Holly wanted to extend her 1890s semi-detached house in Kingston, Surrey and she approached Architect Shuahra. Here are some of her thoughts….
‘Having moved into the house it had been a family home for over 60 years, it was lovely in many regards, but in others it had been untouched and unchanged, with that respect for the period property, the need to modernise and make it relevant for family life with two young children, not least the age of certain aspects, extensions that had been done at certain times, with different degrees of quality, there was a need to modernise that to facilitate the family life we wanted to have.’
‘The disconnection between the different spaces, more and more we need flexibility between them and from a practical point of view we need to be able to see our children, it’s quite compartmentalised and disconnected, as it’s a mishmash of an original building with others adjoining.
Challenges around light, the house is northwest facing so we benefit from a decent amount of sun, but obviously not the same as if we were south or west facing, so in the heart of the home, where the living needs to happen, it’s the darkest space in the house.’
‘To be able to see things in a way we don’t, me and my husband are both professionals with a decent grasp of home design from different sectors, a grasp and respect of the design process, but we’re very aware of our strengths and limitations, so engaging an architect is about being able to explore those options and having an honest and open conversation about perspectives that may have been overlooked
‘In terms of the workshop, really great session, we spent half the day in the comfort of our garden talking about our spaces and treading the line between practicality and possibility, looking at options on the table, i love the fact that it was a polite working session, talking in real time about what’s possible, being able to openly debate the pros and cons of different design decisions, to whittle down to two concepts that we’re going to go away and discuss
‘It was really refreshing, from a professional perspective; with any creative or design process, it can be very drawn out, lots of back and forth, there’s something about the momentum of creative design and phases of development , that is boosted by having a live workshop, and has given a great amount of energy to the ideas. Thanks a lot Shuahra’
It was really refreshing, from a professional perspective; with any creative or design process, it can be very drawn out, lots of back and forth, there's something about the momentum of creative design and phases of development , that is boosted by having a live workshop, and has given a great amount of energy to the ideas.
Thanks a lot Shuahra