Get the look

What it cost

Evening Standard - West End Final Extra - ES Homes and Property - - My Home -

The roof be­gan to leak in 2005. Soon af­ter, Root hired ar­chi­tect Adrian Friend to do the re­model. Some of Root’s ideas — an in­ter­nal court­yard, for ex­am­ple — proved too costly, but in­stead there’s the fo­cal point of a stun­ning, bright yel­low cen­tral stair­case, which glows in any light and goes right up to the rooftop. Friend came up with the poly­car­bon­ate win­dows.

They ap­plied for plan­ning per­mis­sion in 2005, which took sev­eral at­tempts to pass. Then Root had to save up to build. De­mo­li­tion and build­ing be­gan around 2012 and five years of tak­ing things slowly fol­lowed, work­ing to a very tight bud­get, with Root, an ul­tra-per­fec­tion­ist, on top of ev­ery de­tail. He cy­cled around Lon­don for ideas, such as the singing yel­low, ad­mired at Richard Rogers’s house. “I lived on site in a tiny room, cook­ing stir­fries on a sin­gle ring.”

He did a lot of fin­ish­ing him­self, pol­ish­ing plas­ter walls and paint­ing the yel­low stair rail with 10 coats. He took kitchen door fronts to Devon to su­per­vise them be­ing painted gloss black with a gold fleck. “I drove ev­ery­one mad. The builder em­i­grated af­ter this job,” he grins, adding that the builders were fan­tas­tic.

The ground floor stu­dio of this in­cred­i­ble live-work home is let out. Root’s bath­room and two bed­rooms are on the first floor, his own bed­room fea­tur­ing a Ja­panese teak bath. The yel­low stair with its sunny rub­ber treads leads to the huge liv­ing space and winds on up to the roof ter­race. At one end is the black kitchen. At the other is a seat­ing area full of mid­cen­tury clas­sics bought on­line. Root has a ter­rific eye for de­sign and a bar­gain. He £150,000 about £350,000 £1.95 mil­lion (es­ti­mate) Ar­chi­tec­ture: by Adrian Friend at Friend and Com­pany (frien­dand­com­ Builder: De­sign2build (de­ com) Be­spoke rain­screen in alu­minium ex­panded mesh: from PSP Ar­chi­tec­tural ( Poly­car­bon­ate façade: Rock­well Mod­ule 500, 40mm thick, from Rock­wellmeri­ Yel­low stair­case: made by Peter El­liot of All Steel Fabri­ca­tions (all­steelsculp­ture. com) Yel­low rub­ber on treads: from Dal­haus Dal­sou­ple (dal­sou­ Alu­minium Splü­gen Bräu pen­dant lamp in hall: avail­able at Heal’s ( Philippe Starck for Du­ravit wash­basin and loo: du­ Elica Ital­ian ex­trac­tor: from Erco pol­ished steel track lamps in kitchen; Arne Ja­cob­sen Egg chair; Se­ries 1 Eames chair with foot­stool; teak bath: all from Paint: du­ Sofa: from Heal’s (as be­fore), re-cove by Root

Con­tact Jonathan Root at jonathan­

Pop-Up Ute is short­listed for a Don’t Move, Im­prove! award, be­ing an­nounced to­mor­row. Go to newlon­donar­chi­tec­ture. org for de­tails.

Two-storey unfinished stu­dio in 1996: Con­ver­sion to three storeys with full­size roof ter­race: Value now: De­tail counts: Root took kitchen cup­board doors to Devon to su­per­vise paint­ing

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