A complete renovation and transformation to bring back the old charm to a dark & tired Early Victorian end-of-terrace house in Notting Hill, London. The aim of the project was to renovate an Early Victorian ‘End-of-terrace’ house in desperate need of modernisation.
Project Name: Notting Hill Townhouse
Studio Name: Brosh Architects
Project size: 195 m2
Site size: 88 m2
Completion date: 2020
Building levels: 4
Location: London, United Kingdom
Photography: Ollie Hammick
The house hadn’t been renovated since the 1980’s, had a very plain finish all over and had lost most of its original period charm. The aim was to not only to upgrade the property to modern living but to bring back some of the charm that was lost due to many renovations throughout the years. For the floors, we used distressed and damaged oak flooring with old English finish stain so it would look like it has been there for the past 200 years. Even though the house was built in an early Victorian era, it was designed by the Georgians and therefore we wanted to use wall colours that would match that era and decided to use different shades of blue and green (by Farrow & Ball).
We used only under floor heating on the lower and upper ground floors and used period style radiators for the 1st and 2nd floor. We avoided spotlights almost completely, and the house was lit by concealed lighting such as strip lighting hidden within furniture, walls and ceiling. We used pendants, wall and ceiling lights for the non-concealed lighting. The front house elevation lacked a portico unlike the rest of the street which meant there was no proper cover as you entered the house and the house itself seemed faceless; we therefore added a portico to match the street profile. We removed the 1980’s step tiles and fitted Portland stone stairs to match the rest of the street.
The side extension roof terrace was only accessible from the street and therefore was never used by the owner but only as a ‘public toilet’ by pass byers. We disconnected the street access and made the terrace accessible only from the new office room through the window nook which was integrated within the office library.
On the lower ground floor we removed the softwood staircase that not only disturbed the flow of the space but also reduced natural light. We installed a new staircase to match the original early Victorian staircase throughout the house which created a bigger landing, better circulation and did not interrupt the flow of natural lighting coming into the space.
The kitchen was completely redesigned with a big skylight to bring more natural light looking up to the private office terrace.
The family room was re-modelled with a wide opening onto the courtyard. The white paved courtyard was also transformed into a compact flower bed garden with decking and a covered bench. The WC at the landing remained as WC but was redesigned and is now hidden behind a secret door. We kept the same layout of the upper ground floor and upgraded the entrance hall with storage space for coats and shoes. The guest room was transformed into an office with library, reading nook and private terrace.
The formal living room had many layers of paint stripped to reveal the original wood features which were re-painted to expose its features. We created new joinery for each side of the fire place for storage and lighting and installed venetian mirrors to create the illusion of a bigger and lighter room.
The whole first floor was designed purely for the client to have a luxurious space with the best start and end to their day. Therefore, the bedroom had only a double bed i.e. no wardrobes and the other room was divided into a bathroom with free standing bath and shower and luxurious wardrobes to answer the client’s needs. The floors above had bedrooms and therefore had already been renovated and upgraded accordingly.
To minimise impact on the environment, our primary strategy is to always minimise demolition and waste as much as possible rather than demolish a large portion and then import sustainable materials. Therefore, if we compare the before & after layouts, it is evidence that apart from a new window and 2 widened openings, we manage to renovate the entire house with hardly any demolition or waste. In fact, the waste was so minimal that we didn’t even require a skip for the project.
Not only did we focus on energy efficiency via insulation (for lower ground floor, between floors and main roof) we installed a Thermodynamic Water Heating System with Solar collector panels fixed externally. This means that all hot water, cooking and heating the house operates on 99% of renewable energy. We only installed a gas boiler as a back-up which can be switched on during extremely cold days.