Step inside this remodelled 1960s family home that blends oodles of style with creature comforts

Be inspired by this family's remodelled 1960s family home and its transformation from a dated upside-down house into a super stylish space
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  • The owners of this remodelled 1960s family home had previously built a house and had been living in it for a year when they spotted this dated upside-down house online. They were instantly very taken with the unique property, and not afraid of a challenge, snapped it up right away.

    The house was immaculate, but stuck in a 1980s time warp, design-wise. The old-fashioned kitchen was upstairs and although all the bathrooms were plain white, they lacked any interesting design elements. The owners knew a lot of work was ahead, as their aim was to remodel the space to make it more family friendly. They admit that it would have been cheaper to knock it down and start again but they wanted to keep its integrity.

    An architect drew up plans to reconfigure the house, then a demolition team removed various internal walls. They relocated the ground floor living areas onto the lower ground floor, adding a single storey extension for the kitchen, living and dining areas.

    The extension is mostly glass, so the owners can see their children, whether they’re outside or in the playroom. The owners managed to sell the old kitchen and bathroom fittings on eBay and the buyers came and did the dismantling themselves, which saved money.

    To make the remodelled 1960s family home more energy efficient, they added outside insulation, rewired and replumbed throughout, and installed air-source heat pumps, in a change from oil-fuelled central heating.

    The kitchen area

    a kitchen with dark painted walls and kitchen cabinets and copper taps and a copper splashback

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The kitchen of this upside-down house was originally on the ground floor, but was moved to the lower ground courtesy of the new glass extension which has created a light-filled living area that works perfectly for the whole family.

    A worktop and backsplash of patinated copper plus a dark metallic plant holder add a warm glow to the black units. The owners didn’t want shiny bright surfaces, so the copper added warmth and texture. Copper is also antibacterial, so is self cleaning – you only need to use warm water and a sponge on it.

    The dining area

    open plan kitchen-diner with dark painted walls and kitchen cabinets and a copper splashback

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    A three-metre-long dining table, which is also narrow, gives an intimate feeling. The owners have found that the unique table design makes it easier to chat as a family at teatime. Made from repurposed wooden boards, it gives a homely feeling.

    The living area

    open plan kitchen-diner with dark painted walls and kitchen cabinets and a velvet rust coloured corner sofa and dining table

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Counteracting the dark units, the polished concrete floor is inset with pebbles (around 20 a bag from garden centres). The couple added white and green pebbles to the mix for brightness and depth.

    a living room with a dark painted gallery wall covered in framed pictures, a velvet rust coloured corner sofa

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The brown of the L-shaped velvet sofa complements the colour of the concrete flooring and was carefully chosen for its family friendly function. A large gallery wall sits behind it, adding heaps of personality to the space. Framing all pictures in the same way has helped bring them together as a set. The owners tried adding some black frames but they felt it looked too mismatched.

    The hallway

    hallway with staircase with timber cladding and a potted plant

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The ash shingle cladding on the wall of the double-height white hallway is ultra-practical. It not only keeps the family warm in winter, but they have discovered that it also prevents lots of marks and sticky finger prints!

    The children’s bedrooms

    kids bedroom with a yellow bedstead and striped bedspread

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    Both of the kids’ bedrooms are packed with colour and texture. Highlights of yellow on textiles dotted around this bedroom are anchored by the bright yellow bedstead.

    kids bedroom with a traditional double bedstead and a rainbow wall hanging and yellow cushions

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The other bedroom is space themed with a hanging rocket. The children have double beds so that when their parents read to them, there’s space for everyone to relax on the bed.

    The bathroom

    pink tiled bathroom with Victorian style basin and black and white floor tiles a mirror and paperclip shaped heated towel rail

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    In the bathroom, the brass fixtures soften the black and pink combination. The owners were very against using chrome fixtures so they chose brass instead. They also added a wooden stool for warmth. Adding old items like this in new spaces has given the small bathroom an immediate lived-in feel.

    The guest room

    bedroom with four poster bed, white bed linen and a vintage floral throw on the bed, yellow cushions and footstool

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The flowered bed throw, a vintage fabric, was salvaged from the owner’s grandma’s linens. The black bed frame and pale walls in Ammonite by Farrow & Ball could feel cold without the warming, sunshine effect of the yellow bench, cushion and towels.

    Focus on Yakisugi: Charred Timber Cladding

    house exterior with charred timber cladding with patio and garden, a dining table and chairs and potted plants

    Image credit: Colin Poole

    The owners opted for Yakisugi cladding on the exterior of their remodelled 1960s family home. Here, we explain what it is and why it might be a great choice for your home.

    What is Yakisugi?
    It’s a traditional Japanese method of charring timber, which results in a black carbon layer on the boards. Torching timber in this way makes it fire resistant.

    It’s low maintenance

    It also protects the timber and reduces its need for maintenance because it becomes water and insect resistant and can stand up to extreme climate changes. It’s not only popular in Japan for housing and fencing, but also around the world, as it ages slowly – lasting up to 80 years with proper care – so the initial outlay is considered an investment, given its long lifespan.

    It needs oiling

    Being correctly installed prevents moisture build up and oiling it every five to 10 years blocks UV rays and provides water resistance. Surprisingly, freezing and thawing does not affect Yakisugi, and although cold and heat can sometimes lead to warping, this is unlikely in UK temperatures.


    Additional words: Victoria Jenkins

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