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New Year, New Decade, New Extension

With the start of the New Year it may be time to start thinking about the possibility of extending your home to gain more space and improve your quality of life. There are many different reasons to extend your home, a growing family, improve the flow around your home or

Some of our Favorite House Plants

Greenery naturally makes us happy, plants relax us not only by how beautiful they look but also by spreading pleasant scents around our homes and purifying the air we breathe. This could be the reason that the UK has seen a ‘growth’ in hous

Ground Floor Extension Window and Door Options

While Bi-Fold doors are still the most popular choice of door for rear extensions, due to their function and manipulability, there are multiple other options available for clients who want to do something that little bit different with the rear façade. Here we have a n

Three Ways to Extend your Home

Making the most of the floor area in your home is key in creating the most practical living space for your family. With property in London coming at a premium it’s sometimes more cost effective and better value for money to extend your home rather than moving. If you


With the start of the New Year it may be time to start thinking about the possibility of extending your home to gain more space and improve your quality of life. There are many different reasons to extend your home, a growing family, improve the flow around your home or the desire to reconfigure your living spaces. Below are just a few of the reasons and ways in which you can improve and extended your home this year.


Adding More Space

One of the most common reasons for an extension is to gain more space, but whether it be a 5 or 55 square meter addition, adding more space is always beneficial. Most Victoria era terrace properties have an outrigger housing the kitchen space with windows down the side return, these side returns are usually wasted, unused space which can be built into to widen your kitchen. If your home doesn’t have a side return you may still be able to extend to the rear adding valuable living space and allowing you to open up the back off your property to make better use of the garden.

If you can extend to the rear as you have a small garden, or you live on the top floor of a house that has been converted into flats, then you can consider the possibility of extending upwards. Loft spaces are usually just underused storage areas, but through conversion, you can add an additional floor to your home while still maintain some well-designed eaves storage.


Greater Amounts of Natural Light

When extending your home it’s important to think about natural light and ventilation of the spaces, terrace housing is noxiously dark so you are going to want to improve that with any possible extension. Opening up the rear of the property with full-width doors or a trio of skylights across the side return means the extension will be flooded with natural light.

All glass roofs, although more expensive, will draw in even more light and create a beautiful architectural feature that will give your home a real wow factor. You can also look at installing an inflected skylight to the part of the new extension roof that meets the rear reception room, this will mean that light can be inflected back into the heart of the property too – finally bouncing that much needed natural light right into the centre of the home.


Improved Layout and Flow

Redesigning the existing space and adding more square meters gives you the opportunity to also improve the flow and layout of your home to make it more functional for everyday family life. Our home life has changed over the last 100yrs, when many of London s homes where build, and so the layout of our homes needs updating too. Adding a second entrance into the rear reception room from the kitchen, for example, is a common way of allowing the flow of the home to be improved.

Layout problems are even more common when a property has been carved up into flats, a lot of flat conversions retain the front reception room as the living space, with the kitchen at the rear which is not practical for modern open plan living. Often we also find the main bathroom is off the kitchen which means the early morning journey to the bathroom from bed is a cold one. By extending the kitchen space and relocating the bathroom into the main part of the property you can create a more spacious open plan living area which open up to the garden space and often even create an additional bedroom too – allowing the flat to grow with your family rather than needing to move.


Creation of Additional Rooms

If you’re looking to create an additional bedroom, bathroom or home office then the loft can be a great place to add more space. A loft space of at least 2.4m or more from the floor to the ridge beam means that you have the headspace to create at least one room. Subject to planning you maybe be able to create a large ‘L’-shaped extension that can add up to 2 bedrooms and a bathroom, creating a whole new floor to your property and adding value to your home.


Whatever the reasons, there any multiple places that you can extend your home, be that to the rear façade, along the side return and up into the loft space. Give our team a call on 0207 242 5353 or email hello@designteam.co.uk to find out more about our services and what our team of talented Architectural Designers can do for you.

Greenery naturally makes us happy, plants relax us not only by how beautiful they look but also by spreading pleasant scents around our homes and purifying the air we breathe. This could be the reason that the UK has seen a ‘growth’ in house plant popularity in recent years. If you’re new to the house plant scene it can be hard to know which plants are easy to maintain and the best for you. Here are a few of our team’s favourite plants that are easy to look after and will add some interest to your home.


