Why we knocked down our house instead of renovating

They were calling it their “once-in-a-lifetime house”, so when Paul and Anzia, a north London couple, hired an architect to build their dream home, Paul told him: “Don’t make it boring.” They got their wish. The four-bedroom, 4,500 sq ft house has a 24ft-high spiral staircase inspired by Gaudí, six levels, two internal bridges, a triple-height entrance hall with a 20ft window, not to mention a swish cocktail bar, two secret rooms and a 1,050 sq ft main bedroom suite. The budget? £2 million, including £30,000 for that statement staircase, and £25,000 for a multicoloured chandelier hanging from 32 cords.

“I wanted the entrance to be ‘Wow’,” says Anzia, 49, a social worker. “Yesterday the delivery man walked in and said: ‘F***ing hell, I’ve never


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