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House, Forest Hill

The houses in this leafy South London location are generally substantial Victorian and Edwardian houses, set within large gardens.   Built in the late 60s as a photographer's studio, our clients' house had a Bohemian Blow Up internal layout but with a dull suburban exterior and was widely regarded locally as the ugly duckling.  We were approached to lend it some much needed kerb appeal, and in addition to consider some internal modifications and enlargement at the rear.

Planning consent was successfully sought from Lewisham Council to remodel the front elevation and add a two storey extension projecting into the rear garden.

The new extension replicates the existing cross section of the house with exposed roof trusses within the enlarged open plan first floor living area and new inset balcony overlooking the rear garden.  At ground floor the additional space will be used for a bedroom/study. These rear enlargement works are in abeyance and will be carried out as a later phase.


In the kitchen a seamless aesthetic was achieved by extensive use of Corian on worksurfaces, splashbacks, wall panels and cupboard doors.  Electric power points are set in retractable sleeves within the work surface and integrated appliances are set behind lacquered doors.

On the street elevation the existing uPVC windows were removed, and the cills of the openings lowered to improve their proportions.  New dark grey powder coated metal windows were installed with slatted hardwood side panels to permit ventilation without compromising security.  The existing brickwork and bargeboard were also painted with dark grey matt masonry paint to pull the existing and new elements together.

To introduce some depth and modeling to the front elevation a canopy was added around the new entrance door, with a tinted glass roof and a slatted hardwood side panel, set within a cantilevered steel structure.

Photos by Gianni Valesini