This is the home of boutique stationer Neil and graphic designer Mark. Together they worked with Matt McKenna of Architecture for London to complete a full renovation on a modest budget without compromising on style.
The new kitchen, dining and study spaces are informally defined by exposed oak posts and beams, allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the lower ground floor plan. Framed views are created between the spaces and direct the eye towards the lush green garden outside. Inside, soap washed timber bounces soft light around the house, enhancing the layered internal partitions.
Right angles play a huge part throughout the property with bricks in a variety of bonds externally, and square tiles with contrasting colour grout lines to the kitchen and bathroom. This contemporary, geometric approach is contrasted with refurbished traditional Victorian details on the upper floor, where the large skirting boards were painted to match the walls for a harmonised finish.
The depth of the rear extension was restricted by an existing upstairs neighbour’s stair, which had to be retained to allow access to their garden but this has in no way diminished the view either inside or out. Peterson bricks, akin to the tone of whitewashed London stock, cover the rear as it tucks underneath the stair, and fluted glass reduces the impact of this stair when viewed from the new study. Garden life is brought right through the house from potted plants in the kitchen to a large planter in the hall.
As befitting the home of a stationer and designer, this renovation highly compliments the considered and detailed approach that Neil and Mark bring to their work. The clients put significant energy into decorating, sourcing discounted fixtures and furniture, all allowing the budget to be pushed to the maximum.
In the kitchen, the lines from the raw oak beams run through the kitchen cabinets, splash back tiles, and terrazzo tiled floor. Using terrazzo tiles with matching grout gives the impression of a site poured terrazzo floor for a fraction of the cost. Other design led savings included using standard Ikea kitchen carcasses with upgraded fronts finished with minimal knobs.
Neil and Mark deeply engaged in the process, leading to a home that is truly theirs. Like a neatly ruled grid in a stationers notebook, the house is all in order.
Matt McKenna, Architecture for London