So many Victorian terraced houses tend to be dark and cramped in size. But with careful planning and expert advice, a dull and dingy Victorian terraced house can be transformed with flat roof glazing into a light, bright and spacious space.
This four-bedroomed Victorian house in southeast London is a perfect example of such a transformation. With a tired, ugly extension on the rear, untouched for four decades, the house was in dire need of a complete renovation. The homeowners enlisted the help of Gruff Architects to lead the top-to bottom interventions, including a new kitchen extension idea, that turned this dated terrace into a modern home.
Victorian terraced house transformed with flat roof glazing
Here, Emily Burnett at Gruff Architects explains her company’s involvement in how this Victorian terraced house has been transformed with flat roof glazing, helped in renovating this now bright and spacious home.
The team at Gruff Architects made it an essential to address how natural light would filter through the entire space. The team tackled this challenge by making the new back wall almost fully glazed so that light permeates from the back to the front of the property. As a result, the symmetry within the space helps create a good balance within the new zone and between the old and the new.
‘We began by taking the house back to brick and added a loft and side return extension idea,’ explains Emily. ‘Wherever possible, we designed the framework for the rooflights to be hidden. This gave it a simplified look which focused on the glazing detail and the view beyond.’
The property’s new extensions have been finished using Marley Eternit Equitone Linea fibre cement cladding. This smart cladding is made from sand, cement and cellulose fibres – it’s extremely weatherproof, low maintenance and easy to apply.
With an improved connection to the main house, the garden is a peaceful retreat. It also provides an attractive link between the new home outbuilding at the rear of the garden and the existing house. This results in a low maintenance space that offers the owners another area to enjoy during the warmer months.
A new kitchen extension transformed with flat roof glazing
Part of the transformation includes a new kitchen extension. This features kitchen units, flooring and joinery running on from each other all the way into the garden. This makes the plan look like it extends all the way into the outdoor space. A visual indoor-outdoor feeling has been created with the room appearing deeper as you enter it. This, in turn, invites you to walk through and explore further and solves the problem of how to make the small kitchen look bigger.
‘The key to the interiors,’ explains Emily, ‘was to keep the material palette to five elements: the glazing, timber, white and grey with a few pink accents. These key design elements run throughout the house to pull the spaces together as one.’
‘They will act as the backdrop, continues Emily, ‘with the owners artwork and added furnishings that go into the house over the years. Any additional space was designed using an element of glazing, so it could be read as a new addition to the original Victorian property.’
The kitchen details
The kitchen design takes advantage of the space available with the use of full height units that offer maximum storage. This new zone is animated by the ever-changing daylight that floods in, transforming the colour of the cabinets throughout the day.
Meanwhile, the integrated cut-out handles on the bespoke door fronts and drawers help maintain the clean aesthetic. New fixed glazing provides the space with much-needed natural task lighting. A trio of pendants above the central island provide task lighting for practical activities, including food prep.
A handy kitchen island
The new central island offers up the perfect place for friends and family to gather around and share meals. It also provides much needed bespoke storage space.
The neutral pastel tone pairs well with the oak floorboards that help reflect natural light around the room. This makes the kitchen a pleasant place to be in throughout the day. A worktop made from Dekton is both practical and low maintenance, which was especially important for the owners.
Smart new glazing lets the light in
The inclusion of thermally broken aluminium window profiles is one of the clever grey kitchen ideas that help reflect the extension’s overall neutral palette. Their design includes a low, multifunctional window ledge. This provides the homeowners with the ideal space for growing plants and herbs as it receives direct sunlight. It can also double up as a small window seat from which to enjoy the garden views.
The elegant dining area
The dining area, complete with banquette seating, provides an opportunity for the couple to have guests and family over without feeling cramped. Plus it opens up to offer additional storage, too.
The oak table and chairs mirror the use of materials introduced for the joinery within the new space. Overhead, a smart row of smoked glass pendent lights have been installed to help create a relaxing atmosphere for evening meals.
The bespoke desk/study area
One of two home office storage ideas have been incorporated into the renovated property. A practical desk area has been carved out of the walkway between the two spaces using bespoke joinery and the same timber as the rooflight. Designed with integrated shelving, this has provided much needed practical storage. By lining up the desk to project out as far as the kitchen cabinets, this results in creating a completely linear finish to the transitional space, while still remaining entirely separate zones.
Old and new meet at this junction – the new timber adds warmth to the space and will age over time to add to the character of the extension. The slot rooflight delineates the new infill from the original property. In what used to be the back of the house, natural light now diffuses through new fixed roof glazing overhead.
The garden studio
At the end of the garden, the garden room offers additional space for the owners to work from. The aim of this new office space is to keep work and home completely separate. To echo the main building, it too has been finished in Marley Eternit Equitone Linea fibre cement cladding.
Before: the ugly extension
Architect Emily Burnett shares her top tips and ideas on flat roof glazing
- Pitch is important with glazed flat roofs. A minimum pitch of 5° is essential.
- They let more light in. If you install a rooflight over a window opening, a room will benefit from at least 30% more daylight.
- There are a variety of options to choose from. You can choose to install a fixed or openable roof window, many openable rooflights are available as electric with remote control and sensors to automatically close if it starts to rain.
- Bear in mind they can get hot in the summertime. Be sure to plan in integrated shading to prevent overheating in south-facing rooms.
- Think about how you will clean them. Professional window cleaners have equipment up to about 8-9m high, beyond that you will need to think about maintenance access adjacent to the glazing.
Original feature by Ifeoluwa Adedeji