I swear I don’t do it deliberately (would that I were actually that organised) but time again and again the, often accidental, theme of Monday’s post comes back round for Friday’s househunter. Last week it was white post-pandemic design and a slightly shabby chic white flat for sale. This week, well, we started with the spirit-lifting emerald green and we end with this wonderful beautifully restored two bedroom Victorian butcher’s shopwhich is now a two bedroom live work maisonette on the market with The Modern House for £700,000.
And yes I’m sure that having written about a subject on Monday, my brain is subconsciously drawn to similar things during the week so it’s probably not that surprising, but this green is still quite unusual and it’s such a fabulous place. What’s more it’s quite close to where I live and I have driven past it so many times without having a clue as to the fabulous interiors. If I was pondering dumping my love of ochre kitchens for a shade of deep green, this may have just helped me along a little.
The other point to note is that last week the estate agents were allowed to open again and a report in The Times said 906 homes were sold on the first day with a further 1,883 listed for sale. According to View My Chain, this was double the number of homes sold during the lockdown (the average in normal times is 4,000 a day) with a reported surge in mortgage applications.
Which means there’s a good chance this won’t even be available any more by the time you come to look round. The building dates back to 1890, when it was the home of A. Hancock Butchers, the original hand-painted sign is still displayed above the shop front. Entry is at ground level to what was formerly the shop floor, now a large kitchen and dining room with light from the glazed frontage.
Now you need to note that much of the kitchen is Grade II-listed which means there’s no point buying this if you don’t love it as it is as you won’t be allowed to change it. Historic England make particular mention of the tiles on the walls and floors, the latter a gorgeous green and white mosaic.
At ceiling height there is a glazed frieze composed of Art Nouveau tiles. Two marble-topped counters are positioned on either side of the room, one with hand-painted scenes of rural landscapes which are thought to be illustrations of Hampstead Heath from the period. At the rear, there is an original wooden payment kiosk, its shelves and fitted desk creating a brilliant study. I mean I’m sold!
Beyond this is a sitting room, with original wooden floorboards and fireplace and views over the courtyard garden. There is also a workshop which could be used as another study or spare bedroom. The old staircase, which would have provided access upstairs, is now redundant but has been repurposed as a stepped storage space instead.
The two bedrooms and bathroom are on the lower ground floor and there is plumbing in the larger one to allow for the installation of an ensuite. Or you could create a walk in wardrobe – or possibly both if you were clever with the space. Remember the more you take out of the bedroom – in terms of storage and clothes etc – the less space you actually need for the bedroom itself as it’s then mostly about a bed for sleeping.
The bedroom also has a lightwell to bring the light down into it so you can see it’s not underground or dark at all. Who’s in? I love it. This is giving me serious inspiration for a new kitchen design.