Let’s gut it and start again
This London family knocked down all but the external walls of their Victorian terrace house and completely reconfigured it to create a space that works for them. By Katie Treggiden
THE usual solution when you run out of space in London is to head for the home counties. The commuter belt is full of city-based professionals who put up with crowded trains in exchange for an extra bedroom and green space.
However, public relations manager Katherine Sandford-Anderson and her corporate investigator husband, Mark, both 44, decided to stay put and reconfigure their west London home to cope with their growing family — daughters Amelia, 13, Alice, 10, and a new addition, Coco the dog.
The couple bought their home in 2013 for £1.4 million and after surviving two winters with a faulty boiler and kitchen doors falling off their hinges, they moved out, the builders moved in and within a matter of weeks there was nothing left but the external and party walls and part of the first floor. “I’m always amazed by how quickly it all comes down, but how slowly it goes back up,” says Katherine. “The builders discovered rotten floor joists and missing steel beams so it all had to come out. At one stage it was this incredible triple-height space that I was quite tempted to keep.”
BLOWING THE BUDGET
Their entire contingency budget was blown in the first four months but having secured planning consent they ploughed on and decided to construct a garden studio, in the footprint of the previous owner’s home office. Architect Simon Gill designed the extension to the rear of the house “in dialogue with” the garden room. “They are both clad in burnt larch and each has a dormer window with a pendant light in it.”
They also added a “pod room” — a small loft extension that sits on the walls of the rear section of the house on the third floor, to provide a bedroom for Alice. The kitchen and bespoke steambent oak staircase were fitted last to prevent them being damaged.
The total cost of the renovations and interior fit-out was £450,000, but the house is now worth £2.2 million, so they’ve made a potential £350,000 while avoiding the costs associated with mo house and commuting into London. O the renovation was complete, work b on the interiors.
The chimney breasts, architraves and places had been removed by a prev owner, “so we had a blank canvas contemporary interior”, says Kather She called on her friend, interior desi Harriet Paterson. Katherine had b influenced by a visit to Vitra’s Swiss to see an exhibition about Finnish a tect Alvar Aalto, and Milan Design W
Commuting’s not for us: rather than move out of the capital in search of more space for daughters Amelia, Alice and dog Coco, Katherine Sandford-Anderson and husband Mark considered how they could change their west London home to make it work harder for their growing family. It took a year but it’s now just right — and it added value
Indispensable: an architectural chameleon, the garden room, which sits at the opposite end of the outdoor space, is variously used as a music room, cinema room, teenage hangout, guest suite and home office — the desk and chair are by West Elm and the lamp is from Béton Brut