IN THE PINK

Bold pops of colour en­hance the stylish pe­riod de­tails of this flat in the capital

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture ALI­SON NICHOLLS | pho­tog­ra­phy RACHAEL SMITH

Kerry Hus­sain de­cided to mi­grate from bustling north lon­don to the leafy south when she fell for this spa­cious Ed­war­dian flat near Green­wich. ‘When i viewed it, i loved its po­ten­tial,’ says Kerry, who is an in­te­ri­ors stylist. ‘it had beau­ti­ful win­dows, high ceil­ings and orig­i­nal par­quet floors. although it was ar­ranged as a one-bed­room prop­erty, it was ac­tu­ally big­ger than the two-bed­room flat i had just sold, but it needed work be­cause it had been a rental.’

Hav­ing ren­o­vated two pre­vi­ous prop­er­ties, Kerry rel­ished the chal­lenge of tak­ing on a new project. Her am­bi­tious plans in­cluded mov­ing the kitchen into the ca­pa­cious sit­ting room to cre­ate a mul­ti­pur­pose open-plan liv­ing space and mak­ing a se­cond bed­room of the for­mer kitchen. To en­sure her plans were achiev­able, Kerry en­listed builder Tony Twomey of Tro­jan Con­struc­tion to come and view the flat be­fore she de­cided to buy it.

‘once i had Tony’s ap­proval, my of­fer was ac­cepted straight­away, and as i was a cash buyer, i se­cured the flat for a com­par­a­tive steal,’ re­calls Kerry. ‘i still needed a mort­gage to be able to do the work, which i had to wait six months for, so i spent that time metic­u­lously plan­ning ev­ery­thing.’

Kerry and her two cats, Colin and Boots, lived in the prop­erty while the ren­o­va­tion was car­ried out, which took around six months. ‘i was shift­ing from room to room depend­ing on where the builders needed to be,’ she says. ‘it wasn’t much fun but at least i was there to over­see the works and make sure ev­ery­thing went as smoothly as pos­si­ble.’

Thanks to Kerry’s care­ful plan­ning, the build­ing work pro­ceeded with only one or two hitches along the way. a steel beam was needed above the french doors in the se­cond bed­room, re­quir­ing a struc­tural en­gi­neer’s re­port that held things up for a few weeks. also, Kerry strug­gled to get a plumber to re­turn to work on the bath­room

af­ter the first fix was com­pleted. ‘It’s one of the only ar­eas in the flat that didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped,’ she ad­mits. ‘I ended up try­ing three dif­fer­ent plumbers and it took five months to get the room fin­ished. In fact, I joined a lo­cal gym just so that I could have a shower ev­ery day!’ Kerry had wanted a fully tiled wet room, but when it came to the fi­nal fit­ting, it emerged that the floor sloped in the wrong di­rec­tion as the prop­erty is on a hill, so she had to com­pro­mise with a shower tray. De­spite this, some in­spired de­sign ideas, such as the black brass­ware and tex­tured brick-ef­fect tiles, have trans­formed the for­merly tired and dated bath­room into a beau­ti­ful, stylish sanc­tu­ary.

Through­out her home, Kerry has used her keen eye for de­sign plus some savvy on­line pur­chas­ing to achieve a high-end look on a bud­get, doc­u­ment­ing her progress on her web­site, veryk­er­ryh.com. ‘I had a strong idea of what I wanted, so it was just a case of find­ing it for a price I could af­ford,’ she ex­plains. Hav­ing been cap­ti­vated by some Crit­tall in­ter­nal metal-framed doors she had seen in an in­te­ri­ors mag­a­zine, Kerry thought out­side the box and used a sim­ple set of glazed wooden doors painted black to achieve a sim­i­lar look for a frac­tion of the price.

The strik­ing black-painted kitchen was one area of the flat where Kerry was pre­pared to stretch her bud­get, as it was to be an in­te­gral part of the wider liv­ing area. She sourced a com­pany who could sup­ply the units in her cho­sen Far­row & Ball Off Black shade, then added a de­sign touch with smart tan leather han­dles. The sim­ple black-and-white theme is en­livened by shots of hot pink in the sit­ting area and soft pink else­where. ‘I had a vi­sion that I wanted a pared-back Scandi-style in­te­rior that was neu­tral and calm, but when it came down to it I re­alised I just couldn’t re­sist adding a bit of colour,’ she says. ‘It re­flects my per­son­al­ity bet­ter. I feel I’ve truly added my own per­sonal stamp here.’

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