As home renovation specialists, we’ve seen loads examples of ground floor extensions, roof terraces, first floor extensions, loft conversions and internal refurbishments, particularly on period properties in London. Experience is key when it comes to designing home extensions and reconfigurations. Some ideas might seem to work on paper but not quite have the right affect when built. Likewise, some ideas might seem unusual on paper but look incredible once built.
Here at Home Tales, we work with you to create your design. All our floorplans are bespoke, and we don’t use any cookie-cutter templates whatsoever. We thought we would share some of our experience with you in this blog and discuss some popular features we often incorporate into our ground floor extension designs.
Open plan layout
Open plan living has become hugely popular in the last decade. Period properties were the opposite of open plan living, as they were spilt into separate rooms, each with a particular function or purpose. On a typical Victorian terrace, you would expect to see a living room (usually the room with the bay window), a dining room behind that and a kitchen to the rear. In modern day life, the kitchen is now often seen as the heart of the home, where families come together at the end of a busy day to cook, eat, and socialise. As a result, open plan living has become more popular. Homeowners want to remove internal walls to create larger, multi-functional rooms.
Open plan living comes with loads of benefits. Removing internal walls helps to encourage natural light penetration throughout the property. Walls are very effective at blocking out natural light! Removing them on a ground floor entirely allows the front windows and the rear doors and/or windows to connect visually. This can create something quite special, as our client in Merton demonstrated perfectly. We extended the ground floor of this property and removed all internal walls within the ground floor. If you opt for an open plan layout, it’s important you put some thought into how you zone your functional areas. You still need a kitchen, dining and living area, and it’s important you create visual ques to help segregate the functions of the room. This can be done with rugs, furniture placement, pendant lighting, skylights, kitchen island (and much more). Read more on our blog which specifically focuses on open plan layouts.
Ground floor WC
The ground floor WC is a must-have in family homes today. Estate agents sell this as a huge benefit when selling properties as they are very much in demand. If you are undertaking a home renovation or ground floor extension, it’s a fantastic opportunity to incorporate one into your design. If you have enough space, you can tuck them under the stairs which lead up to the first floor. This is usually the most popular option as they are tucked out of the way, and don’t eat into any valuable living or kitchen space. If you can’t fit them under the stairs, or you want something a bit more spacious, there are loads of alternatives you can experiment with. We completed a ground floor extension in Wandsworth, and the homeowner didn’t like the tight space you often get with an under-stair WC. For this reason, we incorporated it into their ground floor design, and gave them a lovely spacious WC which sits in-between their living area and kitchen, accessed via the hallway.
If you have the space, kitchen islands are one item to consider in your kitchen design. If you are extending your ground floor, you are bound to end up with a generous finished room size. Side return extensions might not seem huge, but if you add 1m / 1.5m onto an existing room, it adds a considerable amount of space. Likewise, rear extensions also completely transform properties, especially if they are full width rear extensions. Kitchen islands are fantastic at zoning a particular area, as they can frame the kitchen and segregate the area. We installed this beautiful kitchen in our Merton ground floor extension project. The island centres in the u-shape kitchen which makes for a clearly defined zone and indicates exactly where the kitchen begins and ends. The benefits that come with a kitchen island are also endless! They increase counterspace, storage, seating (if you opt for breakfast bar seating) and they can be customised with cool features. We installed this wraparound countertop on the island in our Wandsworth projects which looks amazing.
Full-width glass doors are another popular choice when it comes to ground floor extensions or renovations. Bi-fold doors, sliding doors, crittal style doors and French doors are all popular choices, and they all offer wonderful views of the garden, drawing in the outside and giving that inside-outside feel. If you want to have full-width glass doors, consider the impacts this will have on your room structure. This means you cannot run kitchen cabinets the entire length of the wall (for example). For this reason, lots of our clients top for a combination of doors and windows. Our client in Croydon opted for this incredible full height glass window with glass doors as well.
Skylights are very popular and are often always incorporated into our designs, whether it’s velux windows or fixed panel skylights. Skylights help to bring natural light deep into the home. The rear glass doors overlooking the garden can only do so much, particularly because of the way they are angled. Skylights draw natural light in much more effectively and make a huge difference on a ground floor extension. We often place skylights over dining areas or kitchen islands.
If you want to discuss your project in more detail, contact our team on 0207 043 2378 or email us at email@example.com. You can also book a consultation directly via our website here. We look forward to discussing your project in more depth.