Making architectural alterations to your space may seem like a daunting and expensive venture but you can make brilliant “affordable” interior design transformations on the smaller end of the spectrum. You needn’t employ an architect either as a qualified building company should be able to arrange the necessary investigations to carry out these works.
If you don’t want to have the headache and cost of the ubiquitous extension with over-sized folding doors, simply widening a doorway and installing glazed double doors will bring in light and a little grandeur to an otherwise ordinary space. Use wood for traditional and natural decor or steel for Deco and Industrial.
Glazing Original Interior Doors
As above. Let the light into a previously dark room and give it a new lease of life. Super stylish and simple to do by removing the slim wood panels and inserting cut-to-size toughened glass and new wood beading. You can even do this for the bathroom by using ‘Milk’ or frosted glass. Just think what a difference it would make if you did every door in your dark Victorian London home.
Exposing Beams and Features
This can be messy yet done in a day. Any handyman or builder can set to work on removing plasterboard to reveal your lovely London Brick or architectural features such as hidden fireplaces, alcoves and beams. Areas can be picked out with different colours, wall mounted or table lights or styled with keepsakes, mini-library or be the backdrop to a stylish and cosy seating area.
An invisible glass balustrade or striking forged metal façade protruding slightly from the exterior wall, a Juliet balcony is halfway between a plain window and a balcony and comes with added drama to a room with more light to boot. Your builder will have to make your existing window aperture larger and install French doors (see above). See Oriel and Dorma windows for a larger scale alteration.
Roof lights and Tubes
I recently had a client whose house was long and dark with not many windows, the solution for the flat roof was simple and we planned in four large roof lights, but in the hall and living room they were foxed on how to get more light into the centre of the house. The answer was a Sun Tunnel which you can add anywhere there is 6m or less between your roof and ceiling. So we dropped one from the roof into the open plan hallway to great effect -happy clients who didn’t have to move house
For many of the above you may need planning permission. See www.planningportal.co.uk for details. A standard domestic application costs from £172 depending on your location.
One of London's Best Interiors Bloggers (Ideal Home magazine), The Open Plan Interior Design, London produces contemporary interiors for homes and business' and this very useful home interiors blog