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Let there be mild: a radically remodeled Nineteen Eighties house | Interiors


Wchicken John and Kate Cameron had been having a look to downsize from their Victorian circle of relatives house in a suburb of Edinburgh after their kids left house, they determined to head for an actual exchange: a Nineteen Eighties brutalist-style brick space in a suburb just about town centre.

The couple knew and beloved the home – inbuilt 1982 by means of Scottish architect Douglas Abrahams for his personal circle of relatives, and set inside a walled lawn in one of the most town’s maximum picturesque suburbs – as the former house owners had been members of the family who had lived in it because the mid-80s. But for all its personality and beauty, it didn’t swimsuit the way in which they lived.

The format, in particular ground-floor residing spaces, was once warren-like, with compartmentalised rooms (such because the eating room and kitchen, that have been separated by means of a serving hatch), convoluted corridors and peculiar stage adjustments. And with few home windows to the south the home felt darkish and smaller than it was once. The bogs had been additionally dated and there was once an extended, slender sunroom at the first surface that wasn’t in point of fact used.

Vintage furniture in the living area sits happily with designer pieces, such as a sofa from Heals.
Vintage furnishings within the residing house sits fortuitously with fashion designer items, comparable to a settee from Heal’s. Photograph: Martin Safro

So they determined to radically turn out to be it. “The major concept was once to modernise and adapt it with out shedding the texture of the unique space,” says Kate. “The proportions had been designed round a smaller particular person than John, so we got rid of one of the peculiar stage adjustments and stair heights. And we would have liked to maximize mild and perspectives to the lawn.”

They enlisted Edinburgh-based architect Jens Bergmark, with whom that they had labored on their earlier space. “The problem was once to take care to maintain and refine the nature of the home whilst remodeling it in reasonably an intensive manner,” says Bergmark. “So, rationalising the areas, eliminating all of the passages, corridors and cabinets, and bettering the format.

The living area of the repurposed granny flat
The residing house of the repurposed granny flat. Photograph: Martin Safro

Bergmark’s resolution was once mainly to make the home extra open plan, to create a smoother go with the flow. He lifted or reduced the flooring in sure spaces in order that the extent adjustments disappeared, and added an extension with an open-plan eating/kitchen house: this overlooks and encloses a part of the south-facing lawn, forming a sheltered L-shaped courtyard with a slabbed patio house, edge planting and a much-used pizza oven. On the primary surface, the previous sunroom was once transformed into an en suite rest room and dressing house for the master suite.

Inspiration for the interiors got here from the unique space, with an emphasis on uncovered brick. The brick that got here down within the demolition was once reused to clad the brand new timber-frame lawn extension.

Bergmark added mild oak flooring, changing the previous brick surface of the living room to melt the gap, and moved authentic bespoke cupboards and shelving to new spaces of the home, basically the eating room, to fit the brand new format. Inherited furnishings, comparable to a collection of Georgian eating chairs, mix fortuitously with trendy fashion designer items together with a antique Ikea desk and lightweight fittings from Catalog Interiors. They additionally discovered room for upcycled armchairs and eating chairs reupholstered by means of Kate.

One of the important thing options of the unique space was once a two-storey self-contained flat to the left of the primary front. Although hooked up to the primary space, the small, one-bedroom pad may serve as as separate residing quarters, with its personal kitchen, residing house and toilet.

“Its front room lost sight of the primary front to the home,” says Kate. This created privateness problems, so Bergmark flipped the entire granny flat the wrong way up, with the kitchen and front room upstairs and the bedrooms downstairs, having a look out of the home within the different path, clear of the primary front. “There is much more privateness now,” she says.

The flat proved extraordinarily helpful right through the pandemic, when it changed into John’s administrative center. “He can lock the door to it on the weekend and no longer return in till Monday,” says Kate. “We additionally stayed in it whilst paintings was once happening in the primary space.” The granny flat is now self-contained lodging for guests.

The new open-plan kitchen and dining area
The new open-plan kitchen and eating house. Photograph: Martin Safro

As a part of the renovation, the power potency of the home has been hugely advanced, with extra insulation and triple-glazed home windows. “Opening the home up extra to the south has additionally greater its sun achieve,” says Bergmark. “The home is so heat and environment friendly, mild and vivid,” provides Kate. “We sit down outdoor far more than we may have imagined.”

Not best is the home ultimate for post-pandemic running, it’s additionally a canny instance of updating and refurbishment, in the end protecting a captivating architectural curio. “This challenge is set a gradual contact,” says Bergmark. “It’s about editing what you’ve were given and no longer making a large remark. It’s no longer grandiose. If it appears seamless, that’s a praise.”

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