A Reinvented Terrace House in London Is Chock-Full of Clever Storage

By Kathryn M. / Published by Dwell

A modular, adjustable, floor-to-ceiling storage wall is just one of the renovated home’s solutions.

When the clients, a young family, first locked eyes on the outdated, 1930s terrace house that would become their home, they saw past its awkward layout and focused on its potential. To help bring it into fruition, the family turned to London–based Gruff Architects for a gut renovation, ripping out the ground floor and replacing the layout with an open plan suitable for modern-day living.

Once a humdrum 1930s terrace house, Bearstead Rise has been beautifully reimagined by London–based firm Gruff Architects into a vibrant, 1,500-square-foot abode.

Photo by French and Tye

Join the Renovations Newsletter
Sign Up

During the top-down overhaul, the team created a floor-to-ceiling, modular, and adjustable birch-ply storage wall—perfect for displaying books, photos, and memorabilia.

Photo by French and Tye

With a built-in window seat, the area is now a hub for entertainment and relaxation.

Photo by French and Tye

The upper levels also received fresh makeovers, with the first floor being converted into a space for the clients’ children, and the second becoming an airy master suite.

On the upper levels, the bedrooms feature bespoke storage and seating, using with the same language and material as the living area below.

Photo by French and Tye

The team purposively opted for neutral materials—such as cork floor tiles, engineered timber floorboards, and birch-ply joinery—to form the home's fabric. Zinc yellow door fronts in the kitchen, an anthracite gray staircase, concrete tiles, and pale wood floors further emphasize the key elements, while effortlessly linking the various levels and rooms.

A glimpse into the bathroom connected to the bedroom.

Photo by French and Tye

Shop the Look

MASHstudios LAX Storage Bench

Forged in MASHstudios Founder Bernard Brucha’s modern, clean aesthetic, the Storage Bench combines Solid English walnut construction with a charcoal grey sliding felt seat. The Storage Bench is a perfect welcome piece for any home or office design. Finished with natural oil, the Bench continues MASH’s commitment to sustainability and producing furniture built to last a lifetime.  The seat cover: A reinforced double stitch seals the edge of a sliding felt seat, designed for accessing the storage box below. With ample storage for those things you’d like to keep out of sight and two shelves for footwear, this storage bench will contribute to keeping your place in perfect order. Photo Courtesy of HORNE


Kartell Componibili White Storage Module

Designed by Anna Castelli Ferrieri in 1969, the Componibili storage unit from Kartell is a design classic that keeps on making new friends. The storage unit is suitable for various uses and suits all kinds of decors. Place it in the bedroom, living room, kitchen or even in the bathroom or balcony. Photo Courtesy of Finnish Design Shop


Vitra Toolbox

Designed with the artist in mind, this plastic toolbox keeps all your gadgets handy. It also makes for a great caddy for collecting other doodads that you need on the go, and comes in a range of hues from mint green to vibrant tangerine.


Built for the couple's twins, the children's bedrooms are a mirror of one another. While each child has their own personalized space, a "secret" door within the adjoining room gives the twins the choice to unify the floor into a giant play area.

Photo by French and Tye

A closer look at one of the adjoining bedrooms.

Photo by French and Tye

Where existing structure needed to remain, the architects deliberately expressed the union of old-to-new through a series of shadow gaps and junctions.

Photo by French and Tye

A bright green, patterned wallpaper envelops the bathroom on the lower level.

Photo by French and Tye

Expansive glazed pocket and bifold doors open the ground level to a newly landscaped garden area with terrace seating.

Photo by French and Tye

Also featuring large bifold doors, the home office located in the back of the property has been revamped to read as a mirror of the main house.

Photo by French and Tye

The main house, garden, and home office are all linked by the use of repeated materials and neutral aesthetics.

Photo by French and Tye

Related Reading: A Renovated Apartment in Sweden Boasts Sunny Yellow Storage Walls

Project Credits:

Architect: Gruff Architects / @gruffarchitects

Builder & General Contractor: Lewel Construction (Lewis Donoghue)

Structural Engineer: MH Consulting LTD (Mark Health)

Two steel structures expand a family's existing living area while embracing the calming effects of surrounding nature.

Clean white finishes abut beech wood walls in this rejuvenated home in Petrer.

Colorado Caravan reconfigures a 1966 Airstream Safari to hold two beds and a dining bench without feeling cramped.

Architect Aniket Shahane of Office of Architecture recasts his two-story home as a four-story scheme to keep up with…

Camouflaged in a conservative setting, this Melbourne home for a foodie family centers on a spacious kitchen with…

From converted warehouses to live/work retreats, these unconventional homes demonstrate why loft living is so “in.”