Turning an ugly house into an oasis of colour and calm, Hannah talks about her property renovation project in Peckham.
The first time that we saw this house was at the end of a very long day of property searching and first impressions were not good. The outside looked tired and it was definitely the ugly duckling house on a row of beautiful Victorian terraces. The inside was dark and cramped, but an absolute blank canvas and calling out for someone to do something with it.
The Kitchen and Living Area
This space was really dark and cramped. We knew for certain that we wanted to have a very fluid, open-plan main room and so we knocked down the main dividing wall to create one large kitchen / dining / living area.
The Kitchen and Living Area
This area was a major part of the property renovation, and now the kitchen runs down one of the long walls, with a large centre island and drop pendants as a feature point. One of my favourite spaces is the kitchen table – a bargain picked up from Sunbury Antiques Market and painted white by my lovely Mum – surrounded by the mismatched antique chairs that we’ve picked up from various places.
I love that there is a very plain blank canvas downstairs. The walls are a beautiful shade of pale grey blue and the kitchen is mainly white and grey. This base means that I can layer colours and textures on top to create some warmth, without everything being too crazy. I hadn’t realised how much I love these bright, jewel tones until I took these photos – I’m definitely drawn to the contrast of the bright pinks and purples against grey and white.
The configuration of the upstairs space was odd and created a couple of useless little rooms that couldn’t really be used for much other than storage or putting a tiny desk into. We evened out the spaces and painted all of the walls in pale, neutral colours.
I’ve got a thing for mid-century furniture and so most of the pieces in my bedroom work together really well. For my dressing table I use a turquoise and teak desk that I picked up from Berlin (you can read a bit more about it here) that I simply couldn’t bear to let go off when I left.
For me, the greatest transformation has been outside. The outside area could barely be navigated when we first bought the property, with all natural light being blocked out by overhanging trees and large fallen branches taking up every inch of space.
We chopped back the branches on the huge overhanging tree (after chatting with the nice neighbour to whom the tree belonged!) and created a split level using decking and a plant box divider. The whole area is painted white and antique mirrors hung on the fence create the illusion of even more space. The pretty French cafe style garden table and chairs add some colour and interest to the space. In the summer we practically live out here and it’s the perfect space to relax with a magazine or do some yoga.
UNDER THE MICROSCOPE
- The renovation project took 7 weeks with help from every single person we knew with any tangible practical skills as well as builders, plumbers and electricians.
- Painting the outside space white was the best decision of the whole project. It’s flooded with light now, and it’s like having a whole other living area downstairs in the summer.
- Reconfiguring the upstairs area was a pain, but worth it – now all of the bedrooms are a sensible shape and size rather than having lots of odd sized nooks and cupboards.
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