Expat Lawyer Turns UK Terrace Into a Beauty by Blending Tradition with Modernity

In North London’s Newington Green, expat lawyer Tess Bridgman and digital product designer Matjaz Cuk have turned their Victorian terraced house into a stunning blend of tradition and modernity. While the front of the house adheres to the typical terrace appearance with a row of brick houses, a bright yellow-painted front door hints at the contemporary transformation within. The couple envisioned marrying old and new elements, expanding the house at the rear to bring in more sunlight, and utilizing the back garden effectively—all while preserving the traditional frontage to honor the neighborhood’s heritage regulations. The result is a striking home that seamlessly integrates bold geometric extensions on the ground floor and the loft, all hidden from the street view.

Tess, originally from Wellington, serves as the general counsel for a London recycling and waste management company, while Mat, hailing from Slovenia, is a digital product designer. Their daughter Leni was born just weeks before the completion of the home renovations. The couple fell in love with this part of London for its small independent businesses, wine bars, cafes, parks, and vibrant community reminiscent of Wellington and Melbourne. Despite their terrace being one of the smaller versions of Victorian homes in London, its potential was evident, especially with a west-facing garden and an undeveloped loft. Emil Eve Architects, led by the husband-and-wife team Ross and Emma Perkin, collaborated with Tess and Mat to bring their vision to life, successfully transforming the tired terrace into a stunning space that maximizes the narrow property to its fullest potential.

The careful planning and collaboration with Emil Eve Architects have revitalized the Victorian terrace and created a harmonious blend of architectural elements that make the most of the available space. The project exemplifies how thoughtful design and a keen appreciation for historical and contemporary aesthetics can result in a home that pays homage to tradition but also meets the needs and aspirations of modern living.

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