Charlie Greig has pushed her London semi-detached home to the limits with a remarkable remodelling scheme.
Standing in a road of unremarkable 1950s and 60s semis in north London is a distinctive, contemporary-looking property which – with its pristine white walls, expansive frameless glazing and immaculate entrance – appears to be newly built.
To the rear the effect is even more radical, with three storeys of full-width folding sliding glass doors overlooking a heated swimming pool and tropical landscaping reminiscent of a Miami beach-side villa.
- Name: Charlie Greig
- Build cost: £700,000
- Build time: 1 year 1 month
- Region: London
“The house was in a terrible state when I bought it, with ugly single-glazed windows which leaked,” recalls Charlie Greig. “But I planned to remodel it and build upwards to the rear — introducing a huge amount of glass to create a sleek contemporary look.” There is now a second floor with a fourth bedroom with en suite for Charlie’s daughter Tatum, and a small roof terrace — none of which are visible from the road.
Inspired by an angular villa she had seen on holiday in Ibiza, Charlie approached Patrick Inglis of award-winning architectural practice Inglis Badrashi Loddo Architects to design a workable solution.
The house had been poorly extended in the 1970s with a single storey bedroom to the rear, and demolishing this, together with the front porch and side garage area, enabled Charlie to undertake the new alterations and extensions under Permitted Development rights.
The side and rear external walls were taken down, the floors were taken out and the roof came off — leaving little of the original structure still standing.
Charlie was on site virtually every day and was keen to get physically involved with the building work — tackling everything from tiling bathrooms and laying the floors, to helping dig out the pool. “I’ve used the same team of builders for the past 15 years, so we have a great working relationship,” Charlie says.
Dramatic monochrome colour schemes were chosen for the interiors, with white walls throughout and robust slate flooring extending through the open plan ground floor and out into the suntrap garden to form a terrace around the inviting swimming pool. A mirrored splashback along the rear wall in the galley kitchen helps to create the impression of space, and Charlie customised the standard MFI kitchen units by raising them in height, changing the handles and fitting chunky 100mm-thick white Corian worktops on top.
Introducing such large expanses of glass to the building was another expensive decision, but it has turned this once-drab 1960s house into a fabulous example of contemporary architecture. “This was previously a dark property, but now every room is incredibly bright,” says Charlie. “Sunlight reflects off the pool and creates a dappled effect on walls and ceilings. It really feels as if you could be living abroad.”