IN THE PINK
Bold pops of colour enhance the stylish period details of this flat in the capital
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.’