Making the decision to hire an architect is often a case of weighing up the pros and cons. On the one hand, it’s an additional expense. On the other hand, if you choose well, you’ll receive guidance on everything from planning restrictions to layout and design, all while taking your own ideas into account. The end result will be a functional, fluid space that works perfectly for your lifestyle.

That’s exactly what Vanessa and Paul found when they hired Paula of Butterfield Architecture to help them design an extension to their Edwardian semi. With a background in design, Vanessa had plenty of ideas for how the space should look, but Paula’s skills were invaluable in making the space work for them and dreaming up solutions the couple had never thought of themselves. As a result, the family have a stunning, sociable kitchen-diner stamped with their unique take on an industrial scheme. Below, Vanessa explains how they created this wonderful space and don’t regret hiring an architect, one bit.

A radical change

Before shot of a kitchen with dark wood units

(Image credit: Vanessa Stevens)


The owners Vanessa Stevens, a textile designer, her husband, Paul, a finance business partner, and their son, Lewis
The property A three-bed Edwardian semi near Manchester
Project cost £70,000

By Ellie