Renovating a house is one thing. What architects Maya Carni and Ran Ankory did to their Victorian terrace home was more like a disembowelment. by Ruth Bloomfield
They stripped their run-down property back to basics, leaving just its front and side walls standing, then they rebuilt it from the ground up to the roof. The fortysomething couple spent £480,000 – much more than most of us could dream of having in the renovation/decoration kitty. But their expertise in adding value to a property and creating more flexible living space can give the rest of us ideas for upgrading our own homes – on a more modest scale and far more cheaply.
Maya and Ran wanted a modern family home for bringing up their sons, Romi, 11, and Leo, eight. In 2015 they paid £1 million for the four-bedroom house in Stoke Newington but despite its price tag it was in a sad condition, with uPVC windows and threadbare carpets, a dark basement kitchen and not enough bathrooms. Over eight months during 2015 and 2016 they remodelled the house completely – and as co-founders of Scenario Architecture they were at least able to save on architect fees.
The biggest structural change was lowering the basement floor and replacing the ceiling above it with a steel-supported floating mezzanine, creating a dramatic, light-filled kitchen with a new glass wall overlooking the garden; a living space on the gallery above, plus new stairs connecting the two spaces. A neat workstation for the boys has been tucked beneath the mezzanine steps – a desk and bench seat which slide away beneath the stairs when not in use. Built-in cupboards were fitted along the hall to boost storage, while upstairs the half-landing was enlarged and lined with bookshelves.