London’s Best Home Renovations In 2022

don’t move, improve 2022 shortlist a tuscan veranda by turner architects

Billy Bolton

London’s most outstanding home renovation projects have been shortlisted for the 2022 Don’t Move, Improve! awards.

Don’t Move, Improve!, a project run by New London Architecture (NLA), encourages great design, celebrates the newest and most innovative home improvement projects across London, and encourages homeowners to embark on their own home improvement projects.

The annual competition – now in its 12th year – showcases the diversity and character of homes being redesigned in the city. While the most common types of extension are rear and side, with interior refits, there are some notable design trends for 2022. Interconnected indoor/outdoor spaces, use of wood and natural materials, a spectrum of greens to define living spaces, curved shapes and statement ceilings are recurring themes among the shortlist.

‘This year’s submissions delighted our jury with innovative approaches to structure, layout, materials and colour. We were looking for creativity, originality, liveability, and cost-effectiveness, as well as consideration of environmental impact and local context,’ says Amy Chadwick Till, Programme Director at NLA and Chair of the Judging Panel. ‘Don’t Move, Improve! aims to encourage great domestic-scale design across the city, so we are really pleased to have another shortlist that showcases a wide range of budgets, building styles, locations and homeowner needs.’

Over 200 family home extensions were submitted for Don’t Move, Improve! but what homes made the shortlist? Take a look at the top 15 home improvement projects in London. Winners will be announced in May 2022.

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Location: Lambeth

Designed by: Turner Architects

This kitchen remodelling and extension of a family home offers framed views of the house through the garden and a relaxed space for entertaining. It draws on the Italian style of the terraced house with classic and perfectly proportioned Romanesque arches. And the kitchen, previously small with no room for a table and disconnected from the garden, is now the focus of the house and the centrepiece of family life.

Location: Lewisham

Designed by: Archmongers Architects

Little Brownings is a home extension set in a three storey 1960s terraced house on the Dulwich Estate in Forest Hill.

This extension has improved the existing house without losing any of its 1960s character, turning it into an uncompromising modern house for years to come.

Location: Lewisham

Designed by: Fraher & Findlay

This home renovation project of a one-bedroom first floor flat looked at different ways to extend spaces at roof level.

The architects designed an inverse plan with the kitchen and dining spaces overlooking the rooftops, with the bedrooms underneath them. The result is a light living and landing space connected by a perforated metal staircase.

Location: Lewisham

Designed by: Benjamin Wilkes

This timber framed single-storey extension to a Victorian family home in the Lee Manor Conservation Area enlarges the kitchen space to accommodate the needs of a growing young family.

To reduce site wastage, bricks from the existing external wall were salvaged and reused on the flank walls. The pergola structure is formed by a series of oak ribs, offering both privacy and shade. Warm and tactile materials, such as clay render, oak, and terrazzo, create a bold and colourful interior.

Location: Lewisham

Designed by: Red Squirrel Architects

This renovation project of an existing two storey semi-detached Victorian house in Forest Hill has resulted in an open and light interconnected living space.This has been achieved through two small rear extensions and the remodelling of the lower area of the rear elevation, plus a landscaped external terrace – all achieved by adding only 10 square metres of additional floorspace!

Location: Southwark

Designed by: Proctor and Shaw

This project reveals a deep retrofit to the upper storeys of a Victorian home. Additional rooms and a master bedroom ensuite (which enjoys abundant light from a series of six windows) are created under the new highly insulated roof.The loft extension is a custom Accoya timber-framed window system, with a vertical coffered design.

Location: Southwark

Designed by: nimtim architects

This extension completely reinvents an existing 1920s semi-detached house through the addition of a single joinery element that brings functionality, warmth, and tactility to a reimagined family space.

Through fragments of arched alcoves, a motif throughout the new design, the joinery showcases the clients’ collection of objects. The joinery partitions conceal structural elements, large sliding doors, and include glazed openings that allow playful glimpses to and from adjacent spaces.

8. Artist Studio Conversion

Location: Kensington and Chelsea

Designed by: VATRAA

This is a conversion of a former artist studio into an energy efficient, four-bedroom home. Inspired by the clients’ interest in spirituality and meditation, VATRAA explored the spiritual quality of the space through views, light and materials orchestrated in a simple, calm composition.

Location: North Kensington

Designed by: Oliver Leech Architects

This Victorian terrace house required a full overhaul. The clients wanted to celebrate natural materials, travel memories, and create a home perfect for entertaining. The design team stripped the house back to its bare bones, digging a new basement under the existing structure to provide a new kitchenette, guest bedroom and cinema room.

The use of simple materials, such as exposed Douglas fir timber beams and steelwork, polished concrete, and unfinished plaster, creates a raw and warm environment, which will age gracefully over time.

Location: Hackney

Designed by: Gundry + Ducker

The remodelled space in Bay Window House features the addition of a modern staircase connecting the ground floor to the new space below. The extension is designed in the form of a new bay window as a counterpoint to the original bays.

11. Concrete Plinth House

Location: Hackney

Designed by: DGN Studio

Concrete Plinth House features a series of concrete plinths, embedded into the ground of a Victorian end of terrace house. The plinths support the oak frame and steel structure, which make up the fabric and lining of the new space. While the sunken concrete base grounds the house with an atmosphere of permanence, the glazed and panelled oak frame filters light into the house to create a serene space.

Location: Haringey


Set amongst the only remaining ancient oaks outside Highgate Wood, this house is a unique urban oasis, nestled in a semi-sunken position in the back garden plot.

Providing multiple family living spaces and enhancing biodiversity, the aim was to create a beautiful and functional family home, capable of adapting to the needs and future demands.

Location: Camden

Designed by: Proctor and Shaw

This small house renovation project is conceived as a prototype for micro-living: poky and uncomfortable cellular rooms have been replaced by a generous multi-functional living space arranged around a translucent sleeping pod inspired by Japanese Shoji screens.

By cleverly stacking accommodation in a single height volume, the additional floor area provides a real sense of luxury and design quality, in under 30 square metres.

Location: Enfield

Designed by: Ashton Porter Architects

This home renovation features an extension and internal refurbishment to a 19th century cottage. Located within the Enfield Lock Conservation Area and situated on a narrow strip of land between the River Lea and Lee Navigation, Slide and Slot House features a conversion of a two-bedroom house to a three-bedroom modern living accommodation, with the addition of a new living space.

Anthracite zinc was the material of choice – selected to refer to the industrial heritage of the small arms factory where materials were typically transported via the adjacent canal to the factory.

Location: Waltham Forest

Designed by: AOC

This is a remodelled and extended semi-detached Victorian house on a tree-lined street in Highams Park. The homeowners wanted to retain the comfortable intimacy but introduce more space, so a single storey garage was removed, and a set of new connected spaces wrapped around the side and rear of the house.

At the heart of the home is a triple height kitchen, overlooking a garden room, with an attic room perched above.

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