Primrose Hill

Our client has owned this one-bedroom flat in Primrose Hill since her student days. Now a mother with college-age children herself, she wanted it to become somewhere her family could use on visits to London.

Situated below a typical London ‘butterfly’ roof on the top floor of a converted Victorian terraced house, our brief was to modernise and rethink the flat’s layout to maximise the living space. Key to our design was an innovative solution that tapped the unused potential of the triangulated loft space to create a stunning double-volume bathroom.

A short flight of steps now leads up to a full-length bath, which rests on a platform built above the entrance stairway. Angling the ceiling and introducing a roof light ensures ample headroom when using the shower. A translucent glass wall opposite the bathroom allows borrowed light into the stairwell.

Large windows on both sides offer great views over London and fill the space with natural light. A second roof light situated above the kitchen area further brightens the flat, while framing a view of the Victorian chimney pots – a pleasing juxtaposition of old and new.

Across the room, this motif is repeated with the exposed brickwork of the original chimney breast, overscored by elegant, bespoke strip lighting.

There were also serious structural issues to address. Rainwater had damaged the roof timbers and ceiling, and the floor was very uneven – due a support being removed from the central spine wall during the original conversion.

We reinstated the timber support and replaced sections of the roof. After lifting the floor board, we levelled the joists, added sound insulation, then restored and re-laid the original floor. New heating and electrics, insulated walls and double-glazed windows transform a draughty, Victorian conversion into a contemporary, comfortable space.

The modernised flat feels bigger and brighter, its clean simplicity achieved by precise design and careful attention to detail. The client’s family say that “it is always so light and airy”, and spending time there makes them feel happy.