A house tour for Apartment Therapy

I was so pleased recently to be asked to be part of Apartment Therapy‘s The World At Home series, which takes readers on mini tours of houses around the globe focusing on the influence the location has on the design of each house. The decor of our little London home, tucked away in a south east suburb, is very much influenced by the inter-war era it was built in when house building exploded. Houses were purpose built in the 1930s for one family and the rooms were square, the windows large. When we bought our house the original features had been covered up over the years and I really wanted to bring it back to life by using the great design to make it feel as spacious and as light as possible.

All photos by Katharine Peachey. Because I wanted to bring as much light as possible into the house I made the bold decision to have natural coloured linen sofa covers made by Bemz for our IKEA sofas. I say it was a bold decision because we have a very mucky dog and toddler but I have to say, one year down the line and many machine washes later, not a single stain and they look as good as new.

I am happy that we have achieved our aim here: it is light, the space flows well, the decor is simple with the original features highlighted using colour against white walls and most importantly it feels like home. We still have more to do, especially on the outside of the house, and I am so enjoying bringing this tired little house back to life on a very small budget.

I sourced this original 1930s fire surround from eBay for about £60 and it works so perfectly in the space. We still need to decide on tiles of the hearth and figure out whether a wood burning stove would be a good investment but in the meantime our decorator painted it Light Blue by Farrow & Ball, which is also the colour we have used on all of the woodwork in the rooms.

A big thank you to Katharine Peachey who photographed the house for Apartment Therapy and has captured it at its best. The World At Home tours are based on only about ten photos of each house, unlike the regular home tours on the site, so I wanted to show you some of the other photographs Katharine took that day…

The great thing about putting together a room from scratch is being able to carve out space for special treasures like this terrarium that I found years and years ago in the garden in my family home. I also really enjoyed being able to install lighting exactly where it was needed as the whole place was taken back to brick and re-wired (although I’m still kicking myself about missing an electric point in the hallway near the front door for a lamp!).
Hopefully one day soon we will be able to remove this back wall and push the house out into the garden to make a much bigger kitchen/dining space but until then we just love having direct access to the garden from the open plan living space.
It was so important to me that we restore the internal doors and the panelling in the hallway under the stairs as they give so much character to the house.
I decided to paint the hallway Inchyra Blue by Farrow & Ball (above the dado rail is brilliant white) because when you leave the hallway and enter the rooms it makes them feel even more spacious than they really are as the contrast of going from dark to light is so striking.
One of my favourite rooms in the house is the bathroom. I remember saying at the very start before we’d bought the house that as long as we could fit a brand new bathroom from the get go I was prepared to live with crumbling walls and a horrid kitchen for as long as it took.
I’m so happy with my bedroom now I have re-painted it. I want a couple of extra bits for this room like a new lamp and the bigger job of fitted wardrobes but for now it is perfect. I will show you more in a blog post next week.
Mimi absolutely loves her bedroom and spends so much time in here, which makes me even more glad that we didn’t listen to everyone who said we should put her in the single bedroom.
It’s a very sweet room and I love the colours.
Believe it or not she still gets up into her changing basket every night before bed!
I mentioned the other day how pleased I am we went for the end of terrace house (as there was a mid-terrace one on for sale at the same time a couple of doors down) as we get this extra light at the top of the stairs as well as a bigger garden due to the side access.
These are the first flowers that I have grown in the garden! We have so much to do out there but it’s a start!

Thanks again to Apartment Therapy for a lovely piece and to Katharine for the beautiful photos. I hope to be able to show you more and give you more detailed info about particular rooms soon!

Katy x

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