The Green Studio
The Frahers had a sunlight survey done and then carved the shape of their new home office to maximise the amount of sun in the garden.
A series of skylights enables light to flood in, while a solar array on the roof provides hot water. The only mains electricity the studio needs is for computers, and for lights at night.
The couple dug down to sink the studio about four feet into the ground. This creates height and insulation, keeping the office warm in winter and cool in summer. The studio is about 16ft tall and features this 75sq ft mezzanine gallery level, with creative use of red parachute cord.
Wood is good
Polished concrete floors, white walls and built-in beech desks and cupboards feature inside. A shower room has been squeezed in, as has a mini kitchen in a cupboard beneath the stairs.
The structure has a steel and timber frame, which was clad first in insulation and then in a waterproof skin. Climbing plants provide camouflage, helping the Frahers' home office blend into the south-east London streetscape.
How it all began...
The couple moved to Honor Oak Park almost four years ago. They bought a “damp, cold and leaky” garden flat for £205,000, extended it, then when their children came along, began to think about how they could cut out the commute to their architectural practice in Farringdon.
It's all white
Their initial renovation work gave them a welcoming home with two bedrooms for the family life they planned. And now their busy practice is just a few strides away in the garden.
Open-plan living is ideal for family life. The kitchen-diner is skylit and pops of colour keep it interesting for Lizzie and Joe's growing girls Claudia, two, and Orla, who is nearly one.
The white-and-colour pop decor continues in the master bedroom - albeit in a more subtle, sophisticated way - giving the Fahers' home an on-trend, modern feel.
The kids' bedroom is fun and colourful with plenty of handy storage. With the future in mind, the new office, The Green Studio, is a flexible space that could just as easily work as an extra bedroom.
It beats strap-hanging...
With the time - not to mention money - saved by ditching the commute, Joe and Lizzie enjoy benefits that include sharing many more happy hours with their little daughters. Joe loves to make an early start, get a couple of hours' work done, and then pop across for breakfast with Lizzie, Claudia and Orla.