Raw House

Transforming this London Victorian terrace into a contemporary, practical and stylish family home not only provided a fresh start for the house; it’s also been a new beginning for the client, Suzanne, and her two children.

Suzanne wanted a new home to live in with her two children and dog. A self-described serial renovator, she saw potential in the derelict probate property – a semi-detached house with a large garden – and she engaged us to design a contemporary, stylish, practical and fun home. Suzanne took on the role of project manager, working closely with our team and the contractors and collaborating on materials and finishes.

We extended the house to the side and rear and gutted much of the interior, leaving the bare bones of the house and what could be salvaged. The narrow side extension mimics the form of the original house and the black bricks create a distinction between old and new. The zinc-clad door utilised leftover roofing and hit-and-miss brickwork brings daylight inside while maintaining privacy.

Inside the front door, the triple-height ceiling is voluminous overhead, and a view of the garden draws you through the entry and into the living area. We celebrated the original brick wall as a memory of the past, providing a warm, textural contrast to the interior finishes and anchoring the layout of each floor.

At the front of the house, the sitting room is clean and modern yet retains its Victorian character. At the rear, the kitchen, dining and living area is spacious and comfortable for everyday life and entertaining. Daylight filters through the roof lights and large sliding glass doors, which open to the terrace and garden, where a new self-contained studio at the back of the property mirrors the design language of the extension.

Upstairs, there are three bedrooms and a bathroom on the first floor, and an office on the mezzanine above the entry. The loft has been transformed into the main bedroom and ensuite, and a roof light channels daylight through the open staircase deep into the floor plan.

We selected materials for their look, feel, durability and cost – budget constraints playing a part on the choice. Practical materials such as microcement and birch ply are used without concealing them, and we devised innovative storage solutions and finishes without compromising the design or functionality of the house. Light and pared-back, the interior created a fresh canvas for furnishings and fittings with texture and colour.

Raw House is a beautiful family home and we’re proud that it’s provided a new beginning for Suzanne and her family, and the success of the project has empowered Suzanne in the next chapter of her life as she takes on a contractor role for other builds.

‘It’s come out better than I would have ever imagined. I’m happy, the kids are really happy. It’s genuinely a bright, shiny new start and I’ve rediscovered myself in the process. I was a very strong woman 10 years ago on a great career. I paused to have children, probably lost a part of myself and now I’m definitely back.’ – Suzanne


Photography and Film by: French and Tye