Look around this light-filled Edwardian apartment in London

Looking for clever design ideas to make a small home feel larger? The owners of this Edwardian apartment have turned the small space into a light-filled dream place in which they can live and work. For more house tours, visit housetohome.co.uk/homesandgar

High ceilings, plenty of light and a good configuration of rooms were the essential prerequisites for the owners of this Edwardian apartment in London, but it took them four years to find it, and to turn it into the home you see here. Gone is the 1930s configuration of small rooms, some of them windowless, that made the apartment feel dark and gloomy and in its place is this vast sitting room and kitchen (see next). Natural finishes for the walls and floor gives this room an earthy simplicity that looks fresh and contemporary.
Bespoke solid oak floor, Ardeco Interier, 020 8144 2926, ardecointerior.com Similar black floor lamp, Camera, ref 489959, The Conran Shop, 0844 848 4000, conranshop.co.uk (opens in new tab)

living room with chairs

(Image credit: Jody Stewart/Homes & Gardens)

1/10 London apartment

books with table

(Image credit: Jody Stewart/Homes & Gardens)

2/10 London apartment

The light-filled sitting room is cleverly laid out in such a way that the owners can work, entertain and relax within it without having to constantly move furniture around. A modular shelving and drawers system is both practical and decorative.
Modular shelving system, Vitsoe, 020 7428 1606, vitsoe.com Reclaimed timber dining table, Fiorirà un Giardino at Summerill & Bishop, 020 7221 4566, summerillandbishop.com

living room with books

(Image credit: Jody Stewart/Homes & Gardens)

3/10 London apartment

"When you first entered the flat, you walked into a small hall and bathroom. From the beginning, I knew the hall had to be enlarged and that the bathroom walls would have to come down. The kitchen is located in this new expanse, so there are no under-used spaces." Painted, 1940s-inspired cabinets with ventilated doors and contemporary marble worktops complement the period features of the apartment.
Southwold kitchen, Plain English, 01449 744028, plainenglishdesign.co.uk. Painted in Lead III, oil eggshell, Paint & Paper Library, 020 7823 7755, paintlibrary.co.uk.

Bedroom2-London

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

4/10 London apartment

A new bedroom was created at the back of the apartment by enclosing one corner on two sides with purpose-built oak walls. The fine, original sash windows and plasterwork provide all the decoration that the owners wanted for this room; although there is a conventional door elsewhere, these windows can be raised sufficiently high that the owners can see and even climb out onto the roof garden from here.
Similar throw and bedlinen, The White Company, 0844 736 4222, thewhitecompany.com (opens in new tab). Leather chair, Andrew Bewick, 020 7385 9025.

Bedroom1-London

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

5/10 London apartment

The purpose-built oak walls of the bedroom serve as headboard cum wall panelling and built-in wardrobe. Wherever handles are necessary, they are recessed so that the sleek, contemporary effect of the solid oak remains unbroken. Even the doors leading out to the bathroom and kitchen, seen here and in next pictures, are the same height as those on the wardrobe wall (right of picture) so that when closed, they appear as one.
Similar throw and bedlinen, The White Company, 0844 736 4222, thewhitecompany.com (opens in new tab). Hector bedside lamp, London Lighting, 020 7589 3612, londonlighting.co.uk.

Kitchen2-London

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

6/10 London apartment

"The flat isn't huge, but it's so well-planned that it makes it very comfortable to live here." The simplest solutions are often the most effective, especially in small spaces; here, you can see the new oak wall cum wardrobe that separates bedroom from kitchen and front door.
Southwold kitchen, Plain English, 01449 744028, plainenglishdesign.co.uk. Painted in Lead III, oil eggshell, Paint & Paper Library, 020 7823 7755, paintlibrary.co.uk.

Bathroom2-London

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

7/10 London apartment

To save space, the owners decided to use a pocket door to separate the bedroom and bathroom. Plumbing is hidden inside the tiled half wall, which also serves as a useful shelf behind the sink, while mirror-fronted wall-hung cabinets attract light into the windowless space.
Bathroom fittings, 1930 Mackintosh collection, Lefroy Brooks, 01992 708316, lefroybrooks.co.uk. Architecture White Matt tiles, Fired Earth, 0845 366 0400, firedearth.com. Mirrored oak joinery, made to order, Ardeco Interier, 020 8144 2926, ardecointerior.com.

Bathroom1-London

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

8/10 London apartment

Inside the narrow bathroom, another pocket door separates the shower at the far end from the sink area, a useful feature when guests are visiting. The shower itself is lined with marble, and light is gleaned from the bedroom through a strip of glass inserted at the far end of the oak wall that separates the bathroom from the bedroom.
Bathroom fittings, 1930 Mackintosh collection, Lefroy Brooks, 01992 708316, lefroybrooks.co.uk. Walls painted in Stone IV, Paint & Paper Library, 020 7823 7755, paintlibrary.co.uk.

Study-London

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

9/10 London apartment

The owners were thrilled to discover that a small glass-covered room situated off the landing of the communal staircase came with the apartment. They converted it into a cosy study, complete with home office, a reading chair and a television.
Task floor lamp, London Lighting, 020 7589 3612, londonlighting.co.uk. Single Twig wall light (top left) in weathered bronze, Vaughan, 020 7349 4600, vaughandesigns.com.

Balcony-London

(Image credit: Future PLC/Jody Stewart)

10/10 London apartment

When the weather allows, the roof terrace is a favoured place to eat, thanks to landscape architect Todd Longstaffe-Gowan. He planted New Zealand ferns and wild grasses in pots, and has used jasmine and ivy to cover the walls. "We cook and eat outside as much as we can," say the owners, "and barbecues are essential."
Vintage French marble table, Artefact, 020 7381 2500. Weber Genesis E320 Black BBQ, weberbbq.co.uk. Landscape architect, Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, 020 7253 2100, tlg-landscape.co.uk

Heather Young
Heather Young

Heather Young has been Ideal Home’s Editor since late 2020, and also edits its sister title Style At Home. She is an interiors journalist and editor who’s been working for some of the UK’s leading interiors magazines for over 20 years, both in-house and as a freelancer.