The owners, who run an interiors boutique and work in the City, bought this four-bedroom detached 1960s house in Kent in 2007.
Their previous home was just around the corner, so they had regularly passed by the property and its distinctive 1960s style had set it apart from the neighbouring Edwardian properties.
When the house came up for sale, they immediately arranged a viewing. The reality was different to what they had imagined. We are big fans of 1960s architecture, but up close the house looked really ugly with red wood panelling on the exterior and a mix of lino and parquet on the floors inside. Plus, the rooms were really dark because the windows were so small.
What the house did have in its favour was space. The property was in a conservation area, so it could have been tricky to secure planning permission for an extension, but it already had a double garage at the back and a conservatory built onto the front.
We knew we would be able to replace those structures with front and rear extensions without increasing the buildings footprint, so getting consent for the work wasn't a problem.
The main priority was to bring in more light with larger windows and sliding doors on to the garden. The couple also wanted to open up the ground floor and create a central kitchen/dining room at the heart of the house, but with concealed doors so they could close off adjacent rooms if needed.
The badly designed conservatory, which had no access on to the garden, was torn down and a new living room built in its place, with the couples bedroom on the floor above. The double garage was dismantled and in its place the couple built a large den, complete with a built-in bar and huge TV.
2/10 Dining area
The open-plan kitchen/dining area is the heart of the house. Originally a series of small, dark rooms, the couple knocked down walls and installed sliding doors to create a sense of light and space.
The budget for the kitchen was tight, so the couple chose inexpensive Ikea units and splashed out on the stove and a granite work surface. Wooden floorings add warmth, texture and style to this light and spacious kitchen.
4/10 Living room
The living room is part of a two-storey extension built on the site of the old conservatory. Concealed sliding doors mean the living room can be separated from the dining area when needed.
5/10 Living room shelving
The house lacked original features so the owners were keen to add some stand-out elements to give it personality. The purpose-built display unit is perfect for showcasing vintage finds and an ingenious way of creating an eye-catching feature.
A large corner sofa and chairs dressed with an assortment of bright cushions create a lively mood for this sociable space beyond the kitchen.
An Italian chandelier from the sixties and a host of simple vintage mirrors give the stairwell wow factor. The collection is not only a pretty alternative to art or photos, it
also ups light levels, creating the optical illusion of additional
8/10 Main bedroom
More bespoke shelving on either side of the bed makes an alternative to bedside cabinets. Shallow picture ledges on the wall are a smart way to display pieces of art and can be switched around and added to from time to time.
9/10 Child’s bedroom
Wooden crates were painted to match the chest of drawers and mounted on the wall to use as box shelving for toys.
The aqua-blue accents in the bathroom were inspired by the bold ocean-design floor tiles. Mirrored mosaic tiles, a collection of glassware and sleek, twin basins add a glamorous touch.
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Lisa is Deputy Editor of Style at Home magazine and regularly contributes to sister title Ideal Home. She has written about interiors for more than 25 years and about pretty much every area of the home, from shopping and decorating, crafts and DIY to real home transformations and kitchen and bathroom makeovers. Homes and interiors have always been a passion and she never tires of nosying around gorgeous homes, whether on TV, online, in print or in person.
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