How one family reinvented their Wimbledon residence with an unusual curved shape that is cleverly echoed throughout the home
When Alex Chamberlain and family moved into their Wimbledon home, they were set on making changes and, having had work done to a previous property, they knew just who to call. ‘When we bought the house it was curved on one side at the back and gabled on the other.’ says Alex. ‘R&M Lines had worked on my last property, I knew they were a great team and trusted them, so there was no question I would go to them to make the changes needed.’
The house was extended and adapted with curving full-width folding doors, which open out onto the wonderful garden. The finished effect gives a nautical feel to the family home and fills the property with space and light. ‘The house is not recognisable as the house we bought,’ says Alex.
She used an architect recommended by R&M Lines ‘as it was important for me to use a team that had worked together. We knew we did not want a standard box extension on the back of the house, and that all views should show the garden, which is why we arrived at the concept of the wavy doors and curves on the extension. The team were part of the whole process and involved at every stage so we were sure our plans were achievable from a building perspective.’
Alex recommends building up a relationship with your project manager, as she did with Battersea-based R&M Lines’ Tom. ‘It was fantastic having someone that I could trust to oversee the process because you can’t be there the whole time,’ she says. ‘I really enjoyed being part of the creative side, but Tom understood what I needed, and has a really good eye. He was fantastic at making suggestions, shortlisting things like handles for cupboards and statement colour schemes, as well as guiding me on the right structural decisions and how to make use of the spaces to create our perfect home.’
Alex wanted the home to have ‘fun elements’ and to be functional and adaptive to suit the family’s lifestyle. These ideas came into fruition with a drop ceiling in one of the living areas – with disco lights or ambient lighting depending on the mood – and the en suite to the master bedroom, which has a walk-in dressing room that can be accessed directly from the shower and which leads back into the house, meaning that Greg can avoid disturbing his family when he gets up for work very early. Attention to detail also included low-level lighting that means children can visit the bathroom at night without needing to switch on the lights.
‘It was a very smooth process. R&M Lines employs talented individuals who care about what they do and about your home,’ says Alex, who was also full of praise about the aftercare. ‘They are always at the end of the phone when you need them. This is why I came back to them for this house and other projects such as the conversion of the garage into a gym. It is one of my favourite parts of the house that I use every single day.’
Alex couldn’t be happier with the end result. ‘As a family it has made us very happy because we open the door and we love our home. I love being here, I spend more time at home than I ever used to. I think it is good for people to be in their homes and it is very healthy for a young family. It gives kids great security. It is a great place to be a kid and a very happy home for them to have their friends around.
‘It has also become the social hub of our family and friends. We have more gatherings and entertain much more than ever before and that is because we have a wonderful and sociable space.’ Alex adds that they wanted their home to be ‘future proof’: ‘The choice of cupboards and fittings mean that in time a playroom can become a grown-up space or somewhere the girls can do their homework.’
For further information on R&M Lines’ services, call 020 7978 7840 or visit rmlines.com