This end-of-terrace period property was precisely the kind of project the owners were looking for. The house had been a squat, so the rooms were full of rubbish, and in one, a leaking water tank had caused the ceiling to partially collapse. The flat was also awkwardly configured, with three bedrooms, a kitchen and sitting room all on one floor, but the new owners were keen to put in an upper story to turn the flat into a duplex apartment, complete with a generous roof terrace.
An architect helped them to revise the flat's layout. 'Initially, we thought about having the main bedroom and bathroom upstairs, with the kitchen on the lower floor, at the back of the house. But we quickly realised it wouldn't be practical having family and friends traipsing through the bedroom to get to the roof garden.' Instead, the kitchen-dining room is upstairs, with the main bedroom and bathroom downstairs, at the back of the house, while this room (pictured) is a study-bedroom, with the sitting room at the front of the house.
A grass-cloth fabric wall treatment creates a subtle textural backdrop and sense of cosiness for the room. "We wanted to maximise our use of this room, which can double as a guest bedroom," says the owner of the floor-to-ceiling bookshelves which incorporate a sliding glass door so that they can close the room off from the landing whenever necessary.
The room's calm but elegant colour scheme of cream, grey and duck-egg blue belies the sumptuous, textured fabrics and quality upholstery used by the owners. The arrangement of furniture and accessories, in symmetrical fashion, is the key to creating a classic scheme that will stand the test of time.
The generously-sized bathroom meant foregoing two bedrooms, but the owners felt it was a sacrifice worth making, in order to gain the valuable sense of space they wanted to have everywhere. 'We didn't want to feel that we were living in a pokey conversion,' they say.
The newly-created kitchen-dining room upstairs is as pared back as the rooms downstairs, with a run of kitchen units designed and made to fit the irregular shape of the eaves in the roof. 'We had to think on our feet when it came to installing the kitchen because we didn't fully anticipate the difficulty of working with a pitched roof. We decided to make things simple by commissioning understated units to echo the line of the roof.'
'It has exceeded all our expectations. It may not be unusual for a London home to have a garden, but up among the treetops, ours is entirely secluded and that is what we cherish most. We plan to turn it into a mature garden sooner rather than later.'
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