Mad About . . .

The Househunter: A One Bed flat in West London

26th March 2021
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Some of you will recognise this room as belonging to the hugely successful designer Sophie Ashby (who I interviewed on these very pages a while back). This one bedroom flat, which is located in the former BBC Television centre, is now on the market and I thought you might like to have a look.

It’s basically one room with a bedroom, walk-in wardrobe, and bathroom and while not all bedrooms have space for such dressing luxuries, it is, as you might expect, as masterclass in small, open plan living. Many interior designers work with huge budgets in huge spaces and while Sophie has done plenty of those, it’s great to see how she worked on her own small space.

It’s on the market with Knight Frank for £795,000 and the address is Wood Lane, which for any of you who grew up in the UK during the 1970s will immediately bring the postcode to mind as the address of the Blue Peter Studio. I came runner up in a competition once and received one of the much coveted badges which I have lost. I live in hope of my mother discovering it in the back of a dusty drawer one day but I suspect it went down a floorboard and was sold with a house many years ago.

Anyway, you can see from the floorplan, that there is one big room which is slightly fan-shaped (Television Centre is famously round with a statue of Helios in the middle) which makes the sitting room part above narrower than the kitchen part.

So what do we learn from decorating in such a small space? This main room is around 20ft by 18ft, which is a sizeable room but remember that’s your kitchen, dining and sitting space. And it’s not large enough for walls, so it has to be zoned in other ways.

Firstly up choose a colour palette. It needs to be quite tight as everything is on show all the time and the soft grey walls match the velvet sofa and silvery carpet, which changes to a darker grey flooring in the kitchen end.

But after that it gets cleverer. The most obvious is the yellow bedroom and the yellow tray on the coffee table, which pulls the eye to the artwork which also conceals the television unit. But look also at the kitchen splashback and the material on the coffee table/ottoman.

From there you note the cushions on the sofa – a darker grey and a paler yellow – also include a soft red and patterned throw the colours of which are picked up in the pictures on the walls. Talking of which, while the most common “mistake” is hanging pictures too high, here they go all the way up creating a gallery so it works. Even the view to the bedroom seems like a giant work of art framed by the door such is the pull of the yellow wall.

So there is a clear red thread of colour, but the red thread isn’t confined to that. It’s also materials. The velvet sofa, the green velvet dining chairs, the colour of which is also echoed in the plants. But wood plays a role too, softening and warming the grey. From the vintage chopping boards lined up on the worktop, to the table and the drinks cabinet.

And herein lies the skill. This space clearly works. But it looks organic and casual. As if it all just came together in a serendipitous meeting of stuff she and her husband already had and that they just splashed a bit of yellow paint about to bring in the sunshine. The truth is that it is a skilled meeting of planning and pattern. But the joy is that you too can do it. Use this as your template whether it’s for one room or several taking into account the views from the windows (that’s where Sophie took her grey from) and through the doors. Swap in your own favourite shades and link them with materials. Yes, she makes it look easy but you can learn it.

Should you wish to buy it Sophie points out that the Soho House White City Branch is at the bottom of the lift with its bars and restaurants that are open to non members and there’s also a hotel so the lack of a second bedroom isn’t a problem. There’s also a park behind the building.

Who’s in?




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  • Reply Liz 28th March 2021 at 7:09 am

    I love it, very talented to make it all look so casual as you point out, Kate. But I became obsessed looking for radiators after reading other comments. I even looked at the estate agent’s brochure … no mention of heating at all. Maybe if you’ve spent £700k+ on a one bedroom flat you can’t afford any heating 🤣

  • Reply Lunar 27th March 2021 at 11:46 am

    Beautiful, clever and perfectly formed. I wish I had enough vision to bring together so many different elements. Woweee.

    • Reply Lunar 27th March 2021 at 11:48 am

      HM. Where are the radiators? I find they always interrupt the options …

  • Reply Lucy 26th March 2021 at 2:37 pm

    I love how they use art in this place. For me it is a good example of the difference between a gallery wall and simply art on the wall.

  • Reply Anna 26th March 2021 at 1:24 pm

    Hugely talented designer and yes I too wonder how the curtains are hung. These flats at the BBC’s old building do not appeal as it must be rather like living in a gold fish bowl, so many windows looking through to each other’s flats but I feel this flat, because of it’s decor, will sell quickly. It was pleasing to see the opposite side of the room and the kitchen area because the flat has been shown many times displaying the handsome African’s back.

  • Reply Jean Levy 26th March 2021 at 12:58 pm

    Beautiful apartment though a tad busy for me. However, I love your tips about the red thread. Thank you for all your posts. I eagerly look forward to them! Wonderful ideas! You are so very talented. Thanks again.

  • Reply Elizabeth Buckeridge 26th March 2021 at 12:33 pm

    Love Love Love. Not the grey so much but, with your suggestion of replacing the grey with whatever color of choice, for me something on the warm scale. I can totally see how this works. Clearly she is amazingly talented. I know you have been saying you’re having a hard time coming up with things to write about but I’ll have to say, you’ve been knocking it out of the park!

  • Reply Leslie 26th March 2021 at 10:36 am

    It is a matter of taste, I find the decor to be suffocating. There is too much stuff leaving very little room for air.

  • Reply Michael 26th March 2021 at 10:33 am

    As usual, I’m seeing things I like but don’t know the original source. I’m interested in the “invisible” curtain track. Can anyone supply any info, please? Also, the bedroom wall light and thin arm sofa. Where did they come from?

  • Reply Mary Doria Russell 26th March 2021 at 10:27 am

    So. Much. Yes.

  • Reply Cynthia Louise Fleming 26th March 2021 at 10:02 am

    OMG! Beautiful. This is a really useful tutorial on the use of the “red thread”.
    And I am so behind the times…I didn’t realize that BBCTVC was now flats. I only worked for the BBC for 32 years. I need to get out more. We ALL need to get out more.

  • Reply Catherine 26th March 2021 at 8:44 am

    This is a beautiful flat. Many of these images have long been on my Pinterest inspiration pages! Very very clever and sophisticated design and colour palette.

  • Reply Helen Peavitt 26th March 2021 at 8:38 am

    How clever (totally gorgeous).

  • Reply Janice 26th March 2021 at 8:11 am

    Nice to see a small property – it’s beautiful!

  • Reply Catherine 26th March 2021 at 7:13 am

    Beautiful space. Where is the sofa from? Looks perfect in the room and so comfortable

  • Reply Catherine Ames 26th March 2021 at 7:12 am

    Beautiful space. Where is the sofa from. Looks so comfortable…..

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