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The best of both worlds

Stephen Campbell and Laura Hilton have successfully transformed a rundown Victorian property in London into a contemporary family abode

Stephen Campbell and Laura Hilton had been house hunting for three years before they discovered the dwelling that provided the perfect fit for the renovation scheme they’d long envisioned. “I’ve always had an interest in architecture and design,”says Stephen. “We saw a lot of properties before we found this one, and some of them had already been refurbished reasonably well. But each time I went on a viewing, I couldn’t help but think about what I would have done differently.”

Situated on a quiet street in west London, the Victorian semidetached house exuded plenty of traditional charm – from the outside. Inside, it was a different matter. “The property had been divided into bedsits and was extremely rundown,”says Stephen. “There was a kitchen and two to three bedrooms on each floor – it needed to be completely stripped back.” The dwelling also came with a back garden large enough to accommodate a spacious extension – another advantage for the couple, whose one-year-old twins were growing up quickly

Wanting to stay in west London where their children were already registered for local schools, Stephen and Laura seized the opportunity and put in an offer. “I love the architecture on this street and the characterful period facades really appeal to me,”says Stephen. “However, I also like the modern aesthetic, so I was keen to create a bright open space with ceilings as high as possible that all the family would want to spend time in.”

First steps

After toying with the idea of having the renovation and extension works carried out by a design and build contractor, Stephen decided he’d need to hire a professional architect to successfully execute the scheme he had in mind. A builder he’d been discussing the job with recommended Alex Upton of AU Architects – impressed by his previous projects, Stephen quickly brought him on board.

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About Build It

The November edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A self-built first home for just £47,000 (page 48) • Why build with oak? (page 64) • Rainwater goods: repair or replace? (page 67) • 5 renovation tips for a healthy home (page 81) • Is open plan living right for you (page 103) • Expert guide to lighting and electrics (page 112) … and more!