Addison Road, Holland Park

Like many Victorian houses in desirable parts of London renovated in the 1970s and 80s, rooms had been smartened up, but nothing was done to improve weaknesses in the internal layout or links to the garden.  As well as updating bedrooms and bathrooms, we moved the central basement stair, allowing us to form a through kitchen / family room opening onto the large garden.

The redesigned basement has the kitchen in front, dining area in the middle, and family area in the rear. To give each zone a distinctive character, we varied materials, ceiling treatment, and lighting. A curved golden granite and stainless steel breakfast bar separates the kitchen from the dining area, whose floating maple ceiling conceals beams.

Maple and limestone continue into the family area which includes a ‘deconstructed’ fire surround and cantilevered audio-visual cabinet. Consistency throughout the basement is gained by modern maple skirtings and cornices. Beyond the glazed triple doors, limestone continues in a rear terrace and curved steps up to the garden.

At the foot of the basement stair is an elegant minimalist WC with mirrored walls above maple wainscoting and back-painted glass splashbacks.

We wanted the new basement stairway to be gently contemporary, to flow smoothly into the original areas of this Victorian house. The maple of the basement provides the steps and handrail, and painted MDF panels give a practical lining to the stairwell. A partially etched glass screen lets in daylight from the study beyond.

The contoured maple handrail curves independently over the brass framed toughened glass balustrade. We replaced the floorboards on the ground floor with solid maple.

Several years later, the clients contacted us again when they moved out of London. (See ‘Oxfordshire Rectory’)