Conversions

by Hannah Fenton

September 22, 2017

Modernist restoration in Brussels, Belgium

A 20-year love affair with a Bauhaus-influenced property has finally given one Belgian couple the home of their dreams. Xavier and Pascale de Breucker had…

A sympathetic layout, innovative glazing and matched materials 
can bring nature indoors,  turn your garden into a true living area and increase space inside and outside your home.

 Connecting your home and garden

Whether it’s for a new-build or an extension, almost every architect’s brief now calls for a building to have a more meaningful connection to the outdoors.

A close relationship between house and garden benefits both: gardens that have some of the amenities of a living space get more use, while interiors feel bigger and more airy when they open on to an al fresco living area.

1. Make the most of window glazing

Improvements in glass technology have made an immeasurable impact on our ability to link inside and out. Coatings and gas-filled cavities have improved thermal performance – these days, rooms that rely on a lot of glazing don’t overheat in summer or lose heat in winter.

The use of light but strong aluminium for framing means windows can have slim outlines that reveal more of the view, while sliding doors can hold bigger panes of glass. For courtyard and rooftop areas, retractable glazing can turn an enclosed room into a breezy outdoor space in a few seconds.

2. Seek inspiration from architects

Look to residential architects in warmer climates such as Australia for ideas on how 
to perfect the inside-outside look. Homes often have level thresholds between house and garden, with glass doors that can be pushed back to make a single space. Deep overhangs or brises-soleil help to cool interiors, but they also act as transitional areas, softening the boundary between house and garden, and can be useful as covered walkways.

3. Consider a courtyard

While a walkway will give you a definitively outward-facing home, a courtyard layout will do the opposite, creating a secluded pocket of space. Because they are enclosed, courtyards already have some of the characteristics of a room, and you can amplify that with built-in seating or an outdoor firepit.

4. Build an outdoor living room

If you really want to make the most of your outdoor space, furnish it with features more common to indoor rooms. Outdoor kitchens are becoming popular, which at its simplest means a built-in barbecue with some worktop space either side, but could also include a sink, wine fridge and outdoor plug sockets so you can bring appliances outside and have everything you need to cook a full meal.

Kevin McCloud on how our homes give us the chance to reflect and have new experiences

Our editor-at-large ponders how our homes can give us a chance to reflect and have new experiences.
how-our-homes-give-us-the-chance-to-reflect-and-have-new-experiences
create-cutting-edge-space-with-the-latest-on-trend-kitchen-designs
Home Improvements

Create cutting-edge space with the latest on-trend kitchen designs

We all want our homes to be anything but standard, and nowhere is this illustrated better than the kitchen.
george-clarke-on-creating-the-illusion-of-space
Home Improvements

George Clarke on creating the illusion of space

George Clarke; The architect and presenter of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces and The Restoration Man shares his latest tips and ideas
buyers-guide-to-composite-surfaces
Home Improvements

Buyers guide to composite surfaces

Thanks to new technology, man-made materials are now more versatile and durable than ever.
top-trends-for-bathroom-surfaces
Home Improvements

Top trends for bathroom surfaces

Fabulous and functional, treat your bathroom to sleek surfaces for a hit of designer style.
tandoor-i-the-world-s-first-fully-integrated-tandoor-oven
Home Improvements

Tandoor-i: The World’s First Fully Integrated Tandoor Oven

The world’s first fully integrated tandoor oven for the home kitchen, Tandoor-i is a revolution in home cooking.
how-to-maximise-natural-light-in-your-home
Home Improvements

How to maximise natural light in your home

Use architectural features and specialised finishes to maximise natural light in your home.