Surely the dream first time buy is a two bedroom flat with a south-facing garden, although this isn’t really first time buyer prices, but, be that as it may, it’s a great example of open plan living and squeezing a lot into a small space. Coming in?
It’s in Brackenbury Village, in west London (explains the price a bit) and is on with The Modern House for £925,000. But, as we say every week, and repeating for those at the back, it’s Fantasy Friday and we’re not here to debate the woes of the London housing market but simply for the love of poking around other people’s houses and hoping for a bit of interior inspiration for our own (other, cheaper houses are available that also aren’t in London).
One of the first things that struck me was that for all we say don’t follow trends, this is one of several pale pink houses I have featured this year. Two years ago I could have searched for weeks to find one and now this soft plaster pink really has gained a place as a proper warm neutral. The question is: is that because it’s a trend or because it’s a great neutral base for a house in the rain-soaked climate of the northern hemisphere… answers below in the comment box.
In this ground floor flat, which might, given the size of the full width extension (basically the whole sitting room part) have a tendency to be dark, wrapping the soft pink round the walls and ceilings brings a warmth to the space that white, without lots of natural light to bounce off, just wouldn’t do.
Also the ceiling is not that high and painting it the same as the walls blurs it all together and means you don’t focus on that but rather on the view out to the garden or the furniture in the room. Outlining the ceiling in traditional white would have drawn attention to the architecture of the room – especially when contrasted with the walls. So for those of you who don’t want pink (or another colour) use white (off white/milk is kinder) but use it on the walls, woodwork and ceiling for the same effect.
So you can see that it’s all one large space and I love how the back wall and ceiling are one colour which match the kitchen wall over the units while the blue of the units is picked up on the living room walls and the darker dining room end. If it’s dark it’s dark – there’s a limit to how far you can fight that so sometimes you just have to embrace it.
The same plaster and navy colour palette continues through the flat as you can see in the bathroom above and the main bedroom below. This is a small bathroom with no window and yet there’s been no compromise on style. The bath feels luxurious, the tiles bring personality and the neon red artwork brings that important disruption to this muted colour palette. If you like baths and you have a small bathroom, don’t feel you can’t have a statement bath. I can see the shower curtain has either been removed for the picture or isn’t there – perhaps the owner doesn’t splash much – but you get the idea. It doesn’t have to be all sleek and white and fitted just because it’s small. If you look at the floorplan you will see there is a space-saving corner basin and that’s a tiny cupboard at the back. I’m also going to guess that,with a radiator that size, it’s lovely and warm.
Now into the bedroom (the second one is small and painted in the pale pink by the way with dark blue skirting boards keeping to the theme and you access it via those wooden doors at the back of the dining room, which makes sense if you look at the floorplan – otherwise you would be stepping out of bed and practically into the oven).
Period flat conversions depend so much on their design and who puts which walls where. This has been done well and the only thing I might change in a similar arrangement is the addition of sliding doors which take up less space and in small flats, every inch counts.
Anyway, this bedroom, a unifying blue throughout. The ceiling is lighter and in bedrooms it’s a preference thing. I love dark colours but need a pale bedroom to get me up in the morning. When I once painted the ceiling dark The Mad Husband said he couldn’t sleep for feeling like it was bearing down on him. Others will prefer the cocooning effect. Whatever works for you. That said, this pale ceiling also echoes the pale bedding and lightens the whole room.
However, the woodwork, while not matching the walls, has been done in a toning shade rather than a high contrast white and that looks modern and restful. The wardrobes have also been painted to match the walls and while this is a good sized room, that does make them recede into the walls and not dominate the space as a wall of cupboards in a contrasting colour might do.
Finally, the real bonus of this flat, and other reason why it is priced high, there’s a whole extra room at the end of the garden in the form of this shed office (I’m going to acknowledge that people are calling them shoffices but will never do so again after this. Maybe). Isn’t it great? It’s 12ft x 8.11 or 3.7m x 2.7m which is plenty big enough to work – perhaps even fit two desks, or a seating area or just a lot of storage.
I’d very happily work in there a short commute from the kitchen. What do you think? Anyone contemplating building an office in their garden?