Jude Micklewright had been searching for the perfect property close to Central London, where she could set up her interior design business. Having lived in Hong Kong for 13 years, she turned to her friends for recommendations. They suggested Richmond; convenience of proximity to Central London, parks, the river and the overall atmosphere – it had everything she was looking for.
A perfect opportunity presented itself when she found a beautiful, early Victorian, terraced property – one of the first two houses that were built in that area in the 1830’s. A fascinating early example of the Victorian villas that were built on Richmond Hill.
It was decided the extended ground floor was to incorporate additional glazing. That way, the extension would appear more lightweight rather than solid and wouldn’t compete with the main elevation of the house.
The property was in serious need of refurbishment and renovation. Jude wanted to use this opportunity to extend an oddly shaped small return that contained kitchen, to make it more practical and let more natural light inside. She could see the potential, and being an experienced interior designer, she envisioned putting a modern twist on a traditional Victorian classic.
Renovating such an old property situated within the conservation area required months of planning, preparation and compromises. Richmond council wanted to make sure that the original character of the historic house would be preserved. The council liked the juxtaposition between the old and the very new – so Jude’s architect presented them with the final designs. A small light brick extension with matching existing back facade, brickwork and glazing that respected the original building finally met with the planning officer’s approval.
Merging the old with the new are the characteristics of Jude’s interior design touch. Those design concepts are typical of Judith’s work and can be seen throughout the entire house. By adding a modern twist on traditional Victorian she managed to enhance the original features of the property, inside and out.
I had a few different companies come in and quote. What I liked about PCW was the very slim effect of their products and, given my structural engineer’s clever design, they had a system that enabled me to open the entire corner.
It was decided the extended ground floor, that was to accommodate the kitchen area, was to incorporate additional glazing. That way, the extension would appear more lightweight rather than solid and wouldn’t compete with the main elevation of the house.
“I had a few different companies come in and quote. What I liked about PCW was the very slim effect of their products and, given my structural engineer’s clever design, they had a system that enabled me to open the entire corner. I was impressed by the sleek design and slim sight lines that the products offered. I knew I didn’t want bifold doors, as they can be much narrower and I wanted as few joints as possible.” says Jude.
The cool anthracite grey colour of the frames contrasts the light walls and floor and fits perfectly with the attractive interior deco of her home. “The colour was easy – even my dog is now quite colour coordinated!” says Jude.
The stunning extension’s open corner sliding doors not only make this house a showpiece, but demonstrate her passion for indoor-outdoor spaces. At the same time they make the south facing garden more accessible, and it flawlessly merges 2 spaces. “It was important to me that the inside flows to the outside.” says Jude. “It has really blurred the line between outside and inside and makes it feel much bigger and brighter now”.
The whole building project on its own took quite a long time, but when the doors went in it kinda felt like everything fell into place.
Raising the patio area on the exterior side of the doors has also allowed her to enjoy a flush threshold, for ease of access both in-and-out, without compromising on weather-proofing. One of the ways to achieve that seamless transition was using similar colour and materials inside and out, so kitchen tiles transition into a slate finish patio area.
There is far more space than before, but one of the biggest improvements is the amount of natural light that now comes into the living space. The outside patio area and the inside dining and living areas are also now more connected.
“I had to wait for the doors, as installing that design required quite a bit of structural engineering involved first and the doors were completely bespoke. The whole building project on its own took quite a long time and had some issues, but when the doors went in it kinda felt like everything fell into place.”
It was important to me that the inside flows to the outside. The doors had really blurred the line between outside and inside and make it feel much bigger and brighter now.
The open corner configuration of the doors allows for a varied everyday access. The door can be used as a back door, but can also conveniently open only slightly to let some air in (and the dog seems to love it!), or open the entire corner and enjoy reading a book in a comfy seat overlooking the garden, or entertain friends and family in the now extended living room opening seamlessly out to the garden.
“I have an office downstairs and I was concerned that I wouldn’t get enough natural light in. So I decided to install a walk on roof light as well to let some extra light in.
“I would definitely recommend PCW to my friends. They were really good and very responsive.“ says Jude.
This project is a good example of how our open corner slim sliding door can become a feature even for a property that is located within a conservation area, and how having the door in a different colour to the windows is an effective design solution.
I would definitely recommend PCW to my friends. They were really good and very responsive.
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