Extending for a family-friendly period home

Mary and Paul Atkinson added a new storey to their Edwardian property and created an open-plan kitchen-diner downstairs

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After living in the countryside for three years, Mary and Paul Atkinson longed to return to the city. They had an offer accepted on a house in Gosforth when the couple spotted a better proposition nearby.

‘It was an Edwardian house in the perfect location on a wide tree-lined street,’ says Mary. ‘The former owner had lived there for 50 years, so the décor was dated, with flowery carpets and coloured sinks; but it was very well cared for. We loved the house’s proportions, and I was pleased that it had a west-facing rear garden.’ The couple decided to withdraw from the original sale and make an offer.

Experienced renovators Mary and Paul planned to reconfigure the layout of the ground floor to create a kitchen-diner and add a loft extension containing two en suite bedrooms. Architect Michael Houston of Hub Architecture designed the build, and recommended builder Rob Brewis and his team.

Fact file

The owners: Mary Atkinson, a full-time mum, and husband Paul, a director at an engineering company, live here with their three children, Evie, 21, Edward, 14, and George, 11

The property: An Edwardian, semi-detached house with six bedrooms, built in 1904

The location: Gosforth, Newcastle upon Tyne

What they spent: The couple bought the house for £750,000 in 2009 and have spent around £220,000 renovating it and converting the loft. The property has recently been


Minimalist Ypsilon units topped with Silestone Unsui polished quartz from In-toto create a streamlined look. Walls are in Fired Earth’s Old White and Purbeck Stone by Farrow & Ball. The couple saved money by installing less expensive units in the utility, and splashed out on special features in the kitchen, such as an induction hob, pop-up extractor fan and luxury £1,000 Blanco Plaza tap. They also opted for two side-by-side integral dishwashers.


The loft has been converted, with dormers at the rear, and the first-floor bank of windows at the front extended. The couple were keen to retain the period character of the house, so they chose double-glazed windows with hardwood frames to replace the single-glazed sashes.


Originally the kitchen had only one window, so the Atkinsons added French doors to make the most of the garden views. Above the Ikea table hangs an Academy five-light pendant from Där Lighting. The yellow fruit bowl is from M&S.


In the third reception room, the couple created a family/TV space, and added double doors to link it to the kitchen-diner. ‘We like the flexibility of having double doors so we can separate the two spaces whenever we want.’ There’s plenty of storage space in the bespoke TV unit by RB Renovations. Mary upcycled an old suitcase to make the dog bed.


Mary’s favourite spot in the house is the corner sofa in the family room. ‘It is big enough for everyone to snuggle up on together’. The cluster pendant light is from Next while the wallpaper is from B&Q’s Art House range.


Joiner John Gardiner of RB Renovations made the new staircase in the same style as the existing one to gain access to the new loft space. Mary specified neutral carpets from MEH Flooring throughout, and the walls are painted in Farrow & Ball’s Stony Ground.


The summerhouse provides more space for inside-outside living. ‘When it’s sunny I’ll sit with a coffee or read magazines, or have a glass of wine with friends in the evening,’ says Mary.


Eaves storage was incorporated behind the bed, and the original beams were retained to add character to the new guest room. An Ikea bed is topped with a Next grey quilt, while cushions from Sainsbury’s and Debenhams add a teal accent.


Knocking through to the separate WC has allowed for more space. A Villeroy & Boch suite from Gosforth Park Kitchen & Bathroom Studio is teamed with Mocha tiles from Westerhope Tile Centre. Incorporating the airing cupboard on the landing and a cupboard in the neighbouring home office created room for a recessed shower enclosure.

• The full feature – including stockists and more images – appears in the October issue of Real Homes. For back issues, call 01527 834435. Subscribe today to take advantage of our money-saving subscription offers.