architectural design ideas to modernise a house


Maximise The Value Of Your Home

Sometimes a client will contact us because they want to modernise their house, but they are not quite sure what work to do. There are lots of ways that an architectural project can make a big difference and our job is to improve the house in the way that works best for our client.

This could be adding space by building an extension or a basement, or by improving the flow of the space by opening up the existing layout. Often older houses are dark and can be improved by bringing much more natural light in to the space with glass roofs or roof lights. And more and more often improving the energy use and sustainable credentials of the house is a key part of the design work.

Every project is different but these are a few of the main ideas to consider when modernising a house.

Modernise A House

Architectural Design Ideas

extend your home


Build An Extension

Building an extension is a good way to add space and value to a house. Depending on the type of extension it can be one of the most cost effective things to do to modernise a home. You can read through our Extension Cost post to get an idea of how much an extension would cost to build.

As well as adding space an extension is a great opportunity to improve the aesthetic of a house. It is important to be sensitive to the original building, but a well planned contemporary design can improve the space and the look of the building a lot.

Add More Space

extend down to add a basement


Construct A Basement

Basements are now much more popular as a way to add a large amount of space to a house. Using modern construction techniques it is possible to add a basement under a house with less disruption than an extension. And planning permission can be easier too since the basement is all below ground.

Our Basement Design Guide has more detailed information on what to consider if you are planning a basement to modernise your home.


Enhance Your Space

make the house more open


Bring More Light In

Bringing natural light deep in to the space is one of the main things that you can do to modernise your house. Contemporary spaces tend to be well lit whereas older homes are often darker because they are split in to smaller rooms and have less glazing. Adding modern roof lights, or even a glass roof can be a fantastic way to give the house a more modern feel and make it a more enjoyable space to live in.


Open Up The Space

Modern living tends to centre around a large open plan space, usually including the kitchen, a dining area and maybe somewhere to sit and relax. Each part of the space should have its own character, but when they flow together as one space the space feels more modern in nature. It also helps to modernise the space if it is connected to the garden visually and physically. This way the garden becomes a well used additional space in the summer months, and an important feature and backdrop to the open plan space for the rest of the year.


Add A Bedroom

extend upwards into the loft


Add A Loft Conversion

Loft Conversions do not need to be ugly things with dormer windows. A well designed loft conversion can be an opportunity to modernise a house with a fantastic new space that will add value and character to the property. Using large amounts of glazing and maximising on the views that you can get from being higher up is often a good idea.


Energy and Technology

make your house more comfortable


Improve Energy Use

Sustainable design and living are becoming more and more important as we recognise the impact of the way we live on our environment. Modernising a house is a great opportunity to improve the energy use and sustainability and reduce the carbon footprint. This can be achieved through simple changes such as installing modern boilers and heating systems, through to architectural changes like adding insulated render to the house to reduce heat loss. It is also a good idea to consider replacing lighting throughout the house with modern low energy LED light fittings and controls, and the products available are brilliant and improving all the time.

More Guidance

all posts

We have written a number of posts which provide information and guidanceto anyone considering a project. These include advice on design and planning of new homes, renovations and extensions.



If you have a project you would like to discuss with us then just drop us a line using this form and we will get back to you. Or call us in our London studio on 020 3920 9805.

We will be happy to help and we look forward to hearing from you.



+44 (0)20 3920 9805


45 Dresden Rd, London, N19