Kingsdown Household is a significant Victorian house that sits in the shade of a experienced oak a number of streets back again from the seafront in Tankerton, Kent. The dwelling was crafted by a Dutch delivery magnate in the early 1900s and now belongs to the Wise household – Dan, Jodie and their three college-age youngsters, Cameron, Edie and George.

A suburb of Whitstable, Tankerton has develop into increasingly well known with households going out of London (or “DFLs”– Down From London – as they are recognised locally). “We employed to dwell in Blackheath,” describes Jodie. “Whitstable was only a 50-minute travel from there, so on sunny days, when Cameron was very little, we would generally arrive below for the day.”

In 2016, the young loved ones discovered by themselves taking into consideration a more long term shift to the coastline Kingsdown House was the second house they viewed. “It was that classic point,” Jodie remembers. “I just acquired that feeling: this is the residence.”

Heat welcome: the triple-peak entrance corridor. Photograph: Jo Bridges/The Observer

The household used the summer in this article, participating in disguise and seek in the “rabbit warren” of rooms. Shortly following, Dan was posted to Chicago for two a long time and the loved ones have been forced to relocate. They determined to deal with a extended-length, whole-scale renovation of the household, operating with their shut buddies, Sonya Flynn and Mark Baker of Meme Architects, to change this a few-storey, product-and-brown behemoth into a flowing, practical and deeply deluxe spouse and children household.

The operate began in 2017 and took nearly two years to complete. “Luckily, we experienced Sonya and Mark to make most of the decisions on our behalf,” says Jodie. “They would slim options down for us so it wasn’t entirely overwhelming: WhatsApp was vital.”

Externally, the mock-tudor facade has been simplified. A new garage and annexe with guest lodging has been additional to the aspect of the residence and a continuous band of charred timber cladding has been employed to tie the new framework in with the primary making. The home windows and doorways have been changed with aluminium and, amongst the beams, a gray-inexperienced render balances the darkish timber with the bronze finish on the window frames.

The main entrance is a vast, welcoming, glass pivot door that delivers you right into a thrilling triple-top house. With their generous floorplan, the couple had been able to loose a rest room on the 2nd flooring to produce this void, which has been painted solely in deep eco-friendly (Thunderbolt by Valspar). Bespoke joinery and below-seat storage conceal litter. “Storage is everything,” claims Jodie. “You can in no way have enough cabinets.” The entrance is missed by a gallery landing and a big pendant lamp created from folds of crushed silk illuminates the room.

The dining table in the kitchen looks out through a wall of glass doors to the garden
Meal views: the dining table in the kitchen area, with garden outlook. Photograph: Jo Bridges/The Observer

I wonder how the exposed entrance performs when the little ones occur home from college and dump their luggage/footwear/coats: “Ah,” says Jodie, knowingly. “We have a different entrance for the conclusion of the school working day.” Concealed in the wooden cladding is a regular-sized door that opens into a useful boot room, adjoining laundry and dwelling gym. Listed here, the children can get rid of their possessions before earning their way via the rest of the household.

Internally, the format has been entirely reimagined. Glazing and pocket doorways make it possible for for rooms to open up or shut down relying on who’s home and what’s going on in the dwelling at any just one time, whilst the bold use of wealthy colors conjures distinct moods as you go through the place. “Before, I would not have any perception of in which the small children had been – it all felt quite disconnected, which is not a excellent feeling in your have home.”

From the lobby, glazed doorways open up on to a kids’ playroom. To the proper is a minimalist kitchen area that stretches the entire width of the residence. The layout allows for an “overflow area” – a useful, but no a lot less elegant utility area with a wall of fridges and a glazed doorway that opens immediately on to the entrance generate.

At the other close of the kitchen area, ground-to-ceiling glazing opens up the view of the back garden, which has been cleverly zoned and planted with a blend of tree ferns indigenous to New Zealand (Jodie’s homeland) and evergreen shrubs for privacy. The glazed wall proceeds across the again of the floor ground to type a glass corridor that carries via to the kids’ playroom by way of a sliding pocket door and into the library/examine over and above.

A deep black free-standing bath, in front of a glass-walled walk-in shower. There are two windows letting in light, and plants dotted around the surfaces.
Darkish clean: the black granite en suite. Photograph: Jo Bridges/The Observer

Further than the study, a grown-up drawing area is attained through a panelled reception corridor that includes an spectacular, original split staircase that rises to a galleried landing. This place was clad entirely in varnished oak when the couple very first moved in, but has because been painted a moody blue (Hague Blue by Farrow & Ball). The architects have replicated this unique panelling and utilized it in each of the key rooms, building a sense of completeness.

Upstairs, a narrow, nonsensical staircase has been taken out allowing place for a hanging black granite en suite in the most important bed room. Up coming door, the smallest bed room has been turned into a dressing place. The vibrant kids’ rooms (two en-suite just one with accessibility to a balcony overlooking the yard) have been arranged at just the right length from their parents’. A new staircase has been additional that connects the kids’ rooms to the major floor, exactly where there is an expansive online games room less than the eaves, a monochrome cinema home (“for viewing Encanto”) and two generous visitor bedrooms.

“What’s awesome, is that the dwelling hasn’t missing its first allure,” describes Jodie as we end our prolonged tour. Arched doorways and stone hearth surrounds have been kept intact and, at the foot of the staircase, a shiny ship’s compass that belonged to the first proprietor is embedded in the wood panelling.

Getting coordinated the renovation from the other aspect of the Atlantic, I check with Jodie how it felt to last but not least shift in:

“We were determined to appear back again from Chicago, due to the fact we knew this was waiting for us,” Jodie states. “We caught the initially flight we could and it was a welcome household. We could not have been any happier.”