London-based Studio Varey Architects simplified this Victorian home to create a light-filled home in Notting Hill, with timber-framed skylights designed to catch the sun’s rays.
Located in the Westbourne Conservation Area, Huron House has been owned by its current owners for the past 25 years.
The overhaul of the 19th-century building began as a simple renovation on the ground floor, replacing the kitchen and improving the connection between the house and its garden.
However, excavation work showed the four-storey property to be in poor structural condition, which required significant improvements but also gave the owners an opportunity to reimagine their old home.
Studio Varey Architects’ new brief included a complete renovation and interior design of the house, with a particular focus on the bathrooms as well as custom joinery and a 1990s rebuild of the rear extension to create a new open plan kitchen and dining room.
“Our goal was to create an open-plan living space and bring plenty of natural light into the ground floor, which helps it feel more inviting and better suited for entertaining friends and family,” the studio told Dezeen.
The property is situated on a rough east-west axis, which gives it the ability to achieve impressive levels of light throughout the day, as the sun moves from the rear of the house in the morning to the front in the afternoon.
“We wanted to make sure that this natural light was captured through the architecture and space design,” the studio said.
On the ground floor, Studio Varey Architects removed a structural column supporting the building but dividing the back wall.
This has been replaced by a steel frame, allowing the studio to offer slimline aluminum sliding doors that now run the entire length of the rear of the property.
An existing skylight in the flat ceiling here has been extended and framed by oak beams, drawing more light into the center of the mixed kitchen-dining space.
“Natural light streams to the rear of the house, while the introduction of oak beams creates a feature that plays with the light as it travels across the property,” said the studio.
The entire staircase has been replaced and is set back from the large rear windows of the house, creating an aperture that directs sunlight to the lower floors.
Upstairs, the existing bathroom has been completely renovated. It is located in the middle of the upper floor and has no windows except for a small skylight, which means that the light levels were completely inadequate.
Here, Studio Varey Architects sheared the ceiling to create a multi-faceted surface clad in birch plywood—stained with a touch of soft white—to bounce light around the space.
“We created a flat roof that increased the height of the space, allowing materials to be combined playfully to emphasize new angles,” said the studio.
“The naturally polished birch chips, which run from the ceiling to the tadelakt walls, beautifully catch the sunlight creating a special warmth in the space.”
White oak can be found throughout the house in the built-in joinery of the bookcases and wardrobes, as well as in the feature beams of the extension.
“We wanted to simplify the material palette and keep it light, both in appearance and in the number of elements we used,” the studio said.
“This was done to emphasize the quality of the materials themselves, highlight the craftsmanship of the work and create a visual link between the interior spaces throughout the house.”
The polished concrete used for the floor at ground level, is covered with underfloor heating and provides a durable surface that is easy to clean for owners after walking their dog.
Other recently renovated homes in London include Sunderland Road House by 2LG, which features pastel-painted cornice ceilings, and Graphic House by Office S&M, which features graphic shapes and bold colours.
Photography by Taran Wilkho.