The Househunter: Room by Room

8th February 2019

And just like that it was Friday again. Although I say that, it might have been a slow week for you. Ours got off to an expensive start as the 17yo passed his driving test. And the insurance for a 17yo boy is earbleedingly expensive so we’re definitely down to the fantasy savings for this week’s househunt, which is a rather gorgeous two bedroom garden flat in a pretty, village-like area of west London.

It’s on the market with Savills for £995,000 and the location, favoured by some of the old school BBC types goes some way to explaining the price. But, as I have said before, this is Fantasy Friday – it’s a bit like those old Fantasy Football games of old except more expensive. Hence the need for pretend money.

But enough of the explanations. Wanna come in? The layout is long and thin – it’s on the ground floor of a Victorian townhouse so the main bedroom is at the front in what would ordinarily be the main reception with a bay window. The room behind, often knocked through to create a larger sitting room, has been divided into a bathroom and second bedroom. Behind that is a large kitchen, sitting room which leads out to the garden, at the bottom of which is a summer house which would make a great office.

Above then, is the back of the house with its glass wall and doors and the owners have made true that old adage of bringing the outside in. Lots of plants, a green velvet sofa and green wall, with a large mirror on it which reflects yet more plants. Would I add a rug? Yes I would to help make that area more cosy. I might also pull the chair on the left a little closer to the action but I think it’s probably there to make a path to the garden.

You could use that trick to make one of those seasonal changes I’m always banging on about, add a rug and pull the chair for cosy winter days and remove the rug and push it all back for more open summer days.

The kitchen is long and thin and there’s not much you can do about that. The owners have avoided using wall cabinets which would bring the space in still further and we can only guess as to whether they have enough storage. Although as my podcasting host Sophie Robinson has pointed out on more than one occasion: there’s no such thing as a room that’s too small, just a person with too much stuff.

While we’re here though let’s look at a couple of points. Firstly that pendant light at the back. It’s very pretty. It’s also just lighting the floor. Perhaps there was a small table there at one point which would make sense of the lighting. Don’t be shy of moving a pendant light if it’s in the wrong place or doesn’t have a job to do.

Secondly, to detract the eye from the long and narrow space, you could have a bit of fun with the paint. Perhaps painting the ceiling (by the pendant) in a blue to match the cabinets and you might be able to put a narrow table against the wall on the other side of those shelves. Which, by the way, are perfect for the space as they allow the light to flow through and you can see what’s on the other side.

Moving into the main bedroom and I’m reminded of how pretty grey can be when it’s warmed up with wood and pink. Taking the cupboards up to the ceiling and matching them to the wall gives more storage and creates a more uniform look that will make the room look bigger. The iron bed does the same trick as the open shelves in the kitchen by allowing the light to pass through and the raised bed allows you to, just about, see more floor. All good tricks for small spaces. What do you think about the pendant light?

Below is the second bedroom which opens into the main living space. Those doors. Aren’t they wonderful? Yes it is a tiny bedroom with no window but the glass doors will help with that and this way does at least allow for two bedrooms in the property.

Finally we come to the summer house which doubles up as an office. I could very happily work here although if this is your option then do budget for some heating. As I type this I’m huddled in front of the wood-burning stove in the kitchen and very glad I’m not in a shed at the bottom of the garden.

So there we have it. Some useful tips as well as a house tour. I hope you have enjoyed it. Have a good weekend everyone.

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  • Denise 14th February 2019 at 6:25 pm

    Beautiful and well thought through.

    Does anyone have a clue what the patterned green fabric is on the framed sofa and chair? Love it!

  • Iconsintex 12th February 2019 at 7:26 am

    it was beautiful and amazing…….

  • Nicki Marsh 10th February 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Any idea where the lovely (simple!) pendant light in the bedroom is from?

    • kelly jane. owens 13th February 2019 at 1:22 pm

      Hello Nicki, this is my flat the light is vintage german 50, s

  • Anna 8th February 2019 at 4:40 pm

    The kitchen is awful. I cannot agree with you Kate about that ugly shelving unit. If there were wall cupboards there’d be more floor space for starters. An attractively patterned long rug for warmth….etc. Some interesting tiles for a splash back and wall units to the ceiling. Get rid of the mirror and it would be a lot more appealing.

    • Webber 8th February 2019 at 6:49 pm

      Agree. Remove shelving unit and mirror. Install mix of open shelving and overhead cupboards above existing kitchen floor cupboards. Install splash back, glass or mirror to bounce light about and make space appear larger. This being a 2br dwelling I don’t think that the size and configuration of the dining table and seating is consistent with daily requirements. One suggestion a narrower table on castors swung 90 degrees and opposite the existing kitchen benching would double as additional kitchen bench space and breakfast bar. Use stools for daily use and store a long bench seat under the table. Revised table orientation would also improve flow to the lounge area and rear garden. Generally I feel the room as presented is underwhelming and there is much that could be done to up the lux, warmth and functionality.

  • Elaine Fraser 8th February 2019 at 10:49 am

    Appears to be no splash back above cooker or extractor fan ? Hmmm? How does that work practically? Or is it the case if you have to do you own cooking you can’t afford this house?

    • kelly 13th February 2019 at 1:24 pm

      Hello Elaine,

      The paint is wipeable that why there is not splash back….. We have such amazing paint these days.

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