Room of the Week: A Hackney Flat Gets a Living Room Makeover
Once the bedroom level, the ground floor of this London flat has been extended and turned into a sociable living space
Discovering that about 4sq m of the garden actually belonged to the upstairs flat lead to two years of legal wrangling, before the owners were eventually able to buy it and the build could go ahead. “During that time we called regular meetings to show the clients some materials or sketches, just to keep them encouraged,” says Rensen. “They were tearing their hair out and thought the build might never happen. It did though, and they’re delighted! It was all worth it in the end!”
Who lives here A couple and their two teenage sons
The property A ground- and first-floor flat in a Victorian terraced house
Location Hackney, London
Room dimensions This L-shaped space has a width of 2.7m at its narrowest and 5m at its widest. At its longest point, it’s 6m
Architects Jo Edwards and Adrie Rensen of Edwards Rensen Architects
Photos by Adelina Iliev Photography
“Both of the owners had great ideas for the design,” says Rensen. “They wanted a clean-lined style but not something completely minimalist and all white. They wanted a calm, clean interior with nice warm touches.”
Porcelain tiles used inside and out create a seamless surface. “The exterior tiles look the same but have a little more texture, so they are not slippery,” says Rensen.
Dome pendant light with ribbed interior, Lighting Styles.
“You don’t immediately understand it when you first enter the space, but then you see that the ceiling never really stops; the whole thing flows,” adds Rensen. “You can follow it easily with your eye. There is nothing abrupt there.”
It is bathed in light from the rooflight above. The original plans included a single large rooflight over the living area near the rear doors, but Edwards and Rensen rethought this. “We pulled that one rooflight apart and fitted two instead, with another small one over the dining table,” says Rensen. “They create washes of light across the floor and walls really nicely. When you sit at the bar it’s really light there.”
“Using two rooflights instead of one was a cost-saving move initially, as was installing framed rather than frameless glazing,” explains Edwards, “but from a design point of view it’s worked out much better, too.”
Drift oak and white bar stools, Atlantic Shopping.
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The worktop is Corian. “It creates a continuous U-shape around the kitchen,” adds Rensen. “With no cabinets below it at one end it becomes the bar and extends down to the floor.”
The splashback is made from American walnut veneer, stained and treated with matt oil.
American walnut veneer, from DW General Wood Machinists. Matt oil, Osmo.
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The roof is held up by a support structure that includes this column. “We couldn’t bury the column in the lovely brick wall,” says Rensen, “and we didn’t even want to back it against the wall. So we just fitted it about 30cm away from the wall. It’s a nice addition to the space and becomes an object in its own right.” The owners have since sprayed the column gold!
Marcus dining chairs in Grey, Atlantic Shopping.
What do you love about this clean-lined extension? Tell us in the Comments below – and please remember that you’re discussing someone’s home!