Oxford Gardens

Whole House Renovations In Kensington/Chelsea

This North Kensington House was narrow. It had been poorly extended in the past with a poor sequence of spaces, badly positioned kitchen with a huge island that filled the space and a glass roof that felt in belonged to a greenhouse. The layout was not thought properly and it was boring for a young and modern family. The budget did not stretch to a complete replacement of the structure so we had to think carefully about the key moves to improve the layout.

We felt the through living room was too long and thin. The removal of the spine wall did not create a cosy sitting area for grown up chats. We split off the back part to create a utility. We created a sequence of spaces to the reception room with a bookcase, study area which opened up into the sitting space. By relocating the utility we could now get a kitchen area that could include 3 functions (cooking, eating and relaxing). The reduced reception room meant we did not rely on the old window so could really organise the back part of the house well.

Key to the back space was a long joinery unit. This changed as you went from kitchen to dining to relaxing. In the kitchen it formed tall storage, in the dining low storage with art and in the relaxing area in centred around a new fireplace with bookshelves. This really helps explain the functions of the spaces as you move through them.

Upstairs we created a new master bedroom suit. The location of the existing windows (which we did not want to move) meant every cm had to be found floor storage. Hidden fabric wrapped doors allow for extra storage behind the bed. The dressing area wraps around the shower.

The client had lots of furniture which they wanted to reuse. This was measured so it could be drawn on the plans and positioned to work with the rooms.

The horrible lean to was replaced with skylights and a more solid roof. This would stop the place being too hot in summer and too cold in winter but still add the right amount of daylight. In parts the ceiling was flattened so to create a more homogenous sense to the spaces below.


  • Andrew Dobson Architects
    Unit 316, Metal Box Factory
    30 Great Guildford Street
    SE1 0HS
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