2017 Houzz Magazine

My Houzz: An Extension Turns a Period Flat into a Spacious Home

When Kate and Paul O’Brien moved into their north London apartment, they had a clear vision of what needed to be done to get the light, spacious home they wanted. “The plan was always going to be extending at the back and into the side return, as the flat was very, very dark, compact and really run-down,” says Kate. “Our architect advised on the planning process, which at times was tricky because we are in a conservation area.”

Houzz at a Glance
Who lives here Kate and Paul O’Brien, both lawyers
Location Highgate, north London
Property A flat in a Victorian terrace in a conservation area
Size 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and cloakroom
Architects Shinz Design Consultancy


Photos by Simon Kennedy

What Kate and Paul O’Brien have done to their ground and first-floor apartment is truly impressive. “By extending at the back and into the side return we added just over 45 sq m of space and managed to include an extra bedroom, so now we have three,” says Kate. “And by moving the bathroom from an old extension at the back to the middle of the flat, we were able to have a kitchen that opens directly on to the garden.” The new kitchen is about three times the size of the original one. “It’s the most improved room, along with our bedroom upstairs,” says Kate.

The couple’s flat occupies the entire ground floor and the back half of the first floor, which was also extended. The other flat in the Victorian terrace takes up the front half of the first floor and all of the top floor.

The tiled slate flooring in the new kitchen continues outside to create a patio. Above, is the newly-extended main bedroom with shower room and roof terrace.

Urban Slate black brushed tiles, Fired Earth.