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Tooting Bec

This project was a great example of the mantra “don’t move improve”.  An existing 1 bedroom apartment that was creatively re-configured to provide a spacious 2 bedroom flat without extending.  Sometimes extending a property is not necessary and space can be found by reconfiguring layouts to provide better circulation, room size and spatiality.

After having a baby 6 months earlier and living in a 1 bedroom flat, this family desperately needed more space.  Given what is affordable in London in a good location is hard to find.  The existing 1 bedroom flat was already in a respectable, up and coming location in Tooting Bec.  Good transport links, a short walk to the tube station, 5 minutes walk to Tooting Bec Common, bars and restaurants.


The problem was the flat was on the top floor of a terrace house which was converted to 4 flats in the 80’s.  The existing layout was split level and had a dated kitchen with the only light source being a small rooflight over, and a large dressing area took up a significant proportion of space.   The living area was in an L shape with dead space to one side of the room.  The main bedroom was of a good size and the property received plenty of light to the lower level with large sash windows which also provided outlook.


Rather than relocate due to the London Market the solution was to re-configure the layout entirely.  We recommend that permission is sought from other freeholders or your leaseholder for any internal alterations that may require a licence of alteration. A knowledgable property solicitor should be able to guide you with the legal requirements.


Careful consideration was given to the existing structure, plumbing and layout.  By flipping the living and kitchen areas to the higher level, this freed up space within the existing l shaped living room to provide a family bathroom and second bedroom.   An existing soil vent pipe to the rear of the property allowed for the bathroom to be located in a completely new position without disrupting any of the other flats below.  Both bedrooms are of good proportions and all receive plenty of natural light and outlook, including the family bathroom, from the large sash windows.  New rooflights were added over the kitchen and 4 large rooflights over the new living area.  Utilising some of the existing eaves storage this allowed us to design a bespoke seating area boasting a huge 2.7m x 1m sofa.  By creating bespoke furniture this allowed for more space within the living area.  Bespoke designed wardrobes were also added to the bedrooms to replace the loss of the dressing area.  Providing fixed furniture, a second bedroom and better circulation space this flat not only works for a small family in London but can also be kept on for the rental market.

We love this project for its innovative ideas, clean and calming decor and overall space finding.  As the refurbishments works were mainly internal, only the rooflight windows had to be applied for planning permission with Wandsworth Council.


Key – Existing

  1. Eaves Storage
  2. Rooflight
  3. Kitchen
  4. Upper Hall
  5. Dressing
  6. Bathroom
  7. Master Bedroom

Key – Proposed

  1. Bedroom
  2. Lower Hall
  3. Bathroom
  4. Master Bedroom
  5. Kitchen
  6. Upper Hall
  7. Living
  8. Bespoke Sofa
  9. Eaves Storage

Carter Designs


Concept Design, Planning Permission, Refurbishment, Building Regulations, Working Drawings, Contract Administration