Houzz Tour: A Bright, Stylish Family Home Full of Personality
A top-to-bottom refurb was needed to turn a total wreck into this fun family home
The couple decided to take the plunge and tasked Anna with creating a fun, welcoming home that would showcase their artwork and provide the perfect space for the young family of five.
Who lives here? A family with three young children
Location Stoke Newington, north-east London
Property A Victorian end-of-terrace house
Size Four bedrooms and two bathrooms
Designer Anna Shepherd of Life Design London
Photos by ZAC and ZAC
The house has gone from two floors and a very low basement to four floors. Anna did a loft conversion and made the basement useable. “It wasn’t regulation height, so we dug down,” she says.
One of the key things the couple did was flip the traditional layout on the ground floor, so they could have the kitchen at the front. This area gets the sun in the morning, and light floods into the dining area through the side windows during the day.
“Also, the house gets narrower towards the back, because of various extensions that were done in the past,” Anna says, “so they sited the snug in the cosier, darker end of the house.”
“They’re art lovers and the art dictated the colours,” Anna says. “But the fact they have lots of colourful art meant they didn’t want colourful walls.
“During the renovation, the builders called the house ‘the ice cube’, because it was all white and they were skeptical about how homely it was going to feel,” she says. “Then all the art went up and the furniture came in, and suddenly it wasn’t the ice cube house anymore.”
The bold green kitchen flooring was decided at the last moment. “We were going to go safe with grey,” Anna recalls, “then the day the resin floor guy was coming, we had a quick summit in the morning and went for Lego green.”
Kitchen cabinets, Häcker. Cabinet handles, Buster + Punch.
The couple rented several places during their hunt for a property and the months of the renovation, and it introduced them to range cookers, so having their own was on the wishlist.
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The black desk was one of the few pieces the couple brought with them and it’s perfect for doing admin. “It needed to be cut down a little, but it was a natural fit in that spot,” Anna says. She built in a window seat next to it that incorporates storage.
Mademoiselle Missoni patterned chair, Philippe Stark for Kartell. Polished concrete dining table, Daniel. J77 chairs, Hay.
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“They didn’t want it to look too hard, though, so they added botanical-print wallpaper, which also brings in a leafy look, as the courtyard is so small,” Anna says.
The compact garden is mirrored by a roof terrace above. The sheep mural on the back wall was done by the graffiti artist, Stewy, who’s famous for his animal stencils.
The wall on the right is covered in London stock brick slips, which are stuck to a layer of ply for insulation.
Palmeral wallpaper, House of Hackney. Sofa, Hay. Side table, West Elm.
A wall of built-in cupboards takes care of all the storage in the couple’s bedroom. “They decided between them how many drawers they needed, who folds what, who hangs what, so it was storage tailored to them,” she says.
La Voliére pendant lamp by Mathieu Challières, The Conran Shop.
Art Deco mirror, John Lewis & Partners.
There are no skirting boards in any of the rooms apart from the loft – they’re all shadow gap. “Because every wall was new and fresh, there were no Victorian features in there to be saved or worked around, so it was a clean slate,” Anna says. “When the property was built, it was actually part of a row of shops, so it didn’t have classic Victorian features, as it wasn’t residential.”
Bed; storage unit, both Great Little Trading Company.
Bunk bed, Happy Beds.
“A tunnel dug underneath by the ‘Mole Man of Hackney’ [who dug tunnels under his and his neighbours’ properties for years] had been filled with concrete by the council,” Anna says. “As soon as the team started digging, they found it was solid, so the work took so much longer than it was supposed to and was really messy and noisy.”
The new room was finally created, though, and now serves as a laundry, exercise space and playroom. The family of five have so much washing that Anna fitted two washing machines, and tucked a tumble dryer under the stairs.
The three cupboards have tambour doors. “They roll up, so they don’t jut out into the room,” Anna says. “There’s loads of storage in there for all the kids toys, gym stuff and so on.”
The window looks out into a well, which has been painted white. “The shutters match those in the kitchen above, so that makes the front of the house look nice and uniform,” Anna says.
The best thing about this room for the busy family is it’s allowed to be messy. “The room doesn’t go to anywhere else, so if the couple don’t want to clear it up, they can just walk away, shut the door, and leave it for another day,” Anna says.
Rug, Fading World Collection at Louis de Poortere.
What do you like best about Anna’s transformation of this family home? Share your thoughts in the Comments.