Real home: Extended garden flat is an architectural gem

 Real home: Extended garden flat is an architectural gem

Rare as it is for first-time homeowners to buy the first property they see, Lois and Guy did just that after viewing their ground-floor flat in Balham. As Victorian properties went, it was pretty uninspiring. The kitchen was buried in the middle of the apartment with doors opening onto a dark side passage; the bedroom was the only room overlooking the garden and the living room was only accessible through the kitchen. 

But the addition of a side extension and rejigging of the layout has resulted in a spacious apartment with unusual outlooks and an outside space that’s the perfect suntrap.

If you have plans to extend your house, like Lois and Guy have, we have ideas and advice to help. 

Lois and Guy have designed the kitchen to be as sociable as possible. The sitting area is a favourite chill-out spot when friends call in. Rattan pouffe, Ikea. Hand-printed cushions, found in India. Large stripy cushion with button detail, Nkuku. Art prints, Design Vintage. White floor lamp, B&Q. Round jute rug, John Lewis & Partners

(Image credit: Matt Clayton)


The owners Lois Skelding, a qualified interior architect, and her partner, Guy Billinge, construction director for a property developer
The property A two-bed ground-floor flat in a Victorian house in Balham, London 
Project cost £86,300

‘I’m quite impulsive and loved it from the start, but Guy had reservations,’ says Lois. ‘The agent wanted us to view another – more expensive – place that had just come on the market,…

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