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Valetta House

A family in Ealing, with four children, commissioned Office S&M to refurbish their house and extend to create a generous living space on the ground floor and a new bedroom in the loft, so that each child had their own space in the house.

The narrow existing plan meant we had to be creative with the space. By removing some walls, opening up internal windows, and using light wells, we have been able to bring light deeper into the spaces.

We created a 'child-friendly' house in the broadest sense of the word, adding curves to the walls, a playful snakes-and-ladders bannister to the new room, and an arched window for each child. Meanwhile the adults are treated to a rich variety of materials, from encaustic floor tiles and glazed herringbone tiles, to fabric banquettes, plywood fingerpulls, and marble handrail ends.

‘The greatest joy of this renovation is that the architects have made the alterations so personal to us, with several pockets of space created to fit around how we live.‘ 

Rachel and Chris, Clients

The house now features an open-plan interior designed to meet the family's need for space, with a staircase and lightwell to connect the three floors and bring light down to the ground floor. A palette of carefully selected colours are used to reflect warm light throughout the spaces. By opening up windows, a view to the hall, and a lightwell past the stair, this warm light created a feeling of volume in the existing Victorian house.

Day-to-day, and from season to season, the passage of time is marked by changing light conditions throughout the house. As the children grow up, the house will change with them too, with the rounded cedar shingles on the exterior weathering and changing colour over time. 

To read in more detail about how we transform the homes of our residential clients, please click here.


Winner of Best Use of Materials at the New London Architecture
Don't Move, Improve! awards 2018


Location: Ealing, London
Project: Remodelling of Victorian property with two extensions
Client: Rachel and Chris
Completed: 2017


Architect: Office S&M 
Client: Rachel and Chris
Photographer: French + Tye
Building Control: Wilkinson Construction Consultants
Engineers: Built Engineers
Windows: Durable Windows
Rounded shingle: Marley Eternit


Featured in the book Be Bold by Emily Henson
The Sunday Times
Mail on Sunday
The Times
Grand Designs Magazine
Metro Newspaper
The Evening Standard
Homes & Property Evening Standard
Don’t Move, Improve! Magazine
Real Homes Magazine
SelfBuild & Design Magazine
AD Magazine (Germany)
Kitchen Living
Architektur Magazine (Austria)
Maison Creative Magazine (France)
D Fun Magazine (Taiwan) Evening Standard