Design flexibility with Gyproc Habito and Thistle Magnetic Plaster

Leyden Hassett and Associates

Modernising a Victorian townhouse

Find out how our innovative products helped the Stewart family modernise their Victorian townhouse

Bringing a Victorian semi-detached property into the 21st Century, whilst retaining its character, is a tough task. One which architect, David Leyden, successfully tackled by integrating three of British Gypsum’s solutions into the home.

The house plays home to a family of five and as such it required a lot of modification.  However, the brief given by the Stewart family was very clear - they wanted more space to accommodate their family life, but did not want it at the sacrifice of the garden.

David Leyden, from Leyden Hassett and Associates, comments: “We were very aware that outdoor space was important to the family so we couldn’t eat into this too much.  Instead we looked at innovative ways to reconfigure the living area, create more space and enhance the function of the entire home. We achieved all of this and only extended the property by 7 sq m thanks to products in the British Gypsum range.” 

Gyproc Habito

Gyproc Habito – removing the need to pre-plan fixtures

When considering the dry lining of existing walls and upgrading insulation, David suggested Habito plasterboard. The family agreed due to the level of flexibility it afforded.  Habito will ultimately allow the family to get more out of their living space by enabling them to attach heavy fixtures to the walls easily without the use of any specialist fittings, but it was actually the short term benefits that really appealed to them.

David explains: “When putting up stud walls it can often be problematic when it comes to hanging large items like radiators as homeowners need to make immediate decisions on where these should go.  However, Habito actually simplified this process and meant this could be confirmed much later down the line.  This meant we didn’t have to hassle the client all the time for instant decisions and ensured we could get it right.”

Habito offered the Stewarts flexible design. With both parents leading busy careers as doctors it meant they did not need to pre-plan where fixtures should be hung and they could delay decisions on where fittings should go.

Homeowner, Angela Stewart, comments: “Habito was instantly attractive to both my husband and I as you can screw directly into the wall, which is great because neither of us can drill!  So later on down the line when we want to hang things on the wall, whether it be paintings, mirrors or even just a curtain rail, we will be able to do it quickly, easily and most importantly – with just a screwdriver!”

Banishing noise for good

In addition to reconfiguring the living space the family was also concerned by the level of sound insulation offered by a Victorian property.  They wanted to ensure that noise wouldn’t transfer from one room to another and in particular wanted to create a sound barrier between the au pair’s room and bathroom located on the upper level and the kitchen and dining room, which are located directly below.

What’s more, the family wanted to ensure that any solution was easy to install and wasn’t too intrusive.  Based on the brief at hand, David immediately suggested Silent Floor as it outperforms standard floors, when it comes to noise reduction, by up to 15dB – something which really appealed to the family.  Angela explains: “In a Victorian conversion, noise can be a problem.  We wanted to make sure that this was kept to a minimum, particularly in the kitchen.  When David recommended Silent Floor we jumped at the chance of having it installed.

Gyproc Habito

“We have all been really impressed by the results since moving into the house and would say that Silent Floor has definitely exceeded our expectations when it comes to reducing the noise from above!”

Transforming their home into an interactive space that works for everyone

The final suggestion that David made to the family to help them get the most out of their new home was Thistle Magnetic Plaster.  David explains: “Out of all the British Gypsum products, this was definitely the most playful from a design point of view.  The others were certainly very functional and whilst this does have a practical element, it also has a very fun side that the whole family can enjoy.”

Thistle Magnetic Plaster allows families to transform their home into an interactive living space, which can easily be updated and changed.  After applying a skim of the plaster walls will attract magnets and can even be painted or wallpapered over without its ability to attract magnets.

Angela and her family chose to use this in a number of rooms in the house including the kitchen, utility room and also in Angela’s daughter’s room.  While Thistle Magnetic Plaster in the kitchen and utility room has been used a means of organisation and somewhere to store recipes, calendars and to-do lists, the daughter’s room has a different function entirely.     


Gyproc Habito  Gyproc Habito

In the children's room, Thistle Magnetic Plaster allowed Angela and her husband to truly unleash their creativity and create a fun and enjoyable living space for their daughter.

Gyproc Habito

Angela adds: “We liked the idea of using magnetic plaster in the bedroom as it is a fun way to decorate our daughter’s room and turn it into a girly room.  My daughter loves the end result and it’s certainly a talking point with her friends.  She likes to invite them over to show them her magic wall.”

Victorian Town house
We have all been really impressed by the results since moving into the house and would say that Silent Floor has definitely exceeded our expectations when it comes to reducing the noise from above! - Angela Stewart.