Budi & Andrew's Global Oasis in London

House Tour

Name: Budi and Andrew, and their two cats
Location: Beckenham, South London, United Kingdom
Size: 1100 square feet
Years lived in: 7 years, owned

Wandering through Budi and Andrew's house and garden is akin to taking a trip around the world, starting in Southeast Asia and taking in Africa, Hong Kong, and continental Europe before ending up in London. The furniture, art and accessories the couple have collected on their many combined travels are as numerous as they are fascinating. When I tell them that their home feels a million miles away from London, Andrew laughs and responds, "that was the point".

Budi and Andrew bought the 1950's end-of-terrace house seven years ago, after searching all over South London for a similarly sized, but more typically desirable, Victorian home. Despite its run-down condition and lack of period features, the couple shared a feeling of "this is the one" when they first stepped inside the three-bedroom property. With their work cut out for them, Budi and Andrew began the process of creating their dream home, knocking down walls, re-wiring, laying new floors, and re-plastering throughout.

The work wasn't without pleasant surprises; Budi describes the glee of realizing that the dirty carpet in the living room had been hiding a pristine parquet floor. Furnishing their home was another high point, with the couple combining Indonesian furniture with antiques, hand-me-downs and new pieces purchased in London. Budi, who works as a Visual Merchandiser for London department store Peter Jones, utilized his enviable store discount to get some great lighting, furniture and draperies.

But the work inside pales in comparison to what Budi and Andrew have achieved in the garden, where they transformed 140 feet of lawn and concrete into an Eastern oasis. Importing a Balinese gazebo may have been the biggest expense, but it was only the beginning; the garden is dotted with furniture, sculpture and textiles from Budi's native Indonesia. There are also modern touches, in the whimsical plate wall and the round mirrors which reflect the colors of the surrounding foliage and textiles. And of course the garden is a practical space as well, with the back third dedicated to Budi's beloved greenhouses and vegetable garden.

Throughout my visit to the home, Budi was quick to explain the provenance of various pieces, whether a gift from a friend, a souvenir from a trip to Europe, or something that one of the couple bought years before they'd even met. It's important to him that guests see beyond the Asian furniture he loves so much, and understand this as a shared home with a layered history. "This is our house, and the things in it tell the story of our lives" he says. Personally, I think it's a great tale.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

Our Style: East-meets-West, Global — it's the result of a lifetime of travel and a love of Indonesian craftsmanship. Our home is like a globe of objects that we have gathered along the way; I like to tell my life story through things that I have found or have been passed to us.

Inspiration: Being in London, traveling and lots more.

Favorite Element: The view of the garden from our kitchen window.

Biggest Challenge: Trying to get the house and garden ready for our Big Day four years ago. We were in our second year at the house and it was far cry from finished, but it all came together in the end.

What Friends Say: It's warm, welcoming, and reminds them of their holiday in Southeast Asia!

Biggest Embarrassment: On the day we moved into the house, we had driven down in great spirits to start unpacking. At one point we both stepped outside to get something from the car, closed the door and realized we left the door keys inside! Luckily our new next-door-neighbor kindly helped us break into our own home to recover the keys.

Proudest DIY: I have to give credit to my partner Andrew — he is the one who has done most of the DIY on our house, from the bathroom to the garden.

Biggest Indulgence: The Balinese gazebo in the garden, our four-poster Javanese bed and the customized dining table which we bought in Bali and had shipped to London.

Best Advice: Don't rush; take your time to get the look what you want.

Dream Sources: Can be anywhere and everywhere!

Resources of Note:

ENTRY

    • Round Mirror: John Lewis
    • Wall Feature: Originally the front section of an antique bed from Madura
    • Bench: from Bali
    • Black frames: various shops in London

LIVING ROOM

    • 3 seater sofa: Habitat
    • Coffee table, Venetian mirror and Chandelier: Indonesia
    • Old leather suitcases: hand-me-downs from friends and family
    • Cowhide rug: IKEA

KITCHEN / DINING ROOM

    • Dining table and benches: Custom made of jack fruit wood in Bali
    • Fruit basket: Alessi
    • Green glasses: Hermes (given by friends)
    • Blue glasses: Zara

CINEMA ROOM

    • 3 seater sofa: John Lewis
    • Wall art: Buda wood carving, from travels in Indonesia
    • Dried palm tree vase: from Sumatra
    • Chandelier: John Lewis
    • Curtains: made to measure with Osborne & Little fabric

BEDROOM

    • Four-poster bed: Javanese
    • Mirror: House of Fraser
    • Wardrobes: Lombok
    • Side tables: 4 nested tables, bought in Hong Kong in 1993

BATHROOMS

    • Baths, toilets, etc: Victoria Bathroom
    • Towels: John Lewis
    • Multicoloured vases (upstairs bathroom): various sources

GARDEN / PATIO

    • Gazebo: from Bali
    • Temple guard sculptures: from Bali
    • Dried palm trees: from Sumatra
    • Plate wall: collected by Budi over time, various sources

Thanks, Budi and Andrew!

(Images: Eleanor Büsing)

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Main, Style, House, Tours, UK

Eleanor is a interior designer and freelance writer, embroiled in a love affair with everything glamorous, retro or delicious. This expat Canadian calls London, UK home but escapes to Paris whenever humanly possible.

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