Living in NappyValley


Architects, interior designers and planners are coming together to create some spectacular homes. Gillian Upton selects those that outshine all others.

What began as a rear single-storey extension turned into a complete overhaul and transformation of the home by Stylus Architects to inject a more rational order to the interior and exterior façade and to better link the two. Internally, walls were moved and the kitchen now has dual-aspect sliding doors onto a new patio area and a triangular glazed gable. The monotone colour scheme gives it a clean look. On the outside, reclaimed London stock brick was introduced and used to wrap around the extension at the front and rear of the property.


This Victorian terraced house was reconfigured, re-planned and refurbished with a liberal use of Farrow & Ball Railings paint as the dramatic backdrop by Ensoul. They worked with the existing electric blue curtains and orange sofa and added painted floorboards, a wall of cabinetry which includes pieces of wood from real wine barrels as cladding for the wine and spirit cabinet, tobacco-coloured soft leather chairs and a classic Tom Dixon pendant light. Upstairs Ensoul created a children’s suite (bedroom and adjacent playroom), craft studio, a roof terrace off the master bedroom and a wellness space in the loft area with sauna, gym and massage area separated by a wall of bamboo. In the basement is a cinema with acoustic panels and bi-level seating, a resistance pool, hot tub, treadmill and a children’s gym. “That’s a first,” says Ensoul co-owner Viki Lander.

A re-invention of the ground floor geared for modern family life was part of the brief to architect and interior designers Proctor and Shaw. A two-storey rear extension was the result, with a hanging timber clad ‘pod’ which forms the dramatic centrepiece to the kitchen and dining space. Photography: Ben Blossom.

This may be a classic Georgian house from the outside but And Architects have created areas of whimsy and pure eclecticism inside. The bathroom is lined with gold security boxes, the spare kitchen is a riot of blue inside the vault at the front of the property, the courtyard is ablaze with turquoise fish scale tiles, and the floor of the main kitchen continues in the cabinets. Only the dining room shows any restraint. Director Rachel Nogueira explains: “People are moving beyond the luxe and marble and concealed lighting and they want a more curated personal look. This particular owner has a strong sense of style.”

In another project the same architect has chosen loud graffiti tiles to add a touch of street cred to a classic standalone bath and to keep the children happy. Photography: Morley von Sternberg.

(L) This timber-clad snug space is an integral part of a modern, open-plan kitchen and dining room created by a rear and side extension to this substantial semidetached house. Architect and interior designer is Proctor and Shaw. Photography: Ben Blossom.

(R) William Tozer Associates kept the purity of this industrial building when turning it into a home. Brick, concrete and steel dominate with the addition of glass partitions and white paint finish.

The trend to bring wellness areas into your home is hotting up as the space in more and more lofts and basements is being given over to saunas, massage and steam rooms. This KLAFS sauna has been installed by Guncast

London winner of this year’s Don’t Move, Improve awards, this terraced house has been refurbished with the addition of an ‘infill’ glazed rear extension to create flexible living, dining, kitchen and study spaces as well as double-height volume providing bags of natural light to what was previously a dark interior. Warm oak battens for the timber soffit match the existing timber floor while the design affords views from front to back. The owner praised the Proctor and Shaw design as it allows him to no longer feel cut off from activity in other parts of the ground and lower ground floors. Photography: Radu-Palicica.