Suc­cess­fully re­work­ing the space in this nar­row Rich­mond house proved to be quite a chal­lenge

25 Beautiful Homes - - CONTENTS - Fea­ture CARO­LINE FOS­TER | Pho­tog­ra­phy NICK HUGGINS

Sally Ross had al­ways dreamt of own­ing a house in the leafy bor­ough of Rich­mond as she passed through on her way to work. ‘I never thought I could af­ford to live there, but I came across an old worker’s cot­tage for sale at a price that was within my reach,’ re­calls Sally. ‘The com­pro­mise was that it was just 10 feet in width at its widest point.’ How­ever, Sally, who is an up­hol­sterer, grabbed the chance to buy a house in this area of south­west Lon­don.

Although she em­barked on a re­dec­o­ra­tion pro­gramme, Sally held off from any ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment un­til she had the funds in place to pro­ceed. ‘I even­tu­ally ap­plied for plan­ning per­mis­sion for a se­cond storey ex­ten­sion, but was turned down, which was a set back.’

Af­ter 12 years, Sally de­cided to max­imise the ex­ist­ing space which in­volved re­sit­ing the orig­i­nal down­stairs bath­room. ‘I used the old bath­room space to cre­ate a new kitchen-diner,’ she ex­plains. ‘I didn’t want to sac­ri­fice my se­cond bed­room for an up­stairs bath­room, so I fit­ted it in be­tween the sit­ting room and kitchen.’

Dur­ing the three months of struc­tural work, Sally rented her next-door neigh­bour’s house, so she was on hand to make de­ci­sions

as the works pro­gressed. ‘I had set my­self a strict bud­get, but rot­ten joists and the need for a com­plete elec­tri­cal rewiring pushed it over the limit,’ she says. ‘I then de­cided to in­stall un­der­floor heat­ing through­out, which nudged the bud­get up fur­ther still, but I have no re­grets as it trans­formed the in­te­rior from chilly to cosy.’

Fur­nish­ing such a nar­row foot­print also proved to be a chal­lenge. ‘The se­cret is to seek out dead space and to cre­ate stor­age solutions in other­wise un­used ar­eas,’ says Sally. ‘My roof is stepped rather than slop­ing, and I had cup­boards built into the cav­i­ties, which are ac­cessed from the guest bed­room.’ With fur­ni­ture in­spired from her time spent liv­ing in Paris, Sally has cre­ated an in­for­mal and re­laxed French coun­try-style in­te­rior that in­cludes both ex­ist­ing and new pieces.

Hav­ing com­pletely re­fur­bished her home and cho­sen a muted and neu­tral colour scheme, Sally re­flects on all that she has achieved. ‘I love the Parisian-in­spired in­te­rior, es­pe­cially how it makes ev­ery­one feel at ease,’ she says. ‘My home might be con­sid­ered small in terms of space, but I like to think it’s big on style.’

DIN­ING AREA A wine-gob­let chan­de­lier cre­ates a quirky fea­ture above the ta­ble. Sim­i­lar wine glass chan­de­lier, £249, Dwell

KITCHEN Shaker-style units in a neu­tral ivory fin­ish pro­vide am­ple stor­age and food prepa­ra­tion zones. Ra­di­anz Quartz work­top in Shasta Brown, price on ap­pli­ca­tion, North­point

COURTYARD Sally painted an old ta­ble or­ange to give the gar­den a pop of colour. Ta­ble fin­ished in Char­lotte’s Locks ex­te­rior eggshell, £67 per 2.5L, Far­row & Ball

SIT­TING ROOM In this nar­row area, a wall-mounted fire is a space-sav­ing so­lu­tion. Lime­stone flue­less X-fire, £2,599, Ac­qui­si­tions. re­uphol­ster a sim­i­lar vel­vet foot­stool, from £250, Sally ross rich­mond

ROOF TER­RACE Sally has used a row of planters to soften this out­door area and add pri­vacy. tall col­umn white planters, £54.21 each, get­pot­, are sim­i­lar. Slat­ted pan­els, from £26, the gar­den trel­lis Com­pany

GUEST BED­ROOM French coun­try-house flair has been in­jected into this cosy space. hon­fleur chest, £ 462, Sweet­pea & wil­low, would suit this scheme BATH­ROOM Irides­cent mo­saic tiles cre­ate a glam­orous sur­face and con­trast with faux-leather floor­ing. Shell Mother of Pearl round mo­saics, £317 sq m, Do­mus tiles

MAIN BED­ROOM Lux­u­ri­ous bed­li­nen com­bined with strik­ing black ac­cents and glit­ter­ing crys­tals cre­ate a lux­u­ri­ous scheme. black Night crys­tal chan­de­lier, £242, Sweet­pea & wil­low

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