Real home: this extended bungalow has monochrome Mid-century flair

Claire and Paul Franklin’s stripped-back palette of black, white and timber offers a masterclass in owning your interior style

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style
(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

When Claire and Paul Franklin decided to swap the congestion of London for the calm of the countryside, their friends – and even their mortgage advisor – couldn’t quite see the attraction of this particular house. But for a couple with a love of all things mid-century, it was perfect. With her own set style in mind, Claire set about transforming their newly extended property into a retro haven with a considered monochrome scheme. She explains how she did it.

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Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'I positioned the fireplace, mirror and TV unit to balance the walls at that end of the living room. We dyed the iroko floorboards to match the original beams.' Two-tier side table, Home & Colonial. (opens in new tab) Birdy wall lights, Northern Lighting (opens in new tab). Dillon sofa, Sofa Workshop (opens in new tab). B&W prints, The Printable Studio via Etsy (opens in new tab). Floor cushion, HomeSense (opens in new tab). Coffee and cream throw, H&M (opens in new tab). Glass base lamp, West Elm (opens in new tab). Three-door glazed cabinet, Swoon (opens in new tab). For a similar mirror, try the Hudson from Eat, Sleep, Live (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)
Profile

The owners Claire Franklin, an interiors consultant, her husband, Paul, owner and creative director of brand agency Red & White Studio, their children, Elsie and Poppy, a menagerie of gerbils, hamsters, and a rescue chihuahua, Daisie May
The property A detached mid-century four-bedroom bungalow in Studham, Bedfordshire
Project cost £150,000

'The bungalow had been designed by an architect as his family home and as soon as we stepped inside we understood what his original vision had been. It had the perfect blend of open and broken plan: although there was plenty of communal space there were also more private areas, with an easy flow between the two.'

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'To maximise the storage in the kitchen, we installed a wall of floor-to-ceiling cupboards with integrated double oven. Elsewhere, I wanted to keep my walls free of units, so a bank of 10 deep drawers gives us a huge amount of organised storage. Drawers are so much easier to keep tidy than cupboards!' Kitchen, Build My Kitchen (opens in new tab), painted in Dove Grey, Laura Ashley (opens in new tab), and Off Black, Farrow & Ball (opens in new tab). Worktop, Silestone (opens in new tab). Wall lights, Original BTC (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

'Nothing much had changed in the house and it was a bit tired, but that was half the attraction. We felt we could carry on what the architect had started and give it a new purpose for a modern family.'

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'Our builder was getting rid of the black stools, which were perfect for our island, so I swapped them for a couple of radiators, then had them sprayed black to match the table. The island is the perfect spot for the children to do homework or tell me about their day while I’m making dinner.' Unit handles, BMK (opens in new tab). Ovens, Miele (opens in new tab). Island pendant lights, Anglepoise (opens in new tab). For similar stools, try the Ingolf, Ikea (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

‘Our ultimate plan was to renovate throughout and add a kitchen extension, but when Elsie and Poppy came along, we were happy to just enjoy the house as it was with a few tweaks until we were ready.'

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'The dining table was a bargain on Ebay but we sprayed the legs so it blends with the chairs and the rest of the scheme.' Dining table, vintage Arne Jacobsen chairs, Ebay (opens in new tab). Black Hay chairs, Clippings (opens in new tab). Polished concrete flooring, The Concrete Flooring Contractors (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

'We started the first of two extensions in 2016. The first phase was to replace the roof and windows and build a new entrance hallway to include a large cloakroom and WC. In 2017 we started the second phase – the large kitchen-diner/snug to the rear of the house.'

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'People think black might be a difficult colour to live with, but in fact it works really well when used as an accent with greys, and especially with organic textures like timber and foliage.' Display cabinet, Ebay (opens in new tab). Pendant lights, Miloox (opens in new tab).  Vases, La Redoute (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

‘I’d overseen a number of projects of this scale for clients, but never for myself so this was a new experience in a way. We originally approached a local architect, but they didn’t quite “get” the house. Having read about design company Architect Your Home, we decided to try them.' 

