Room Tour: Large Sliding Doors Boost Flow in This Family Home
By treating the garden as an extra room, this extension’s architect has created a family-friendly indoor-outdoor space
Top of the couple’s wish list for the new space were large-format sliding doors to maximise light and create step-free access to the garden, so the kids could run in and out unencumbered. By using the same aesthetic rules for the external areas as the internal ones, the two zones work as one huge family living area, with complementary floor surfaces ensuring a smooth transition.
Who lives here? Adele and Keith Jarvis and their two young children
Location Bromley, south-east London
Property A detached 1980s home with four bedrooms
Room dimensions 53.75 sq m
Architect Richard Hobden of RHJB Architects
Built in the 1980s, the house had been poorly planned, with a cramped kitchen-diner that didn’t lend itself to entertaining, and a separate reception room with no sense of purpose.
“Neither of these spaces had a great relationship with the garden, where the family love to spend time with the kids and entertain in the summer,” Richard says.
“Simple, contemporary styling were the buzzwords for the aesthetic of the new wraparound extension, so we opted for streamlined sliders to allow a high level of light transfer throughout the house,” he says. “We teamed these with black moulded concrete tiles and thin profile larch cladding to create drama and a clear distinction between the original house and the new extension.”
Richard also used horizontal larch battens for the fences in the garden to link the spaces. “We always consider the garden and how the spaces interact both physically and visually,” he says.
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The link has been strengthened by using complementary materials across both areas. “Treating the garden like an interior space is a technique we employ on all projects of this type,” Richard says. “Using the same rules both inside and out, the choice of flooring externally has to reflect the choices made internally.
“In this case, the Amtico herringbone floor tiles indoors were complemented by large-format outdoor porcelain tiles in a comparable colourway,” he continues. “The frame of the sliding doors is the only interruption and creates a nice transitional point between materials.”
Large-format sliding doors, IQ Glass.
“The dining area is emphasised by a dropped ceiling that hovers over the dining table, matching its proportions,” Richard says. “It breaks the ‘ceiling-scape’ and is a subtle way to define an area within a larger, open-plan arrangement.”
Kitchen units, handmade by joiners from birch ply. Flooring, Amtico. Worktops, Corian.
“Ultimately, we wanted the kitchen to make their daily life a little easier, such as the proximity of the breakfast cupboard to the fridge, so milk could be accessed without too many cupboard doors ruining the flow,” he says.
“Being able to conceal clutter was also hugely important to the family, so we created hidden spaces, such as the utility room behind the frameless door [seen here on the right], and a walk-in pantry designed to match the general kitchen units.”
Kitchen appliances, Siemens.
It’s also important to make sure the flooring works seamlessly with any adjoining rooms, such as the hallway.
Kitchen tap, Quooker. Hob, Bora.
“The materials are incredibly important to the success of this project,” Richard says. “The kitchen is fashioned from birch ply, with sprayed doors, while the exposed birch ply floating shelves provide both easy-access storage and a feature within the kitchen architecture. Birch ply has been included within the media unit, too, to provide a unifying material palette throughout the scheme.”
Overall, this open-plan space works superbly for the family, allowing them to have more quality time together, all year round.
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