When the owner’s filmmaker husband visited Margate to make a documentary, he started to think that the Kent coastline would be a good alternative to their home in east London. ‘We had a lovely ground floor flat in Hackney, but at the time, our daughter was two and we were both working from a tiny office in the garden.’
The couple found they needed more space so they started looking further and further out of London. When they saw how beautiful the properties in Ramsgate were, it was a no-brainer. They spent six months looking in the area and viewed this place three times before putting in an offer. 'It's a typical seaside house tall and narrow with stairs in between each room, but it was in pretty bad condition. Some of the rooms seemed unusable because they were so small but the house had high ceilings, views of the sea from the top floor and, unusually for Ramsgate, a big garden. But it wasn't until we moved that we were sure we'd bought the right property.'
Second-hand furniture lends an interesting eclectic feel to this bright space. Many of the key materials were either relatively cheap or reclaimed. 'It was partly a money thing, but also, I like finding unusual pieces.' Blue grey walls teamed with a white stone fireplace and flooring is light and fresh while a red Moroccan-style rug makes a bold statement. To make the higgledy-piggledy layout feel more uniform, the couple stuck to the same colour palette throughout. They spent six months finishing the rest rewiring and replastering, plus putting in a new bathroom, carpets and double-glazed hardwood sash windows. 'The windows are one of my favourite things because they're so beautifully made. It's not often you get to see craftsmanship like that.'
Similar coffee table
Marks & Spencer
A mix of old and new styles with vintage and reclaimed furniture, neutral walls and flooring create a unique and characterful look in the living room. Here a slimline coffee table allows for plenty of space, while a glass door cabinet brings an open feel and allows for decorative collections to be shown to full effect.
The couple removed a lean-to conservatory and knocked through the hall space to make the kitchen larger. 'I love the kitchen, I'm incredibly proud of it. It was very affordable to do, too. We have a big unit with a stainless steel top and lovely doors made from old tea-chests and scaffolding for shelves.'
The owners have achieved a unique look by pairing neutral walls with rustic wooden kitchen essentials and colourful accessories. This homely scheme features a large wooden table and mustard curtains. A bank of built-in seats with lift-up lids concealing storage can work well in any room.
'I love the hall carpet. We decided not to have floorboards because of the children, so we really wanted to make the stairs look interesting.' The dark geometric carpet is a real talking point and practical for such a high-traffic area. Wall-mounted bookshelves make use of otherwise unused space, while a cluster of hanging pendants add to the eclectic, industrial vibe.
A roll-top bath and basin have been built into the alcove space in the master bedroom for a little hotel chic style. This inviting room has been painted deep blue to create a cocooning and harmonious feel. A blue patterned bed throw tones with this cool scheme, while hits of brilliant white echo the gleaming sanitaryware
Hague Blue at Farrow & Ball
The guest bedroom has been kept light and airy with neutral flooring, walls and white bed linen. To enhance the feeling of space, a wall mirror and bright blinds lift the room. The vintage bookcase and patterned throw invite a rustic, personalised touch.
The owners have achieved a beautiful finish in the guest bedroom by partnering soft blue walls with statement pieces, such as a quirky lamp and mid-century bedside table. The neutral scheme keeps the room light and bright while pops of colour and picture frames can be added for a homely feel.
This blue-grey shade is soothing, gender neutral and has been accessorised with an assortment of cheerful brights. The couple has added personality by using storage as a key part of the decoration. Here a row of shelves makes the most of an otherwise unloved alcove. Breaking shelves into areas like this makes sure that they don't overwhelm the space. A fun patterned rug provides soft comfort underfoot for little feet while two school-style reclaimed chairs are undoubtedly cool.
An impressive gold sink gives this bathroom an archaic Grecian feel. Statement tiles and a painted junk-shop find cabinet add character and elegance. Wall taps can provide a spacious area around the sink whilst being a smart looking feature. Now that the decorating is complete, the couple is making the most of being by the sea. 'Ramsgate has a thriving creative community, so it's a place that has lots of energy. In the same way, that people use parks in London, here everyone goes down to the beach after school, so we're often there with the children. In the other direction, it's just a 15-minute drive to the countryside. We really do have the best of both worlds.'