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A Classic Home with a Stunning Extension

Roland Bull Roland Bull
Blackheath House Modern corridor, hallway & stairs by APE Architecture & Design Ltd. Modern
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When taking up residence in a piece of architectural history, it is sometimes necessary to make aesthetic concessions as your family expands and needs change, as some homes are governed by community regulation to ensure that their facades cannot be altered. Such was the dilemma for Ape Architecture & Design, who were commissioned to create an extension within this late-period, Eric Lyons-designed Span House in Blackheath, London. 

The owners of the home were finding that their abode was struggling to accommodate their expanding family, but didn't want to have to shift premises, having long since fallen in love with their classic dwelling. The only answer was to create an extension within the house, in order to construct another bedroom and study area and maximise storage space. The result is a design inspiration, with three skylights having been placed on the roof to illuminate a stunning bedroom dressed in white and woodgrain. A voluminous bed sits central, while a cosy desk and built-in wardrobe have been included for stylish functionality. Best of all, however, is a beautifully constructed array of foldable bookshelves, which are filled to the brim with colourful titles and decorative objects, but retract to reveal a small entrance to the home's attic.

This extension houses plenty of great ideas to maximise space and storage within a small dwelling. Take a tour below and see for yourself!

An historical exterior

The exterior of the home showcases a traditional, Eric Lyons-designed 'Span House' and thus a small piece of architectural history within the neighbourhood. Span Houses were designed to bridge the gap between suburban dwellings and upper-class, architecturally designed homes, and estates such as these a subject to strict regulation to ensure that their facades cannot be drastically altered. 

Thus, in order for the architects to undertake their commission, it was necessary to examine what could be accomplished internally, in order to maximise space for the home owner and create sufficient room for an expanding family.

A stylish, modern stairwell

The upper level of the abode houses the new extension, beginning with this stylish stairwell, already a striking, modern departure from the home's traditional facade. The stairs snake upward in chic formation, with the cool grey of the carpet balanced by walls of crisp white and a wooden balustrade.

A shelving unit has been included at the top, presenting one of many storage options the designers have included to augment the functionality of the home, and displaying plenty of colourful literary titles for a glimpse into the personality and interests of the owners.

A loft bedroom filled with light

Once up the stairs we can view this extension in its full glory. Three newly-built skylights invite sun to permeate the room, bouncing about its white walls to dazzling effect. A voluminous bed sits gently by the wall, while a small desk has been included to accommodate work and study. 

Beneath the skylights another extensive array of shelves have been included, filled to the brim with books and decorative objects and maximising the availability of space within the room.

Understated form and clever function

Upon closer inspection the shelves running beneath the skylights aren't your regular bookshelves at all! 

These cleverly-designed constructions can fold together, revealing hidden access to the home's attic. This storage feature is perfect for the needs of an expanding family, providing an easily accessible place to house all sorts of unsightly or seasonal objects.

Cosy places for study and storage

Shifting focus and we can admire the room's small study area and built-in wardrobe. The woodgrain panel to the right of the desk houses a hidden wardrobe, presenting yet another stylish storage option for the occupants, while a study area has also been constructed overlooking the floors of the home below. This space is simple, cosy and beautifully lit through the neighbouring skylights.

Did you like the combination of cool, grey carpet and crisp white walls in this lovely extension? Take a look at these Tips to choose the right carpet for more design inspiration!

What's your favourite new storage option in this clever home extension? Tell us below!
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