Why move when you can renovate? Basements, lofts, side returns – the scope for transforming a home between the commons is vast. Best of all, you will reap the rewards when you come to sell so invest and enjoy the design process now, knowing your home improvements will help when it’s time to put that For Sale sign up.
A well-planned light well with full floor-to-ceiling glass doors bathes this basement media room in natural light – Oliver Bea.
PROJECT: SIDE RETURNS
1. Interior walls provide a framed view of the kitchen and garden beyond – Ade Architecture, MattClayton. 2. Expansive full-width side return with two sets of bifold doors from Granit Chartered Architects. 3. A wall of glass and long skylight flood light into this open-plan kitchen augmented by a lighting system by Hugo Light Design.
“FOR A LUXE LOOK DRESS SHUTTERS IN FAUX LEATHER, SUEDE OR FABRIC” THE NEW ENGLAND SHUTTER COMPANY.
A BUYER’S GUIDE TO SHUTTERS
With stylish shutters every room in your home will benefit from an interplay of privacy and light.
Choose a design that complements your interior: elegant, traditional, unique, contemporary or architectural. Blades range in shape and size, with larger blades allowing for greater light filtration. Shutters are limitless in their range of colours, finishes and styles.
When choosing, it is important to consider their function. ‘Café Style’ covers the lower half of your window, providing privacy whilst allowing in more light. ‘Full height’ covers the whole window offering a clean minimal look with adjustable light filtration. ‘Tier on Tier’ covers the whole window too but is divided into top and bottom panels. The top section can be opened whilst keeping the bottom closed for privacy.
Experienced carpenters will advise you on the best option for your shutters, so get creative and work with your shutter installer to design a truly unique solution for your home.
WORKING WITH AN ARCHITECT
We have worked with many architects over the years, and many good ones. Where the client can feel let down is when they feel the architect hasn’t devoted much time to them, especially on jobs with a squeezed budget.
My advice is to maximise the time you spend with them at pre-drawing stage and even before that, and to think through clearly what you want prior to your first meeting. If you have time, check out the Wandsworth or Lambeth Council planning pages or just have a really good nose around your local area, looking at what has already been built. It can be very hard, especially with the busy lives that people lead, but it will be well worth the time spent at the end of your successful build.
Architects, like all of us, have to prioritise their time and are usually working on a number of projects. The clearer you are with your thoughts the easier it will be for them to turn them into something tangible and exciting on paper.
4. Here super-sized Crittall-style doors and exposed brick interior walls to capture an industrial theme – Ade Architecture, MattClayton. 5. Clean interior lines and minimalist sliding doors create a restful, contemporary space – Upsher Harrison. 6. The true architectural credentials of this extension are celebrated in this design – The Oxford & London Building Company. 7. A contemporary finish successfully juxtaposes with a classic Victorian property – Simply Construction. 8. A classic side return makes a big impact without affecting garden size – Simply Construction.