The project involved the refurbishment of a Victorian house in the St. John’s Wood Conservation Area to suit the needs of a young family. We sensitively extended into the rear garden to create a new light-filled playroom at ground level and a suitably moody bar and cinema in the basement, as well as reorganising the existing plan of the three-storey home.
Repositioning the staircase to one side of the house was key to unlocking a contemporary, open-planned layout across the ground floor. An oak staircase with an elegant steel balustrade now nestles between the study and kitchen, creating a natural divide between work and home life without interrupting the flow of the space.
“The clients wanted a very much more contemporary and open-planned interior, but what we realised very early on was that the position of the existing staircase meant we would never get a successful open plan out of the house,” says partner Richard Solomon. “So we changed that position from a staircase at the back of the house to a staircase at the side of the house, and that opened up the opportunity to open-plan the ground floor.”
The oak treads of the staircase blend seamlessly with the floorboards of the living area, heightening the sense of continuity between spaces. The removal of internal walls means natural light floods the combined lounge, kitchen and dining room from all aspects, while uncluttered detailing complements period features to create a fresh space that is as fitting for entertaining as family time.
Crittall-style glazing can be drawn across to separate the play area from the main room while maintaining a watchful eye over the children. A flight of stairs flanked by planters steps down from the playroom into a garden that has been re-landscaped to create three distinct zones. A secluded patio is used by the family for outdoor dining, while a lawn extends towards the front of the house and car parking is kept to the rear.
Upstairs a master suite and two children’s bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms have been more traditionally decorated with richly patterned wallpapers, wainscotting and woodwork. A bespoke bunk bed with integrated storage ensures two children can comfortably cohabit. Two further bedrooms in the naturally lit basement gives the opportunity for the family to grow into the space and host guests.