Colour and eco-friendly design come together in the renovation of this north London lower ground-floor flat renovation. 

03 Dining Table French Tye

Image: French + Tye

Aptly named Mo-tel House, the name of this unique project is significant to the clients’ aspiration for their Georgian Townhouse in Islington: a joyful, bright and colourful place to escape what, at this time of year anyway, can be described as dreary, grey London.

The brief was to transform the dilapidated and outdated existing space to bring it back into full time family use. Architectural company Office S&M took on this challenging project and were able to use direction and ideas from the family to create a dynamic, bright lower ground floor space that has brought real joy to each member of this young family.

As shown in the graphic below, the new space is now open-plan bringing plenty of extra space to the rooms. It includes a dual aspect kitchen and dining space, two extra bathrooms and a utility space, rooms that would never have worked in the previous layout. 

 Motel House Before After Plans

Image: French + Tye

A dramatic effect

Alongside creating the open plan space in the project, architects Office S&M also designed the bespoke furniture for the space, using a combination of bright colours, mirror and clever use of light to create an unusual and creative scheme. In the kitchen, for instance, they have created plinths to climb, soft surfaces and tiny spaces to explore, and these have proved a delight to the younger members, and a source of daily joy to the parents. 

6 Paul Archer Design new build with MVHR 1 CREDIT Nick Guttridge.Andy Stagg copy copy

Image: French + Tye

Repurposing materials

One half of the client team, Tamsin Chislet is also the co-founder Onloan: an online fashion lending service, and it was important to her that this sustainabe ethos was present in the project itself. Office S&M took this on board wholeheartedly, and every material was borrowed and used in a new purpose rather than created from scratch. 

An example of material repurposing was the use of discarded milk bottles, these were melted and used with chopping boards to create stunning, marbled worktops in the bathrooms and utility room. As the architectural and renovation industries search for ways to become more eco-friendly, this project really stands out as a fine example of working in a greener, more sustainable way.

Founding Partner of Office S&M, Catrina Stewart said: 'Tamsin and Max gave us a really exciting brief and I'm so pleased that we’ve been able to deliver such an amazing home. I believe it really reflects the family’s personality and professional ethos with our love of colour and imaginative design.

'Mo-tel has really shown us how easy it is to adapt to new ideas and methods, and we found vreal alue and opportunities in materials that would otherwise have been overlooked.'

13 View Through Space French Tye

Image: French + Tye

Mirror image

Mirror was used across the space to reflect light throughout and bring some extra pleasure for the younger members of the family. Client, Tamsin Chislett really adored this aspect. ;Office S&M delivered on every level, both us and the kids are so pleased with the space, especially the fun use of mirrors. The brightness of the colour scheme brings me joy every single day, especially during lockdown, and I'm so pleased with what was achieved on our limited budget.'

20200629 DSC 6178 Edit HIRES

Image: French + Tye

For more inspiring interiors, read Grand Designs magazine digitally for free now by registering your details

read a free issue of grand designs magazine



Kitchen extension ideas to improve your home

9 design ideas for better kitchen storage

How to create an efficient kitchen layout

Kevins Column

Top self build highlights at Grand Designs Live 2019 hosted by Kevin McCloud

Find top experts, specialist exhibitors and a wealth of inspiration for your self-build or renovation project all under one roof.
Home Improvements

Make a design impact with contemporary stairs and balconies

Bespoke contemporary staircases, gates and balconies can have a transformative effect on a self-build home
Home Improvements

Future-proof your home with a luxury home lift

Lifts can be a real feature in your dream home. Not only that, they future proof it too, ensuring it will be accessible for you...
Home Improvements

Triple glazed windows: what you need to know

Triple glazing is increasingly popular with self-builders. We present a handy guide to the ins and outs of triple glazed windows.
Home Improvements

Get a healthy house when you install a ventilation system

Boosting the air quality in your home can have a transformative effect on health and happiness. We look at why adequate home ventilation really matters.
Home Improvements

Discover a wine room design service for self builders

Luxury wine storage can be the perfect addition to your statement home. Discover spiral cellars and bespoke walk-in wine rooms.