Summer Living

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Removing the boundries between in and outdoors, makes this ground floor spacious apartment the envy of alfresco-lovers. After staring out at what was a ramshackle old lean-to at the rear of their Victorian flat in north London, Helene and Chris Bowden decided enough was enough. 'We bought the flat about nine years ago with planning permission for an extension,' explains Helene. 'We had always seen the potential in re-organising the space and adding a glass facade across the rear to bring more light into the rooms, but initially we had other tasks which needed our attention.' Priorities included refurbishing the bedrooms, removing flimsy partitioning which had been installed in the 1980s, and generally making the flat suitable for familly life with sons, Thomas, now 10, and Conor, three, plus Oscar, the cat. But with the lean-to now leaking and about to collapse, Helene, a practice manager for a firm of architects, and Chris, a company director, felt it was time they turned their attention to the kitchen area. 'I think the project had been in our heads for so long that we both had a very clear vision of what we wanted to achieve out of the process,’ recalls Helene. 'It was a great feeling to be able to get started.’ Writer, Amelia Thorpe.

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