Before & After: Terraced House in Hackney Gets A Modern Make-Over

A formerly dark and cluttered terraced house in Hackney has been completely transformed, and is now a light, spacious family home – with a sauna in the garden.

A dark, cluttered and dated terraced house in Hackney was a developer's dream and in desperate need of a complete overhaul. It also presented a lot of opportunities,including the possibility to add a side return and a rear extension.

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The owners, a professional couple, taskedLondon-based architecture and interiors practice, Applied Studio, to transform the house into a light, spacious family home.


Now it boasts an elegant, glazed side extension and zinc clad mansard extension which allow natural light to flood through the house.

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The owners had ambitions to create their dream home from their current house – rather than relocating.

They wanted to overhaul the tight, poorly lit interior spaces and create a connection with a tranquil garden area.

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The project involved stripping out the structure from the rear and adding a glazed side extension providing an open plan kitchen and dining space which flows from the central living area and into the garden, complete with window seat and a vast pivot door.

Chevron granite tiles mirror the timber flooring and split the ground floor along the existing wall line, retaining a sense of the original character of the house.

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The galley kitchen had been cramped and a bit dated...


But now, a black and spacious open-plan kitchen looks modern and fresh.

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The window is recessed and allows for a deep window seat, framing the view to the garden.

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Before, the garden was an uninviting and wasted, dark space.


Now, a timber outbuilding houses a shower, living space and sauna at the end of a newly landscaped garden.

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The new structure offers a retreat style space for the homeowners, extending the living areas to the outside.

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Inside, there was a poor flow of natural light, and rooms felt cramped and pokey.


With the rear extension and side return added, and a wall knocked down to create a flow between the living and dining spaces, the indoor spaces are now finally flooded with natural light and provide sight lines right through to the garden.

The amount of natural light now in the property completely transforms the space.

Crittall doors separate the main living space from an office and the entrance hallway at the front of the house.

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A dramatic frameless skylight sits over the refurbished stairs and provides a double height space up to the new, zinc clad mansard extension.

Upstairs in the new mansard extension, minimally framed, large-format glazing provides extensive views from the master bedroom.

A marble clad en-suite bathroom also benefits from a frameless skylight over the shower.

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Dark joinery with darkened bronze recessed handles provides a dramatic contrast for the kitchen and storage.

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The front of the house needed a clean-up too, as it was overgrown and looking unkept.


Now a new exterior reflects the fresh interiors.

Architect: Applied Studio

Photography: Nicholas Worley

Lotte Brouwer

Lotte is the Digital Editor for Livingetc, and has been with the website since its launch. She has a background in online journalism and writing for SEO, with previous editor roles at Good Living, Good Housekeeping, Country & Townhouse, and BBC Good Food among others, as well as her own successful interiors blog. When she's not busy writing or tracking analytics, she's doing up houses, two of which have features in interior design magazines. She's just finished doing up her house in Wimbledon, and is eyeing up Bath for her next project.