For a family of four living in a closed-off house in London's Canonbury district, having an open floor plan with access to their exterior garden was a dream. They wanted to enjoy a design that combined the kitchen, dining, and living areas into one space with lots of natural light — but that vision seemed like a tall order. "The previous layout had been segregated, dark, and limited, with a lack of connection to the garden," Matthew Wood remembered, who's the founder of MW Architects. Wood had already completed an upstairs renovation for the family, so the clan hired him again for this transformation. "The building was very tall, and so the challenge was to open it up as much as possible whilst getting in enough structural steelwork to support the large walls above," Wood said. By designating the kitchen as the darkest part of the plan, the team was able to create a dining area that would open on to a new patio. And along with a contractor and structural engineer, they created an outside extension that's as close to the original historic design as possible. The finished result is an airy, light-filled haven that's surely the heart of the home.