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In 2017, Gemma Kendall and Timur Tatlioglu bought a ground-floor flat in a beautiful Victorian doublefronted house in London. It had spacious rooms and high ceilings, but needed updating – which was ideal as they wanted a project.
The flat’s welcoming atmosphere drew them back even after the purchase initially fell through.
‘The biggest appeal was the private 40m garden, which is surrounded by mature trees,’ says Gemma. ‘When you’re outside, the dense canopies make you feel like you’re in the countryside, not in London.
‘The main focus for change was to update the interior as well as creating more space. We bought the property as a two-bedroom flat and hoped to start a family, so we knew we would quickly outgrow it without extending. We live on the Dulwich Estate, which has restrictions and requirements which go beyond what is demanded for planning, and is more arbitrary. The Dulwich Estate required us to reduce the length and height of the extension on the shared boundary quite significantly, which meant we had to redesign the kitchen post-planning.
‘We ended up using the space for our dining area with built-in bench seating, which makes the most of the reduced ceiling height in this part of the kitchen. This has become one of our favourite and most-used spaces in the house. It is lovely to work from with a view of the garden.
‘We also have a lot of different levels in the flat – the architects, Noto, worked hard to ensure they were incorporated in a usable and interesting way. The wide step down between the living room and kitchen acts as informal seating to play on with our son or when we have guests over. The level changes have been taken through to the patio, creating distinct areas for seating and dining.
‘The kitchen has quickly become the hub of our home, and we have realised how fantastic the communal space is for entertaining and for family life. The large rooflight and full-length French doors accentuate the volume of the space and flood the kitchen with light; people natural gravitate towards it when they come in. We added an extra 55 square metres of floor space, which helped us create generous family areas and two additional bedrooms.
‘Noto helped us make the design and appearance of the garden elevation a reality, they sourced the bricks, worked with the contractor on the recipe for the mortar, and then designed the top of the elevation with a low concrete parapet. It’s been two years since the project finished and we’re still really proud of the result.’