May 27, 2024


Home living innovation

Renovating a back garden flat: smaller London house transformed by quirky extension, clever design methods and substantial avenue buys

Even the most passionate renovator may be put off by water-logged flooring, hair-encrusted paintwork and a mould-flecked mortuary-stark bathroom.

But for youthful partner-and-spouse architect team Madeleine Ike and Jonty Hallett, they had been only small facts in what they knew quickly was their dream job.

“We experienced been searching for a extended time for just the ideal flat, but right after an unlimited parade of soulless spots, this one instantly struck the right chord,” suggests Ike, 32, of the one-bedroom yard apartment.

“The place desired so considerably appreciate and care, but simply because of our architectural and design backgrounds, we could look straight earlier the decades of amassed grime and shoddy fix careers to see the opportunity. The Victorian proportions and scale ended up continue to grand, and the personal backyard garden was an extra advantage.”


Open up sense: the couple added a rear extension to make a 895sq ft dwelling area (Ståle Eriksen)

Much less is a lot more

Currently, six years following that initially viewing, the transformation of the Endymion Highway flat which edges Finsbury Park is entire. Considerably less a renovation than a transfiguration, it truly is a masterclass in the reimagining of a neglected interval property into a calming urban oasis.

From a harmonious backdrop of pale wall colors and flooring, stained Douglas fir joinery, a rear extension clad in English larch and bespoke steel home furnishings created by the few are focal points amid Hallett and Ike’s dependable devotion to minimalism and the calming power of uncluttered areas.

Having used about £470,000 obtaining the flat, Hallett suggests they carried out only beauty tweaks through their to start with four years of ownership, conserving up to do the major will work even though concentrating on the 2018 launch of their London-primarily based architecture and inside layout studio, kingdom.

1st techniques

“We basically did pretty tiny at first,” suggests Hallett, also 32. “Simply just stripping back again the darkish, painted wood flooring, eradicating peeling wallpaper and portray the partitions white.” Just sufficient, he claims, to eradicate traces of recent owners’ bodged Do-it-yourself employment, although laying bare the elegance of the dwelling room’s beautiful Victorian cornicing and hearth.

Used to operating on high-end household strategies for moneyed customers, Hallett admits sticking to a finances for their own household was complicated. “Our aspirations for the areas often considerably outweighed what we could find the money for,” Hallett laughs. “So understanding when to pull back again was essential.”

Doing the job to a spending budget of about £70,000, the pair set about turning their vision into actuality with the bespoke, canopied Corten-metal front doorway, changing the previous humdrum entranceway, placing the tone for a style and design one-off.

The intriguing rear extension — which gave the flat a complete interior dwelling house of 894sq ft — is the pair’s pièce de résistance. The flat only had a person residing place and 1 bed room, so the couple have been eager to generate additional entertaining and visitor zones.


Organic preference: the second bedroom/house office environment is clad in hand-charred larch (Ståle Eriksen)

They transformed the cramped galley kitchen to incorporate a gentle-flooded dining place, with tough Douglas fir the important product, applied as the primary joinery and on bench seating and window surrounds.

A playful feline-shaped cutout in a single of the benches serves as a hidey-gap for their cat, Lunar, with stainless steel do the job surfaces including an industrial sense. A floor-toceiling doorway prospects on to the garden, which they found as a muddy expanse of moss-infiltrated grass and have considering the fact that coaxed into an unique plant and fern-stuffed haven.

Seasonal touches

The included 2nd bedroom/dwelling office environment is clad in hand-charred larch, which adjustments colour with the weather and seasons — at times silvery, in some cases hotter-hued. “We ended up out there with a blow-torch, finding the outcome just correct,” says Ike.

“If we experienced just painted it or stained it, the grain wouldn’t have stood out so wonderfully.”

This obsession with texture, nature and craftsmanship is a constant chorus during the total property, seen also in Hallett and Ike’s selection of terrazzo in the kitchen area and shower — “Marble or stone with robust veining would have been far too frustrating a seem,” says Ike — and in the neutral gray hybrid paint-plaster on the partitions in each the primary bed room and the living room, from Danish firm Detale CPH.


Pared again: minimalist types make the room sense even bigger (Ståle Eriksen)

The two Hallett and Ike say the dwelling area is their favourite space, with its primary, exquisite options, touches of Farrow & Ball’s understated grey Cornforth White on the architraves, and their individual specially created home furniture.

Mostly created from black metal that showcases the organic patina of use more than time, common pieces involve a espresso table and storage units, as very well as lightweight, fuss-absolutely free terrazzo plinths, applied to display screen ceramics or as facet tables.

Design and style heroes

Their bespoke creations are interspersed with judiciously picked items that website link their very own modern day get the job done to that of their Fifties structure heroes. In the dwelling space, Serge Mouille’s remarkable triple-arm black metal, brass and aluminium pendant hangs from the ceiling and in the most important bed room sits a gray Eames Plastic Armchair on rockers.

But glimpse closely and you are going to also locate crafty higher road finds — all aspect of the duo’s thrifty feeling of being aware of where by to splurge and wherever to help save. In the living space, Ikea’s Ivar pine cupboard helps make for helpful further storage. “We put in portion of the past lockdown executing some Ikea hacks, really,” states Ike. “We sanded the device back and painted it in Cornforth White, which absolutely transformed it.”

Intelligent renovation budgeting, she suggests, is knowing what major thoughts will demand substantial investment — these as structural function — and the “negligible moves” that never always want a huge commit — like home furnishings and artwork. A impressive way of tying areas jointly is by using equivalent palettes and artwork.

Exhibited amid Jonty’s possess canvases are abstract prints from the Poster Club, propped from partitions in good-high-quality frames.

Even with owning only recently accomplished the task, the few have determined to market up and have place the flat on the marketplace for £749,950 ( They are scheduling another renovation project in central Oxford, in which they can find the money for to get a greater dwelling.

Lucky, then, that they work so properly jointly. Ike claims: “I am an very simple particular person, owning invested a good deal of time on construction websites, whilst Jonty is all about the craftsmanship and often remembering that the devil is in the element. It’s a fairly great mix.”

Get the glimpse

Architects: Studio Hallett Ike ( kingdom)
Brushed steel kitchen worktop and blackened steel shelf developed by Studio Hallett Ike: Sunbeam Team ( isles)
Toilet and kitchen tiles: Solus Ceramics (
Bathroom fittings: Crosswater ( isles)
Matt black KV1 kitchen tap: Vola (
Kabric hybrid paint/plaster in living home and bed room: Detale CPH (
Blanco engineered timber boards in eating room: Havwoods (
Black steel, brass and aluminium pendant in living area, by Serge Mouille: (
White Forties pendant light-weight in eating room by Jorn Utzon: (
Aluminium-framed doorway in eating area: Velfac ( isles)
Skylights: Roof Maker (
Mini glo-ball wall light: Flos (
Cornforth White paint on living home walls and Ikea’s Ivar pine cupboard: Farrow & Ball (
Black metallic triangle flooring lamp: HK Dwelling (
Artwork: The Poster Club (
Vegetation: Paramount Plants ( kingdom)