A Modern Twee Cottage

Rees Architects, London, 2022



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A compact two-storey cottage in a conservation area in Richmond is home to a retired owner who wanted to create more space and more natural light in her humble abode.

The original space needed a redesign to improve the flow, create a more solid structure and let more light in. As the layout was long and narrow, Rees Architects decided to open up the entire ground floor and create pockets of space for specific functions. As the cottage had no hallway and the front door opened onto the living room, the team made this first section a transitional space before entering the lounge. The ceiling was lowered slightly, giving the feeling of a nook before the space opens out into the main sitting area. A larger front window was installed that provided an ideal spot for the bespoke travertine desk, offering a view outside. Rees Architects replaced the staircase to one that brings light into the center of the plan, and allows views through the staircase from when you enter the house to the back garden. This piece of bespoke joinery also meant that the steps neatly meet the slight outcrop of wall and gently draw the eye up. In the kitchen, the splashback, as well as the kitchen island, are made from bookmatched marble making it an attractive feature of the space from which other design elements were drawn. Heading outside, larch decking was laid level with the interior’s herringbone floor making for a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor, with an extension that is clad in black timber for contrast. A garden mirror also helped to make the courtyard look larger and add interest. Rees Architects created a new interior that takes the cottage from cosy to spacious and from chintz to chic.


  • Begun: Jun 2021
  • Completed: Apr 2022
  • Floor area: 80m2
  • Sector: House
  • Total cost: £310,000
  • Funding: Personal
  • Tender date: Mar 2021
  • Procurement: RIBA Domestic Building Contract
  • Address: Richmond, London, TW10 6DQ, United Kingdom

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