When Mata Architects' Dan Marks’ family outgrew their mid-terrace London house, they decided to refurbish: reconfiguring the entire home while also adding a generous rear extension - providing both teenagers and parents with more independence and personal space. Raw, earthy colours and materials, including a light, textured oak floor, are used throughout the house.
Clad in dramatic jet-black charred timbers
In contrast, the outside of the rear extension and garden room are clad in dramatic jet-black charred timbers. The extension is clad in a zig-zagging pattern of charred ‘Honshu’ oak, whilst the garden room features charred larch ‘Takage’ battens. Utilising the Japanese technique of sealing timber through charring appealed to Dan: "I like the idea that the charring process, done properly, seals the wood so that future maintenance becomes unnecessary – no longer the need to paint and repaint periodically".
Extension provides additional living space
Now called 'ZigZag House', for the distinctive siding, its extension has provided additional living space to the home that the family has lived in since 2009. Having an extra living area in the kitchen and in the garden studio means that there are multiple options for gathering as a family but also for spending time alone. The studio has become a favourite place for the kids to hang out with their friends.
Neutral oversized herringbone parquet
The entire ground floor features an oversized herringbone parquet in the colour-neutral Tate Bute. Dan and Samantha chose the Bute for its texture and natural, earthy shade that fits well within the palette of neutral colours throughout the house. ''My wife, Samantha, wanted a herringbone floor, and we were drawn to the large format as it's less busy and the space is big enough to support this,'' says Dan.
Better connection between inside and out
The addition of the kitchen's glazed sliding doors and level threshold creates a continuous visual progression into the garden, enhancing the relationship between inside and outside. The wood parquet flows seamlessly into the warm hued limestone pavers of the terrace. ''Creating a better connection between inside and out was of paramount importance; both visual and physical", added Dan.
The subtle coolness present in the Tate Bute compliments the grey and beige figuring of the quartz worktops and back splashes. The same Bute herringbone that graces the kitchen/diner, hops up to a landing between between the kitchen and the living room, where a bijou study with built-in desk has been created. From the study, it climbs a few steps to carry on into the living room.
Parquet floor takes centre stage
It is in the living room that the parquet truly shows off to the fullest. The room, with the traditional architectural features, such as the fireplace, reworked to their most minimal, allows the floor to take centre stage. It is chief design feature. The pale area rug, while obscuring a portion of the herringbone, simply manages to accentuate it instead.
Tate Skye planks
Moving upstairs, the scheme shifts gears ever so slightly. Dan and Samantha kept the oak Tate with its distinctive, parallel saw marks. In these spaces, however, they chose straightforward planks, 185mm in width. In addition, they went with the lighter shade of Tate Skye. The Tate Skye runs throughout the master bedroom and into the en suite. Whereas downstairs, the Bute herringbone dazzles; upstairs, the Skye planks charm. Both are a triumph.
Photography: Lorenzo Zandri