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

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - Our Home -

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.”


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...

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...

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