XUL Architecture reconfigure a North London house
The house was renovated with better circulation and daylight infiltration, resulting in a lovely refurbished home
North London-based XUL Architecture have renovated this family home in Highgate that had multiple circulation issues with different levels and spaces flowing in an uncomfortably unordered manner. By addressing these issues, XUL was able to create a space which is usable and filled with light.
Key to the refurbishment of this property was opening views from the front door through to the garden, drawing light in from both angles. A signature to all XUL projects is to consider the three directions of light that can be channelled into the building; from above, back and front of a property. XUL opened up the plastic skylight above the stairwell and replaced it with a contemporary glass alternative which now floods the space with light.
Sebastian Sandler, director at XUL, explains that “the house was spread over three floors and after many discussions with the owners, we decided to relocate the master bedroom to the top floor and create a suite for them. This allowed for the middle floor to become bedrooms for the children and guests.” The master suite comprises a bedroom, bathroom and walk-in wardrobe. The bathroom is accessed via the wardrobe so when the doors are closed it looks like typical wardrobe doors.
Maia Lemlij, founding partner at XUL, describes “the master bathroom is definitely a highlight in this home, it is pretty much another hangout space. The bath takes central space under the dormer window and curved ceiling. It has a steam shower in addition to a standard shower.”
The kitchen flooring was created with polished concrete which was continued to the kitchen countertop. Together with the grey cabinets, this took on an industrial look which was warmed up with the clever use of plywood, terracotta lamps and pots and decorated with greenery throughout. The room is filled with light from two sides and has a view to the front door.
Restoring original features of the property was part of the brief to the architects. Reclaimed wood was used for the flooring within the refurbished living room. The music room or “green room” as the owners refer to it has built-in storage which was already present in the house from a previous renovation. The homeowner enlisted the services of a fabric consultant who chose fabrics for the rooms to add colour and warmth to this vibrant home. The interior design was originally conceived by Philip Lihou from Inner Space London.