Explore a Georgian semi in East London with a minimalist Scandi-style aesthetic

How do you transform a standard Georgian semi in East London into your dream home? Extend it every which way, then add wow architectural features and huge windows to bring the outside in.

Georgian semi in east London


A late Georgian semi in East London. The modern homes' lower ground floor has a kitchen/dining/living area and WC. Upstairs there’s a library, home office and guest bedroom, plus a bathroom and laundry. On the top floor is the master bedroom suite.

See more inspiring modern homes


The owner brought on Martyn Clarke, who has built a reputation for thoughtfully designed contemporary residential projects. The existing floor plan didn’t work, the bathrooms to the rear of the upper and lower ground floors blocked off the garden and the place was cramped, with boxy rooms and narrow staircases. 

The house was also the only one left in the street without a side extension–giving it a ‘missing tooth’ frontage. This lack proved to be an advantage, making the planning application a breeze.

Georgian semi in east London

It took the team a year to complete the project. The two-storey side extension created a new kitchen and WC on the lower ground floor with an extended bedroom (now the home office) and bathroom plus study area on the floor above and boosted the house from 1,400 to 2,100 square feet. Then the lower ground floor was opened up to create open-plan living, dining and kitchen areas.

Georgian semi in east London

A bold decision was taken to excavate the floor down eight inches to give the dining area a more imposing height. This was a big drain on the budget, not least because it led to the discovery of water-logged foundations.

It was the low point in the project but it was better to get it sorted sooner rather than later. In the end, the added hassle was worth it to get the extra height. The garden, now made up of contrasting blocks of formal box hedging and free-form meadow bordered by bleached limes and copper beeches is now the focal point of the house.

Georgian semi in east London

A raised area wraps around the room, serving as display area and extra seating for parties. The floor was excavated by a further eight inches to get more height in this room.

Georgian semi in east London

See Also: Laid-back Luxe Dining Room Ideas


Designer Martyn Clarke had the confidence to go for a contemporary look with a very simple palette of materials including grey flamed granite across floors and worktops and white oak woodwork throughout.

Georgian semi in east London

Here, as elsewhere, a simple palette of materials set the tone, using mostly black, white and grey, granite and oak.

Georgian semi in east London


Steps divide the living room from the dining area, zoning the open plan space and making each area feel bigger.

Georgian semi in east London


This room, which had retained its original features, was planned to be a contrast with the rest of the house with dark grey walls and rich tones in the furniture.

Georgian semi in east London

The circular picture is a night scene of small towns in South Africa by South African artist Henk Serfontin.

Georgian semi in east London


Another of Martyn Clarke’s master strokes was to replace the narrow and rickety old staircase with slatted oak that lets light pour right into the centre of the house.

Georgian semi in east London


This study area in the entrance hall on the upper ground floor is the perfect nook for concentrating.

Georgian semi in east London


This room was designed to maximise views over the garden and the sedum roof so you can appreciate them while working.

Georgian semi in east London


The existing features in this room were preserved. The African figures were picked up in Cape Town.

Georgian semi in east London


This space feels completely neutral with the palette of grey, black, white that's used throughout the house. Calming textiles add interest.

Georgian semi in east London


The main bathroom is in the upper ground floor extension, lit from above via a large rectangular skylight that provides drama and privacy.The bathroom is also where the laundry is done, in hidden built-in cabinets.

Georgian semi in east London

See the full range of Material Life furniture at material-life.co.uk, view Martyn Clarke’s portfolio at martynclarkearchiture.com.

Photography–Rachael Smith

See Also: Master bathroom ideas - 19 stunning design ideas for a dreamy master bathroom


Shining a spotlight on the now and the next in home design and decor, Livingetc is the UK's best selling high end and contemporary home design magazine. As a brand, showcases the world's very best homes, and has access to leading international designers for insight and ideas. it was first published in 1998, and is currently edited by Pip McCormac.