed it and did so in an elegant and understated fashion.
Now we can really see what a benefit it was to have none of the structural elements on show in this space. Being kept hidden, they don't impact on the vast white ceiling that helps to make this such a bright and airy room. It really is the extra details that make the biggest difference!
The huge amount of natural wood furniture and finishes fully support the choice of door and make for a wonderfully cosy, homely feel. With so much white, finding a way to inject some depth can be tricky but this kitchen and dining room looks so welcoming. Furthermore, it's also the perfect combination of modern and classic styling, which lends itself to connecting the separate parts of the house back together.
While the kitchen/diner feels modern with a hint of heritage, this living room is all about the original features. A huge selling point for the home, we know that perfecting the bridge between the open plan rear space and this traditional sitting room will have been important to the clients but they needn't have worried.
Wooden flooring meets slate tiles without any effort at all and, by keeping all the walls white, you naturally accept the transition between functionalities. We love that the original alcoves have been kept as they help to blur the line between old and new, in addition to offering great storage potential.
The way in which all the design elements have been kept running through each room is a master stroke that makes light work of making two spaces meld back together. All it would have taken was a mismatched wall colour or an oversight with the floor tiles and you'd know this was not a home that had always worked as one cohesive space.
This bathroom uses the same tiles as the kitchen and by once again embracing some natural wood accents, you know this is part of a stylish family home that has been given a lot of thought. Those subway tiles also look great with grey grout. It's such a funky twist on the way most people install them and really helps to match with the floor!
Taking a closer look at one of the more transitional areas, you get to see just how natural it is that this home is one unit again, don't you think? White leads to white and wood leads to slate, with the the result being a home filled with natural products and a relaxed calm that is hard to capture.
We can only imagine what a joy it must have been to reclaim so much space in this home. Thanks to an on-budget, considered and well-executed project, if you didn't know this used to be two separate homes, we don't think you'd ever be able to tell.
For more home extension inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: The Home Extension Reaching Out to Nature.