4 ideas for reconfiguring an internal layout to maximise natural light

In reconfiguring the layout of this Hampstead home, every space feels light and bright, while the home flows better as a whole.

By Hugh Metcalf | 17 July 2020

This renovation project by XUL Architecture has brought light from multiple angles to the main spaces of the home.

exterior rear of house renovation project - home improvements - grand designs

Image: Matt Clayton

Briefed with improving the circulation and extending the house to create a larger formal living room, London-based practice XUL Architecture approached this project in a prestigious Hampstead Garden suburb by looking at the internal layout to ensure that every area was served by natural light from a multitude of angles, leaving now dark and awkward spaces.

This included converting an existing garage to a playroom, and opening out the hallway and kitchen to make lighter and brighter open-plan areas.

Take a look at the smart configuration choices the architects made to ensure this property met their client’s brief.

Make an entrance

Entrance vestibule with crittal style door - grand designs - home improvements

Image: Matt Clayton

To create better sight-lines on the ground floor, the entry to the entrance vestibule was replaced with a Crittall-style glass, helping this space stay bright and open. A glass door at the rear garden entrance establishes an unobstructed view from the front to the back of the house.

Creating corridors

crittall glass from living room to corridor - grand designs - home improvements

Image: Matt Clayton

In turning the garage into a playroom for the children, space had to be reclaimed from the living room to make a corridor down to the space. However, rather than leave the living room open on to the corridor, or create a dark corridor between spaces, XUL used another Crittall screen to create a divide, but that keeps the hallway bright.