The couple also wanted to work with furniture they had from their first home and decided not to buy anything new. “Sometimes I wonder if a cabinet or a table looked better in the old house,” Achim laughs. “It’s about getting things to fit in a place they don’t belong. But overall everything seems to be working. For example, a beautiful mid-century sideboard that sat on the ground floor of their former home now takes pride of place in the guest bedroom, serving as a chest of drawers.
The vintage dining table, in particular, is a much-loved item that has moved with them. “When you’ve had years of dinners, friends, laughter and tears around a table, it becomes part of who you are; there’s something nice about sitting with furniture you’ve had all your life,” notes Catriona. Ironically, the table wasn’t something they bought intentionally, it arrived unexpectedly along with the ten Moller dining chairs they bought on Ebay.
The other surprise was the upstairs laundry room, which was “found” halfway through the renovation. Remapping the floor plan to create a third floor was a design prerequisite, but it wasn’t until they reconfigured the stairwell that they realized they had more free space in the return than expected.
It’s a stark contrast to the typical laundry room, housed in dark basements or adjacent to the kitchen. Bathed in sunlight thanks to a huge ceiling light, the airy laundry room has birch plywood cabinets that screen the boiler. The room is so hot that the dryer has never been plugged in and its location near the bedrooms prevents laundry from lying around on the ground floor before going upstairs.
The couple’s nuanced approach to building each room with thoughtful choices created a lighter, more natural flow in the home with fresh color palettes, natural materials, and timeless woven furnishings throughout. As the home base of this young family, the house required materials that could withstand some wear and tear.
The kitchen in particular is designed as a space for everyone’s needs, with polished concrete flooring, dark granite worktops and wooden cabinets built by Omega Fitted Furniture. “I didn’t want it to look like a conventional kitchen,” says Catriona, “but more like a piece of furniture with appliances concealed in a low chest of drawers and a table area in a very modest extension.” The 11 square meter kitchen extension retains much of the garden, something their previous home lacked, and the Douglas fir slatted awning along the patio acts as an interface between the interior and the exterior. ‘outside.
“What is often overlooked in design is the fact that people will use the spaces,” says Achim. “Whether it’s the tactility of objects or the air quality in a room, it has to be about making buildings that stand the test of time, are easier to use and therefore more enjoyable.” Functional and durable in practice, yet still beautiful to look at, these architects have created a space that works for their family, designed with the future in mind.