Telling a story with your home


exterior of modern house with black pitched roof


Image: French + Tye

Planning a renovation or building a new house from scratch? Working with an architect means you have access to cutting edge approaches, expert solutions and a holistic approach that encompasses the building and interiors. We look at the award-winning approach of one acclaimed practice…

The complete approach

No matter how strong your design ideas are, it’s always worth getting an architect or design firm on board when you’re planning a new home or renovation. Developing ideas, designs and solutions is their day-to-day business and they can inject a fresh approach to your plans that can completely change the way your home works.

interior of home with wood furniture and planted courtyard

Image: French + Tye

Key to this is putting the client – the homeowner – at the front and centre of everything. That’s the approach that Gruff Architects take, combining the customer’s wishes with a creative approach to each space they’re faced with. It’s an approach that has garnered them numerous awards.

woman watering plants in internal courtyard of house

Image: French + Tye

Directors Emily Burnett and Rhys Cannon work with a team of architects who, between them, oversee a broad range of projects that include the crafting of projects in their entirety – from plans to interior finishes. A case in point is the stunning Harefield Road East home that marries a contemporary timber palette with a planted interior courtyard. Not only does the greenery contrast with the wooden elements and furniture, it also allows the house to breathe and highlights the complete approach that Gruff pioneer.


Context is king

Key to all of this is crafting a vision for each home and project they undertake, with an end result that aims to be innovative and immensely liveable at the same time. Part of this is thinking contextually – putting together a design-led home that works well in its surroundings, is architecturally striking and yet sympathetic, and that works for the family that lives in it.

dining area with man ascending stairs behind

Image: French + Tye

One such project was Pitched Black, a stunning new build in Brockley, London. As this is Rhys Cannon’s own home, there was extra pressure to get it right – it’s not just a family house, it’s also a showcase. The highest standards of craftsmanship were applied to both the interior and exterior, with a pitched roof that leans away from the neighbouring houses and gardens, thus firmly occupying its own delineated space. The position of the glazing simultaneously ensures privacy and panoramic views, in a part of London where both things are a rarity. The end result is a symbol of their inventive work.

open plan kitchen and dining area with island and modern furniture

Image: French + Tye

Tailor made for you

Equally striking, albeit very different in composition, is Algiers Road, with its central chimney feature punching through the saw-toothed roof and an elegant interplay of timber and concrete throughout. It’s a place with a completely different feel, showing the diversity of styles that Gruff can offer.

back of modern design house with outside fire

Image: Ben Blossom

However, the attitude to the projects don’t differ – it’s always about realising the potential of the space for the end-user and coming up with unique and brave ways to juggle space and light.

interior of extension with sliding doors rooflights and wooden dining furniture

Image: Ben Anders

To discover more about Gruff Architects, their portfolio and to talk to them about how they can help you plan your new home or makeover, get in touch online.

open plan dining and kitchen area with sliding doors and rooflights

Image: Ben Blossom

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Kevins Column

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