It's your last chance to enter a home renovation or extension for New London Architecture's Don't Move, Improve! awards 2021. 

 black cladded extension with side return - grand designs

Image: Gellatly Road by DELVE was shortlisted for the 2020 awards. Photo: Emanuelis Stasaitis

In 2020 life has become more home-focused. For many people the pandemic has driven a change in relationship with the home, while some have even gone so far as to renovate their properties to adapt to a changing way of life.

If your home has seen a dramatic renovation or extension that has transformed your relationship with it, and you're based in London, why not enter it in the Don't Move, Improve! awards?

Now heading into its 11th year, the Don't Move, Improve! awards is an initiative by New London Architecture which champions the best and most innovative home renovation projects across London. But the call for entries will be closing soon, so it's time to send in those application forms.

Here's what you need to know. 

Read more: 5 inspiring extensions nominated for a DMI Award

creative extension with terrazzo walls and green aluminium doors - grand designs  

Image: Gundry + Ducker's The White Rabbit House won the Unique Character award in 2020. Photo: Andrew Meredith

Who can enter?

The competition is open to architecture practices, build studios and homeowners who have carried out extensions on top of, underneath and on the side/back of buildings, and/or interior insertions, conversions, and garden studios since 1 September 2018.

The judges, which this year include Grand Designs magazine editor Karen Stylianides, are looking for homes that demonstrate creativity and originality, high-quality design, cost-effectiveness and environmental awareness, as well as looking at the context of each design and what it adds to the character of the surrounding neighbourhood. 

Read more: DMI award winner: Inside a double-height extension to a London terraced home

Proctor and Shaw Architects create double height home extension - grand designs  

Image: Proctor and Shaw's Soffit House was declared overall winner of the 2020 awards. Photo: Radu Palicica

What are the prizes?

As well as an overall winner, prizes are awarded for Unique Character, Urban Oasis of the Year, Compact Design of the Year, Best Project under £100K, Environmental Leadership and Materiality and Craftsmanship. A new category for WFH Design of the Year for 2021, reflecting the growing movement to adapt our homes for new working practices. 

Winning and shortlisted designs will be featured in the NLA’s central London gallery, as well as in the Don't Move, Improve! magazine. Winning practices will also be offered a 12-month NLA membership, as well as opportunities to participate in industry events and have their work showcased to a wider audience through the national press. 

The overall winner will be featured in Grand Designs magazine. 

How to enter 

Head to New London Archicture's Don't Move, Improve! awards page for more information on submitting an application. All entrants must complete the online form no later than 5pm on Tuesday 8 December.

There is an entry fee to apply. Submission costs £79+VAT for NLA members and £99+VAT for non-members. The person submitting must give details of all consultants and team members working on the project, and must have sought the written permission of the client. 

Entrants also agree that NLA is granted non-exclusive reproduction rights to all entries for any NLA advertising, promotion, exhibition, print publications, internet and press materials. Entrants must have permission from the photographer for the reproduction of all imagery for use relating to these purposes.


For more inspiration for unique home extensions, read Grand Designs magazine digitally for free now by registering your details



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