The best home makeovers – it's not all big windows and knocking through

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The Don’t Move, Improve! awards celebrate London’s most innovative architectural home renovations, from twisting walls to chequerboard floors

Archaeologists of the future, should they find themselves sifting through the rubble of early 21st-century London, will find a distinctive layer. It will contain taps and door handles of Nordic design and manufacture, long sections of structural steel and the remnants of sliding glass doors. There might be chairs designed by mid-20th-century Danes, if they haven’t rotted away: by Arne Jacobsen in the older part of the layer, by Hans Wegner in the later.

From this evidence the archaeologist will know that they are looking at a period that started around the dawn of the Blair era and continues until the present. It’s a long enough time – almost a generation – but one in which a remarkably consistent style of home improvement, a sort of metropolitan vernacular, has grown up. It is well represented in the shortlist for the Don’t Move, Improve! award for home makeovers, now in its 10th edition, and the subject of a forthcoming exhibition at the gallery space of New London Architecture. The winner will be announced on 11 February.

If modern...


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