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

For a similar Ercol daybed, try Vinterior (opens in new tab). For a black and white triangle rug, try the Onix, The Rug Seller (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

'They put us in touch with an architect they felt would best fit our project – and they were right. Nick Stenton, our architect, was brilliant. We used a builder, Brian Woodward, who’d renovated our shed into a garden room, too. He did a fantastic job, so it seemed natural to keep him on for the rest of the project.'

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'I accented surfaces and corners with pieces from my collection of white stoneware. The ceiling light in the hall is one of my favourite pieces in the house. It’s an original vintage Louis Poulsen PH Snowball light, which I bought with the first bonus I ever earned in work more then 20 years ago!' Lohals rug, Ikea (opens in new tab). Ceiling light, Louis Poulsen (opens in new tab). Ercol loveseat, Lee Longlands (opens in new tab). For a similar sideboard, try the Botello, La Redoute (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

'With Nick undertaking the drawings and planning, I was left to project manage. I kept a strict eye on the budget. Every penny was designated and if we needed something else and didn’t have the funds, we waited till the pot was refilled, so it took longer than your average extension.'

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'Our bedroom is clutter-free thanks to built-in wardrobes. You can see the geometric nature of the 1950s architecture in the horizontal window over the bed, too. We chose retro-style furniture, complemented with soft furnishings – rugs, throws and the bedspread – that pull together the colour palette.' Rug, La Redoute (opens in new tab). For a similar throw, try Feather & Black (opens in new tab). For a similar bench, try West Elm (opens in new tab). Wall light, Nest (opens in new tab). For a ceiling light, try Tala at Heal’s (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

'I love the mix of open and “broken” plan in the house. The hall isn’t open to the dining area, but it leads off through an extra-wide opening without a door. We used timber flooring in the hallway to differentiate it from the kitchen-diner. The living room is open to the hall, but the two steps down help delineate the space and make the room feel self-contained.

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

A large glazed door means the office area enjoys a beautiful view of the garden. Rug, Urban Outfitters (opens in new tab). Thelma chair, Made (opens in new tab). Universal table and drawer units, Vistoe (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

'We wanted the property to be as authentic as possible so we trawled the shops and internet for original mid-century furniture. It just sits so easily in the space as well as being practical and stylish. The Birdie wall lights in the living room were originally designed in 1952, the same year the house was built, so they were a perfect. By using so many classic pieces, it’ll never date.'

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'Elsie had so much fun helping me decorate her room. Top tip, though: use a washable emulsion for easy cleaning!' String Pocket shelving unit, John Lewis & Partners (opens in new tab). Nexus wall lights, Nordlux (opens in new tab). For a similar desk try the Tatsuma, Habitat (opens in new tab). Try Cult Furniture (opens in new tab) for a similar chair

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)
Contacts

Architect Architect Your Home (opens in new tab)
Windows Smart Systems (opens in new tab)
Kitchen Build My Kitchen (opens in new tab)

'We have a lot of trees so we needed to have piles instead of standard foundations, and the piles just kept going deeper and deeper. The whole house was shaking at one point. I love the picture window in our bedroom – it makes the most of the secluded gardens outside.'

Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'The bathroom is such a bright, airy space. I love the storage unit – I hide bathroom clutter in there and it fits perfectly under the window.' For a similar storage unit, try the Hiba range at La Redoute (opens in new tab). HK Living bath mat, Nordic Nest (opens in new tab). Stool, vintage; try Ebay (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)
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Claire and Paul Franklin's extended bungalow in Studham has mid-century monochrome style

'We gave the bungalow a modern, industrial feel by part cladding the back of it (main image). The uPVC windows were ripped out and replaced with black aluminium frames.' For Cedral cladding, try Roofing Lines (opens in new tab). Alitherm windows, Smart Systems (opens in new tab)

(Image credit: Fiona Walker Arnott)

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