March 3, 2024


Giving your Home a new Option

Ditton Hill House by Surman Weston

For fashion designer Amanda Winship, building her own home was a dream come true. She hired young architecture practice Surman Weston to design and build a detached two-bedroom house in the West London suburb of Surbiton. “We had a blank canvas, so it involved just thinking about how I wanted to live,” says Amanda.

The pared-back, triple-height hallway, lit from above, acts an internal courtyard. 

The architects knocked down an existing 1930s bungalow and set to work on a new 2,840-square-foot home that combines an industrial aesthetic with references the mock-Tudor style often found in the suburbs. “Surbiton has a history of Art Deco buildings,” says architect Percy Weston. “Around the corner there’s a beautiful white Art Deco house, and the Grade-II listed train station is really beautiful. So we’d like to think the home is sympathetic to the area.”

The main open-plan living space features a sofa from The Conran Shop, a vintage Beni Ourain rug from SCP, a Grasshopper Floor Lamp by Gubi from Haus, two porcelain dogs from a charity shop, and a painting bought at the Royal Academy summer exhibition.

“We were always interested in the interplay between the industrial and the mock-Tudor aesthetic, which is so prevalent in the area,” says Weston. At the back of the A-frame home, Crittall-style glazing offers a contemporary twist on the windows synonymous with the mock-Tudor genre. These are combined with slurried brick infill panels, another nod to mock-Tudor building techniques.

The main living space has a Steinway grand piano, a vintage rug from SCP, pendant lights from Haus, a bespoke timber table, and assorted dining chairs from Haus and Habitat.

The theme continues inside, with a textured metal ceiling that echoes the exposed beams of a traditionally built home. “This is the industrial version of that,” explains Weston. 

“I wanted it to be a nice, minimalist space—but quite warm,” says Amanda. “What the architects were brilliant at was finding neutral materials with texture—so we spent a lot of time working out the brickwork, and the depth of the ceiling.”

The wood-burning fireplace at Ditton Hill House adds a touch of warmth to the interior.

The house is designed to offer a range of spatial experiences, and most of the rooms on the ground floor can be closed off or opened up as desired. The main triple-height entrance serves as an internal courtyard, utilizing intentionally raw materials such as exposed blockwork walls and rough concrete. 

A deliberately narrow hallway leads to the open expanse of the main living area, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the garden. Here, the materials become increasingly warmer, with oak floors underfoot and softer plaster walls acting as counterpoints to the metal ceiling.

The study, which can be closed off, has an Eames Aluminum chair by Vitra from Haus. An Arne Jacobsen chair from The Conran Shop sits in the background.

Upstairs, bedrooms and bathrooms are housed in a loft-like space, while the master bedroom looks out over the garden, hugged by a balcony that is shielded by beautiful latticed brickwork. “It was this idea about having a nice, relaxed space—interconnected if we wanted to, closed off if we wanted to. Everything is quite considered,” says Amanda.

A view of the master bedroom with the balcony in the background. The paper lampshade is from Amazon, and the wool rug is from John Lewis.

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