Cheese Plant

If you are looking for large green leaves and something that will, if well cared for, grown quite large then a Monstera Deliciosa fits the bill perfectly. The Cheese Plant enjoys gentle sunlight, too direct and the lush green leaves can turn yellow, and moderate temperatures. Make sure to leave a gap between waterings to allow the soil to dry out slightly and encourage growth.


Spider Plant

A staple when you think of interior plants and for good reason, they are very hard to neglect. All they require is a normal water pattern and some low to medium light, making them perfect for the darker rooms of the house. Not only that but they produce ‘pups’ that can be removed and planted to grow a whole new spider plant.


Lavender

This plant goes without saying, famous for the aromatic scent it gives off it’ll make a brilliant addition to your interiors. Its bright purple flower will also add a pop of colour to any room and make it stand out. It is suggested that smaller varieties of the plant are preferable for indoors as they adjust better – just make sure you have them in a bright space as they love plenty of sunshine.


Chinese Money Plant

Said to bring fortune to the owners, this may ring true in regards to how little you need to spend on them. All they need is the standard watering once a week and to be put in a shady spot to flourish. What’s better, like the spider plant, their cuttings [if taken from the stem base] can be re-planted saving you even more money by not needing to buy new plants.


Ivy

Something we are Brits are no stranger to is Ivy, it can be seen all over the county. Not only is it very easy to maintain but it is also very hardy as well, only needing a little maintenance here and there. Ivy needs a good amount of sunlight to help keep bushy and fighting off pests. It prefers to be on the dryer side so it’s a good idea to plant them with a layer of rocks or stones at the bottom of the pot to help with drainage.


Christmas Cactus

While any cactus is a good idea for a low maintenance plant, this member of the family is much less likely to prick those curious little fingers that try to touch it. As assumed by being part of the cactus family, they require little to no maintenance, simply leave it be. Just water when the soil is looking like its drying up. When the conditions are just right a well maintained Christmas Cactus will bloom a beautiful flower which is an added bonus.

While Bi-Fold doors are still the most popular choice of door for rear extensions, due to their function and manipulability, there are multiple other options available for clients who want to do something that little bit different with the rear façade. Here we have a number examples of when clients chose something a little out of the box and made their extensions stand out from the crowd.


Pivot door

What’s better than a large window that lets in a flood of light? One that opens. This massive piece of glass will make the space feel incredibly bright and can be pivoted open to instantly connect the inside of the property to the outside. Together with the unobstructed view out to the garden this is also a great way to create that picture-perfect view. Pivot doors are a brilliant option for those who what that in-out connection but with a bit more of an interesting mechanism which will provide a higher design aesthetic to the extension.


Corner Bi-folds

An interesting option for a staggered extension is to have two openings in your pretruding corner, this allows you to completely open up to not just the rear facade but also the side too. It can also fashion quite an architecturally stimulating design with an impressive visual impact. The large opening has a more attention-grabbing depth to it, as opposed to just a single set of doors running along one wall. This client chose to retain a supporting column to keep it within budget, but there is also the option to cantilever the corner and remove the column. Connecting the two doors and having the corner completely floating making an unobstructed view out from the new extension which only improves the effect.


Triangular Window

If you want to really get the most light possible and create a stunning piece of architecture then bespoke glazing elements such as triangular glass can really help you achieve this. By placing a window in the Apex of the rear extension gable you will encourage people to look up towards the high celling as well as bring in as much natural light as possible. At the project above the client has chosen to use the shape of the side return to inform the size of the end window. By taking the glass all the way to the roof pitch the view out is increased and the amount of natural light in the property has been maximised. It has also helped to define the new space that has been added at explain the architectural history of the building.


Sliding Doors

An alternative to Bi-folds that are still within budget for many people are sliding doors, using less panes than conventional Bi-Folds you will have larger glazed units and more unobstructed views out. Sliding doors can usually be opened from each end and are therefore more flexible than conventional Bi-fold or French doors allowing you to open them and have access to the garden from either end. With many different suppliers on the market the materiality and frame thickness is all subject to your requirements.


