After 6 years in a 1960s home in Crofton Park, Mat Barnes, creator of architectural practice CAN, and his better half Laura Dubeck, chose to begin trying to find something a little bigger. In 2019, they stumbled upon a worn out red brick Edwardian home in Sydenham– far from what they set out for visually, however a deal that provided the sort of job they longed for. With a young child in tow and a boy en route, the couple gone about changing the area to produce a creative and happy household house. Here, they speak to us about striking the balance in between the reasonable and goofy and why their child believes it’s typical to have a picturesque mountain in the back garden.
Laura: “Your house wasn’t really on the marketplace, however it was next door to my friend’s moms and dads and had actually been sitting empty for 6 years. We made queries and it ended up that it had actually been acquired by somebody in Poland, who believed it was excessive of a wreck to offer. It was semi-derelict with a damaged boiler and damp issues, however we were video game for a task. We provided what we might manage and surprisingly it was accepted.”
Mat: “Prior to we purchased this home in 2019, we had actually been residing in a semi-detached 1960s home in Crofton Park. It had an extremely great square strategy and we constantly believed that when we transferred to a bigger home, it would be something of a comparable age. However this was simply too excellent a chance to miss.”
Laura: “We understood precisely what we were participating in, however we should have seethed recalling– our child, Aurie, was one and I was pregnant with Sidney, who’s now 6 months old! Our strategy was to do the work as rapidly as possible and to ensure we had a cheerful household house by the end of it. Your house fronts onto a huge park, which I do not even keep in mind being something that attracted us to it when we initially saw it, however we now feel surprisingly fortunate to have it.”
Mat: “We moved into your house in August 2019 and waited to get preparing approval for the extension. We didn’t have a working shower and the ceilings were collapsing, however living here prior to work began wasn’t a bad thing as it assisted us see what we desired from the restoration.
” The primary issue downstairs was that it was a network of small spaces. The cooking area was basically a scullery and there were big chimney breasts using up great deals of area. We wished to open all of it approximately produce one living, dining and kitchen location, which would lead out into the garden through a brand-new extension at the back.
” Upstairs, we chose to include an additional bed room and restroom to produce 3 double bed rooms and a little nursery, and we likewise opened the existing ceiling, including a skylight and exposing the initial rafters.
” On the ground flooring, the back garden sloped below your house by about a metre and half and there were rather a great deal of level distinctions throughout your house. I raised the floorboards in the back space and understood there had to do with a metre space to the structures, which permitted us to bring the floorings down and for that reason spread out the level modifications throughout the entire ground flooring with actions instead of have one big drop to the garden.”
Laura: “When preparing had actually been authorized, the work began in January 2020 and we fortunately had household simply a number of miles down the roadway who we relocated with. It indicated that we might make choices for the surfaces on website as the restoration advanced. There were minutes when we were both overwhelmed by the variety of options we needed to make every day, however it likewise made us believe rapidly.”
Mat: “Although I work generally on personal property tasks and exhibit styles, it’s especially tough to make choices when it’s your own home. I seemed like it was going to be considered as a representation of my architectural design when in truth range is essential to my work. I ‘d never ever wish to do the exact same thing over and over once again– that’s what keeps my task fascinating. That stated, I ‘d understood early on in my architecture profession that taste wasn’t everything about white walls and concrete floorings.
” I was actually eager for your house to show the semi-derelict state that we initially discovered it in, so we left the initial back wall in between the cooking area and the extension in a partly destroyed state. It was influenced by the stereotyped collapsing wall in a scene in Trainspotting, however it’s staggered shape likewise implies it’s great for putting plants on.
” Our beginning point for a lot of spaces was to remove whatever back and see if we can utilize the surface or product we had actually exposed. In the kitchen location, we removed back the wall to bricks and after that chose to leave it and simply paint it to connect the collapsing end wall.
” We wished to consist of some referral to the building procedure, so had the structural steel columns in the extension painted red and white to mirror the varying poles utilized in studies.
” The concept for the mountain-topped roofing on the extension originated from some images I saw of the building of the Matterhorn Bobsleds flight at Disneyland, which is made from this complex steel structure and after that topped with this exceptionally practical beautiful mountain. I liked the concept of making the structural components of the extension, such as the blue laser cut hairs and thin steel poles, look as thin and delicate as possible by putting something relatively big on top. I could not think about anything that would look much heavier than a mountain. It’s really made from lathered aluminium– a product that’s so light that you can raise the entire thing up on your own. It’s all a bit tongue in cheek.
” Great deals of your house’s style is based upon components of the landscape– the concrete wall in the open-plan cooking area living location feels nearly cave-like and I created the enamel table to look like rippled water on a lake. The cooking area systems are made from recycled slicing boards and milk bottle tops and we have actually likewise utilized it for the window lintels upstairs. I enjoy its graphic quality.
” My love of pop-art and graphic culture is shown throughout your house. The ‘Waste Not Desired Not’ slogan on the actions leading down to the cooking area is influenced by an expression on a 19th-century bread plate by the designer, A.W Pugin. It was likewise among my grandma’s essential expressions in the cooking area.”
Laura: “Although I relied on Mat’s vision for the area, I had a hard time to get my head around a few of the concepts, specifically the mountain. Mat’s typically the one with goofy concepts and I’m the one who challenges them, however being together has actually certainly opened my mind and revealed me that strong style can make you reside in an area in a a lot more present method.
” It’s incredible seeing your house through the eyes of our kids too– Aurie likes revealing her buddies the mountain and does not really see what’s so unique about it at the minute. She believes everybody has one in their back garden.
” The checkerboard tiles walls in the extension and the blue and white check restroom upstairs were influenced by a fireplace we revealed while remodeling. In regards to colours, the more tonal tones originated from me while the brighter ones are down to Mat.”
Mat: “The front deep blue living-room is my take on the Sir John Soane Museum in Holborn that I have actually created an exhibit for. I went to a regional plaster maker and asked if they had any seconds or lost bits– he provided us these residues totally free and we then painted them the exact same colour as the walls and ceilings.”
Laura: “I enjoy resting on the orange couch in front of the checkerboard tiles in the extension. It’s nearly as if the extension was created around it, however it was really a hand-me-down from some buddies. It’s the best location to enjoy the kids, watch on what’s cooking in the cooking area and watch out into the garden with its stunning old cherry, plum and apple trees. We enjoy obtaining Aurie’s field glasses and watching out at the birds.
” There was a five-month hold-up getting the doors produced the extension due to the pandemic, however we wound up moving into your house in July in 2015 and living with the back boarded up till the glass gotten here in September. Ever since it’s been a truly charming procedure of slowly filling the area with our things– a lot included us.
” The spending plan just presumed, so there are a couple of components we want to round off. Ultimately we ‘d enjoy to include an ensuite into the little box space beside our bed room. When we planned your house, we specified precisely how we ‘d utilize each space however we have actually understood we do not require to be so stiff. We’re still discovering how to utilize the area, however we’re utilizing it in a a lot more versatile method then we ‘d prepared for.”
Mat and Laura, how do specify modern-day living?
Mat: “For us, it has to do with having supreme versatility and living in an area that enables optimum versatility in the future. This is shown in how we have actually created this home– apart from the cooking area, none of the furnishings is integrated and we can just reorganize it as our household requires modification.”
Exists a house for sale on our site that has captured your eye?
Mat: “We actually enjoy Harfield Gardens in Camberwell, which has actually been skillfully remodelled by Studio MacLean with intense colours and patterns. It was integrated in 1979 and we enjoy that age of home– the spaces are square and there’s constantly great deals of light.”