How we guided a young couple through their first big refurbishment.

Working from home can be bliss – or the opposite. Especially if one is an author and historian - and mum of two young children. The challenge is to gather inspiration and concentrate without getting distracted by all the minutiae of managing a big house and its tiny inhabitants. Architecture can definitely help.

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A young couple with children entrusted us with their first substantial architectural project: the complete renovation of their Grade 2 listed house in one of the prettiest garden squares of West London, not far from Hammersmith riverside.

They loved traditional style and a bit of formality but at the same time needed the house to be easy to run, as she works from home - the client is a writer - and her husband is a busy city  lawyer.

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We positioned her study - which we think of as the core of the house - far away from distractions but at the centre of the house, fitted it with floor to ceiling bookcases and painted it a rich shade of crimson, “unashamedly classic and glamorous” in the words of its manufacturer, Farrow & Ball.  The room has a double aspect, with views on the garden square and on the beautiful private garden. It is beautifully lit and completed with a kilim rug and a Eames lounge chair.

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We then applied the same care and thought to every room of the house.

The project focused on balancing the addition of new elements - a dining room extension, its roof serving as terrace for the drawing rooms upstairs, a glazed connection between the entrance lobby and the study, sculptural steps and a patio terrace off the dining room - and the restoration of the Victorian features.

The space is designed for relaxed family life - living, kitchen and services at garden level and bedrooms and bathrooms on the two top floors –  but provides room for formal entertaining and silent concentration too - thanks to two formal drawing rooms and the study on the ground floor.

By the time the design was finalised and the works completed, another child had joined the family and the house was ready to welcome back the family’s life, with its mixture of work and play.

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