Real home: a modern extension to a Victorian terraced home

Clarisse and Karim Mallem have created a contemporary family living area, increasing the light and space in their London ground-floor flat with an extension

Fact file

The owners: Clarisse Mallem, a financial consultant, and husband Karim, an asset manager, live here with 10-month-old son, Axel

The property: A two-bedroom, ground-floor flat in Wimbledon

The location: Wimbledon, London

What they spent: £155,350

When Clarisse and husband Karim first saw the freehold flat in Wimbledon, they knew it was the property for them – despite the previous owners leaving it in a bad state of repair. ‘The flat reeked of damp and we could see stains up the walls behind the sofa,’ says Clarisse. It transpired that the couple had no choice but to knock down a dilapidated rear extension and start again. ‘We were excited about the prospect of starting afresh with a blank canvas,’ she adds.

Find out how it turned out, then browse through more real home transformations and find out more about extending a house in our guide. 

Modern kitchen extension exterior with glazing

The floor was lowered to allow for a full-height, triple-glazed fixed pane and sliding door by Complete Glazing Solutions to create a view to the garden and to give a feeling of space

Moving in January 2009, they initially spent around £30,000 renovating the two bedrooms to make the flat comfortable while saving for the extension. The property had two entrances, and there was an oddly shaped corridor from the front door to the living room. ‘It made sense to just use the side door and block this off to make better use of the space, which added around four square metres to the master bedroom,’ Clarisse explains.

Modern kitchen extension sliding doors

The decision to have exposed blockwork was the final part of the design. ‘I wanted a raw, minimalist look,’ Clarisse explains. Two full-height glazed windows open up the garden vista and work well with the concrete floor in Antique White. For a similar glass dining table, try the Miles range at Go Modern. Dining chairs, Ikea

‘We desperately needed more light as it was dark and cold,’ she continues. ‘We wanted the garden to be a focal point but there weren’t any windows in the living area.’ So the decision was made to add a five-metre extension where the old one stood. As the couple both work full time, they knew they needed an architect as well as a project manager, and Mustard Architects’ Joanna Coleman was recommended to them at a homes show.

Modern kitchen extension open plan units and island

Stainless-steel and black worktops, Corian. Inset double sink, Smeg. Brushed stainless-steel tap, Abode Propus. La Vallière clock, Maison du Monde. For a similar sofa, try the Orson at Loaf. Bespoke MDF kitchen units, McCormack Joinery

The island was designed as a seamless unit to incorporate a bench with further storage, and the joinery design kept to a minimum. A large rectangular fixed-pane, triple-glazed rooflight brings light into the industrial-look space.

‘It certainly has the wow factor’

Clarissa, homeowner

The contacts

  • The full feature appears in the March 2016 issue of Real Homes. Subscribe today to take advantage of our money-saving subscription offers.

Images: Alistair Nicholls

More real home transformations:

Author: Sally Smith, Photographer: Alistair Nicholls, Stylist: Jemma Paugh