 Crittall

Becoming increasing popular and very much in fashion at the moment, Crittall or Crittall replica doors and windows are being chosen increasingly more by our clients. The timeless style and simple design means that they are coming back into fashion and being featured heavily in many home magazines and on TV shows. Although towards the higher end of the cost spectrum, Crittall is a great option for both rear exterior doors and interior dividers. They can be used in multiple ways and paired with a multitude of accessories to create modern, industrial and period looks.


Original Windows

Sometimes clients have original windows or doors that they want to retain or enhance as part of their new extension. At this project the client originally had access to the garden through a side door but lost this by extending to the side, to counteract this they have turned the central window of the existing bay into a set of French doors to allow access out without losing the bay feature. Paring this with a fully glassed end panel to the new side return had made a clear definition between old and new and allowed the original bay to take centre stage.


Window Seat

This client used a specialist glazing company to create a bespoke window seat that projected from the rear wall of the reception room into the courtyards. Now not technically the rear of the extension, this is certainly an idea that could be reimagined to be placed on the rear façade should you wish to sit and overlook your garden. The size, shame and material of the frame is all subject to your specifications so should you wish for it to be frameless or shaped anything is achievable.


If you have some ideas for an extension to your home and want to discuss the options available and how feasible an extension will be, get in touch with our Enquiries Team on 0207 242 5353 or email hello@designteam.co.uk to arrange for a FREE Design Consultation and quotation with one of our friendly Architectural Designers.

Making the most of the floor area in your home is key in creating the most practical living space for your family. With property in London coming at a premium it’s sometimes more cost effective and better value for money to extend your home rather than moving. If you find you need additional space in your home there are 3 common places where you can extend and make every square meter count.


Side Return Extension

The typical Victorian Terrace side return is generally quite small – usually measuring under 2 meters wide and between 3 and 6 meters long. Apart from being useful for storing wheelie bins, bikes or garden equipment, they are essentially dead space which would be better incorporated into your home. Although a side return extension may only add a few square meters of new space, it’s not really size that counts here. Instead, it’s more about the combination of the new space and the original footprint of the property and how you go about designing the combined space as a whole. By opening up the small, narrow corridors of a Victorian terrace you can create an open plan environment and maxim your space. A side return extension is one of the most effective home renovations for those who don’t want to compromise their existing garden but need additional living space.


Rear Kitchen Extension

Extending the kitchen out from the rear of the property is one of the most popular home extensions for growing families. By bringing the kitchen space out to meet the main part of the garden, you’re instantly making the garden more accessible and welcoming – enabling this space to be used more frequently. We recommend you chose wide fully opening doors, such as Bi-fold or Sliding, for a kitchen extension which will create a seamless transition between the indoor and outdoor spaces. With a good kitchen extension, when the doors are open, it should be difficult to tell where the kitchen ends and the garden begins!

If you’re planning to do a side return extension or thinking about a kitchen extension to the rear, consider whether a wraparound extension would better suit your needs. By combining a side return with a rear extension into one ‘L-shape’ extension you can make use of both the extra width to the side and the additional few metres to the back of the property. This will completely transform you’re living area and how you use it, a wraparound extension is ideal for growing families who love to cook, relax and spend time together or those who like to socialise and entertain.


Loft Conversion

The advantage of a Loft Conversion is that it can be used however you want, adding further bedroom, a bathroom, a home office or even a self-contained flat (if planning allows). So unless you are really organised and have your belongings neatly stored away in your loft, chances are you’re not making the most of the available space. With some well thought out planning and some clever built-in storage you’ll find that you have more space to keep your belongings and a whole extra floor of living space. Lofts are also great value for money, a typical loft conversion costs around £40,000 on average and could add 20% to the value of your home.


If you are considering a home extension and are unsure which option might be best for you then get in touch with our Enquires Team to arrange a Design Consultation with one of our Architectural Designers. It is a fantastic opportunity to gain free advice on planning, feasibility and the costs associated. Call us on 0207 242 5353 or email hello@designteam.co.uk with some dates and times that work best for you and we will be in touch.

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