Edwardian houses have a unique and timeless style that has kept their appeal for decades. The LuxPad takes a closer look at a West London semi-detached Edwardian property interior project by Case Study regular, Holloways of Ludlow, below…
Project Name: West Ludlow residential home project in Edwardian semi-detached house
Floor Area: ground – 105m2, 1st – 70m2, loft 35m2
Project Time Taken: 9 months
Completion of Project: 2015
The brief from the client was to design and build a new bespoke kitchen, larder and utility room within a new ground floor extension, reformat the 1st floor and loft to provide a master suite, three children’s bedrooms with hallway access to a family bathroom and one guest room with en-suite for visitors.
Creation / Planning Process
Within the ground floor extension, we included a bespoke kitchen, larder space and utility room. The kitchen is completely bespoke and we were keen to achieve architectural continuity for the overall design, look and feel of the space. The island is angled to register with and complement the angles of the walls and ceilings. The tall cabinets are fitted floor to ceiling including a cabinetry jib door that gives access to the utility and walk in larder. The workshop spray matt finish of the cabinetry helps provide interest and texture to the kitchen, complementing the off-white emulsion and eggshell tones of the walls, woodwork and frames of the extension glazing. The wall run cabinet doors were spray-painted Farrow & Ball Wevet (Dead Matt) with a Silestone Blanco Zeus Extreme polished worktop. The open shelf cabinets are oak veneered. The island doors were spray-painted RAL 7021 (Dead Matt) with a Ceasarstone 4120 polished worktop.
We enlarged the loft space sufficiently to make room for either two children’s bedrooms or one master bedroom. After considering various options, we elected to have the master in the loft. Exploring the space with our 3D design process gave us confidence that we could fit a great en-suite with double basin and shower under the eaves, and could incorporate large wardrobes within an open plan bedroom dressing room. Very much the case that we considered the size and shape of the side dormer extension symbiotically with designing a bathroom within it, whilst also ensuring the necessary balance and access to neighbouring spaces. When planning the addition of a bathroom to a non-bathroom space it is crucial that the neighbouring/cohabiting rooms are not critically compromised in the process.
It was important that we could fit a double basin and comfortably sized shower. But the space we would be allowed was always going to be defined by the architecture. The loft space itself was always going to be limited by planning constraints since the house is in a conservation area. However, with the high pitched roof and some local president for side dormers in particular, we were able to extend with large dormers to the side and rear. The loft space had previously been converted cheaply. The result of this was a fairly messy piecemeal structural solution, which raised the loft floor level much higher than necessary and therefore limited ceiling height. Quite typical of the more entry-level loft conversions that don’t really ever consider the internal design before being built.
Our new collective solution with the structure of the new dormers and support crossing under the floor, allowed us to achieve a 2.5m ceiling height. Often loft spaces can only achieve lower ceiling heights, which is key to deciding usage. I would suggest that anything below a 2.3m ceiling is probably only suitable for a kid’s bedroom or guest and not a master suite. So within our wider layout and usage decision, a clear understanding of the architectural approach needed to be considered alongside the interior design from the initial stages. The choice of glazing is also something to consider at the pre-planning stage, for inclusion in the submission. Since this was to be a master bedroom, the full height bi-fold doors with Juliet balcony were appropriate and make a real statement. If this had have been a children’s bedroom then a normal window would have been safer, less expensive and more practical for internal layout.
We essentially completely rebuilt the roof and loft floor, so added a new steel structure to support the new roof shape and the floor of the loft, then re-timbered between. The widows were all new including 4 Velux windows and the bi-fold rear doors with Juliet style balcony.
How it went?
The structural design is always more cohesive when considered as a whole from the roof right down to the ground floor. Essentially a traditional roof, before it is converted, will have web struts that tie the overall roof triangle into smaller triangles, but these divide the space that needs to be opened up and made habitable. These struts also sit on spine walls running across the property. So the best approach is often to support the roof with a new structure than spans the full width of the property, placing the load on the outside walls. A benefit of this is that it also takes away any load on the internal spine walls, which in turn makes it easier to alter these on the 1st and ground floors. Since we were working on the whole house and also opening up the full width of the rear wall into the ground floor rear extension, the whole structure had to be considered as a package. The best solution for most houses is a full refurbishment from top to bottom rather than a staged piecemeal approach.
Favourite room / part of the project and why?
I love the space we have created for the kitchen/dining/living. You experience this the most as you enter from the hallway. The ceiling of the extension space open to the eaves, the light and the view beyond down the garden really draw you into the space.
Any issues / problems you had to overcome during the project?
There were no planning permission issues, just the usual limitations. Our planning process was fairly smooth, gaining permission with our first submission that also included the ground floor rear extension. Ultimately there were similar roof extensions along the road and sizeable ground floor rear extensions either side, that set a president, and maybe allowed us to extend further than we might have been able to otherwise. Building regulations regarding loft spaces can limit usage depending on fire escape routes and containment. So necessary for us to have a fire door at ground floor level between kitchen and hallway, then also a fire door at the top of the stairs into the bedroom. I’m also fairly sure the previous loft conversion was not compliant for thermal insulation. So our new roof structure also remedied that.