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Faced with the need to downsize, the owner was keen to stay in the beautiful conservation area that she knew and loved. However, after a seemingly impossible search to find a three-bedroom family home within her budget, she changed her focus entirely. ‘I began looking at two-bedroom properties, which had the potential to create a third,’ she explains. ‘I was also prepared to consider any style, including apartments. That’s how I found our current home.’
This house tour originally appeared in 25 Beautiful Homes, April 2017
The ground-floor apartment forms part of a handsome Edwardian villa, reached by a private drive through wooded communal gardens. 'As I drove up for the viewing, the exterior looked gorgeous,' says the owner, 'but I was soon brought down to earth when I walked in the door. The interior was dreary and soulless. What really shone through were the huge rooms, which offered more square footage than our old house, and the layout, which could be reconfigured into three bedrooms.'
The owner's priority was to convert what had been the kitchen into a bedroom for her son. Also high on the wish list was the creation of a kitchen-diner in the former large dining room. 'Remodelling the layout has given us greater flexibility and a fantastic family room that we now use all the time,' she says.
One of the first jobs was to rip out the old carpet, revealing original flooring. ‘Beautiful boards that had been hidden for decades brought the space to life,’ says the owner. Throughout the house, the owner wanted an elegant look with industrial accents that would add character. ‘To achieve this in the kitchen, we exposed the brickwork and housed the electrical cable in metal pipework,’ she says.
Even though the former dining room now has a kitchen in it, there's still plenty of space for the family to eat meals together. The leather sofa is the ideal spot for lounging, too. An eclectic mix of furnishings creates a scheme that's packed with personality, while a huge window floods the room with light.
The idea of hygge, where you create a warm atmosphere and enjoy the good things in life with people you love, inspired the living room decor. As with the kitchen, industrial elements appear here too, in the form of scaffolding boards around the fireplace. However, a chandelier injects a touch of glamour.
Reclaimed scaffolding timbers have been limewashed to make a unique sliding door leading to the en suite. Part of this industrial-style structure includes a floor-to-ceiling wardrobe, which offers lots of storage. Parquet flooring was a happy discovery for the owner and contrasts beautifully with modern pieces such as the artwork.
The en suite has narrow proportions, but it doesn't feel at all cramped. With its sliding door, no space is needed for access, plus the shower fills the full width of the room, so it's actually quite large. Floor-to-ceiling tiles enhance the sense of space, while a wooden vanity unit adds a beautiful warmth to the scheme.
This room is the former kitchen and after the layout was reconfigured, it became a third bedroom, so that the owner's two children would each have their own room. Slanted ceilings add a cosy feel and spotlights have been mounted in the sloped wall so that the room benefits from plenty of light, without the need for a central pendant.
Upgrading the family bathroom in a traditional style sympathetic to the period of the house was a must.
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The owner wanted the same for the en suite, which uses matching white metro tiles and black grout. 'I love how they both look, but in hindsight, I wish we'd put in underfloor heating,' admits the owner.