Creating a Functional Family Space in a 1900s Semi in Chorlton, Manchester

The Brief

A 1900’s large Victorian Semi Detached house in the heart of Chorlton, Manchester, in need of a more functional and brighter open-plan family space.

Challenges of the Existing Layout

The clients’ space wasn’t usable as the kitchen and dining/ living spaces were separate and the kitchen was narrow, so cooking while entertaining guests or looking after their kids was difficult. The house didn’t take advantage of the spacious garden as it was dark, lacking views of the garden, and it lacked a direct connection to it from the living space.

The clients requested a downstairs toilet, as it could be more easily accessed by their children.
There were also slight problems to keep in mind, like the elevated ground floor and raised deck which needed approval from the planners. Moreover, the basement external access and windows needed to be preserved.

The Process

Through a Concept Design Workshop, we considered the following 4 options.

  1. This was a conservative option which tried not to remove too many walls and to keep the kitchen island and the sink in the existing space with the view out the window. While the space was open plan, the structure was limited due to the type of approach.
  2. This tried to incorporate hallway space to create a larger kitchen, which produced a big, beautiful kitchen island. However this option wasn’t chosen as it prevented access to the cellar as the house was too short.
  3. Incorporating the kitchen in the deeper part of the house to provide more cupboards was considered, but this didn’t allow for a single dining and living space.
  4. The clients took this solution, which was to remove the wall connecting the kitchen, dining and living spaces. Per our suggestion, they incorporated 2.7m Bi Fold doors which are as tall as possible so they let as much light in as possible. They kept the kitchen in the same place with the same island, leaving them with their great view of their garden. This resulted in a bespoke, bright and functional space that brings family and friends together.

The clients remarked that they knew what to expect from the process because of the videos on our website. They therefore found the process smooth and valued our vision from the start- We brought their vision to life and gave them ideas that they wouldn’t have come up with. They can’t think of anything they could have done differently- they don’t feel like they compromised on anything.

The project panned out as expected, apart from Covid disruptions, causing it to be shut down for a couple of months.

The Results

Now, they have ‘an amazing space’ that’s ‘flooded with light,’ with the kitchen and dining room conjoined- creating a ‘whole family space in one;’ a ‘fab space for entertaining, and also day to day life so the kids can be with us while we’re cooking.’

Client Recommendations

They would recommend their builder: Ian Pike, as, although he wasn’t the cheapest, they were certain that the quality was going to be brilliant, and that they would pay what he quoted. Very little went wrong, and when something went wrong, he sorted it immediately. The only downside was that he was old-school, so cash-only.

They would also recommend Wood & Wire Plywood Kitchen, which made and fitted the kitchen.

And, of course, they would absolutely recommend us!

"What we really valued was your vision from the start; we knew what we needed and you helped bring that to life adding the ideas we would never thought of! Would really recommend you guys!"

"Would really recommend you guys!"

"Those tall doors look stunning! They let so much sky into the house."

"I’m so pleased we created such a bright, inviting space together, and those tall doors look stunning!"
Pride Road

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