Month: April 2020

London’s award-winning side return extension: Victorian terrace transformed with a glass garden room, Japanese plunge pool and copper kitchen

Staying within your comfort zone is all very well, but when it comes to architecture, courage can work wonders. When a London couple in their thirties decided to upgrade their garden flat in Hackney, it also won them an award.

Their one-bedroom ground-floor home in an early Victorian terrace had an original brick dog leg at the back, creating a fairly useless side return, while the garden was shared with the maisonette upstairs.

The dog leg space contained the couple’s cramped kitchen, at the end of which was a rubbish bathroom that hogged the south-facing best bit of the flat, with just a small window to the garden. What a waste all this was.

The upstairs owners decided to move, but wanted to sell with a separate, rather than a shared, garden. The owners of both flats agreed to build an external stair, and the garden was divided. The ground-floor

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How to update a townhouse: meet the restaurateur who doubled the value of his Georgian Belgravia home with a high-tech futuristic transformation

Gutting a Georgian house is rarely possible in London because so many have been listed, making alterations difficult. But if you can find one in an unlisted terrace with no original interiors left, the transformation can be spectacular — as it has been in the home of Sardinia-born London restaurateur Mauro Sanna and his English wife, Ashlea.

Even so, once the entire insides of their property had gone, and all Ashlea could see were four walls, sky, and “a bloody great house-sized hole” she couldn’t quite believe it would ever be “home” again.

Mauro, 58, and Ashlea, 49, bought their 2,150sq ft, five-storey house in a Belgravia back street in 2010, lived in it for four years, then in 2015 went for broke with a total transformation, creating something with hints of the Thunderbirds. It is gung-ho in its technological adventures yet still in the spirit of the 18th century,

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One in six adults have argued with partner when redecorating their home, study finds

Millions of couples have been at loggerheads with each other over home improvements, a study has found.

A poll of 2,000 adults found about one in six have ended up in a row with their other half when decorating or renovating their home.

Sixteen per cent had disagreed over how much they should spend while almost one in five said either they or their partner was completely against getting the work done at all.


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As a result, 47 per cent found their home makeover “stressful”.

Karen Lund, of home improvement window specialists Independent Network, which commissioned the research, said: “We all know that home improvements can be disruptive, but we didn’t realise quite what the emotional impact could be.

“It seems women are more interested in attaining perfection, and men would rather

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As a nation of bodgers, this is why I’m not doing my own DIY work anymore

If ever there was a time that the spirit of my father would manifest itself, it would be right now, as I hover nervously in the doorway to my living room where there is a man painting my ceiling.

The man’s name is Matt and he is a very nice man. My dad would probably like him. However, the reason I can imagine his frowning ghost at my shoulder is that it is Matt, and not me, who is painting my ceiling.

I can imagine his look now, part bemused, part amused, part disappointed. Why, he would wonder, unless you are in traction or have had to undergo emergency amputation of all your limbs, would you not paint your own ceiling?


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Indeed, it’s something that doesn’t sit happily with me, hence the

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