St James' Drive

The Vawdrey House

Our clients, a busy international family of five, owned an imposing Victorian townhouse in South-West London. Despite the grand architecture and generous scale, they felt the layout and flow was not working. They came to us for a loft conversion initially, and following our advice the brief grew to transform the lower ground floor of the home into a contemporary kitchen and living space that would become the heart of the house.

Like many properties of this period, nobody really used the grand steps to the front door on the upper-ground floor anymore. Instead family and guests alike came in via a smaller tradesman’s entrance to the side, at ground level. Entering a lower ceiling hall and warren of rooms which were originally designed for servants use. Working closely with the client to understand how they used their home, we knew that by upgrading the ‘everyday’ side entrance would transform the feel of the whole lower ground floor, creating a more harmonious and practical flow throughout the house. The side entrance is now reached via a beautiful bespoke decorative steel gate, offering privacy and security to the entrance and rear garden, but also an expectation as to the level of design within. This leads into the new, enlarged entrance hall, which compounds that sense of arrival with dark moody panelled walls that conceal doors to a laundry room, a boot room, and a snug. From here the entrance to the new kitchen and dining space beyond becomes a real pleasure.