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Small shifts in perception by Isabel Allen Photographs by Helene Binet

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'On a budget of £20,000 you don't have a lot of money to start moving things around'. Brendan Woods has just refurbished a 60m2 flat contained in a large first floor room in a Victorian house in Kensington, using a few small moves for maximum effect.

The new layout retains the basic planning strategy of the original conversion: bedroom stacked above kitchen and bathroom at the back of the room, and a full-height space at the front.

Where previously the flat consisted of self-contained boxes, it is now a more fluid space: the kitchen has been rearranged to include double- height doors opening onto the main living/dining area, and the mezzanine is now screened by a low-level wall so that it is open to views of the large south-facing windows and balcony.

Woods has provided additional library space by extending the mezzanine to the full width of the room. An opening in the floor provides light to the closet below which also serves as a fire lobby (the original conversion was carried out without regard to fire or building regulations).

The ladder in the hall, which formerly led to the sleeping deck, has been replaced with an elegant left-foot right-foot stair connecting directly with the main living space. The cornice and ceiling plasterwork have been repainted to restore the original character of the Victorian room.

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