A Gorgeous Ground Floor London Flat Opens onto a Garden

A Gorgeous Ground Floor London Flat Opens onto a Garden

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Adrienne Breaux
Jan 23, 2018
(Image credit: Nerijus Balsys for Morgan Randall)

Name: Louisa Barfoot and her partner Jeff
Location: Balham — South London, England
Size: 830 square feet
Years lived in: 3 years, owned

I dream of the day I can have a home with doors that open wide and blur the lines between the inside and out, like the ones in Louisa and Jeff's small home. Louisa, an architect, met Jeff, a designer (who has been renovating houses for years), just before he started renovation on this house...and just in time to add some input. You might think two people with strong design opinions wouldn't work well together, but that's not this couple's case. "We are a great design team and we are constantly looking for the next project to put our mark on. We have a similar design aesthetic, which means we normally agree with each other about what we like and bounce ideas off each other when designing. We both love colour — with orange and hot pink being a favourite combination. We are currently renovating another flat and we have made the staircase hot pink and orange!"

You might think two people with strong design opinions wouldn't work well together, but that's not this couple's case. "We are a great design team and we are constantly looking for the next project to put our mark on. We have a similar design aesthetic, which means we normally agree with each other about what we like and bounce ideas off each other when designing. We both love colour — with orange and hot pink being a favourite combination. We are currently renovating another flat and we have made the staircase hot pink and orange!"

(Image credit: Nerijus Balsys for Morgan Randall)

"This house is a ground floor flat in a row of Victorian houses in London. The front two rooms retain "original type features — such as cornices and shutters. Whereas the back of the house is a modern extension with a large kitchen/living space looking onto the garden. The house feels like a little haven as you can see greenery in whichever room you are in."

(Image credit: Nerijus Balsys for Morgan Randall)

What is your favorite room and why? We love the kitchen/living area and it is where we spend all of our time. We have bright yellow kitchen cabinets and lots of plants but set against white walls, so it feels very calm and spacious. We added a colour changing LED light — setting the colour can totally alter the feel of the space. Although I am desperate to install a disco ball and disco lights for parties and a general mood booster! I also love the corridor when you walk into the house as you can see greenery in every direction — especially the tropical plants in the light well between the bedroom and bathroom.

What's the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? We bought a rubber plant at the weekend and some asparagus ferns. I love the shape of the leaves on the rubber plant but have since discovered they were the plant of the '70s and a very popular house plant!

Generally we try not to buy too much for the house but wait until we see things we really love — be it new, secondhand or found. One thing we would really like to invest in though is more artwork; it is a dream of mine to have more art around the flat.

(Image credit: Nerijus Balsys for Morgan Randall)

If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? To have more space! We would both like to be able to have an area to use as a workshop and sewing room. As the flat is quite small you have to be very disciplined and clean up after yourself, however investing in lots of boxes from MUJI has helped to make sure everything has a place to be stored.

(Image credit: Nerijus Balsys for Morgan Randall)

Any advice for creating a home you love? As an architect I believe in making the bones of your home work for you; if you can re-arrange the space to make it work for your requirements then do it. It makes a massive difference to your sense of belonging in a home and the perception of space can have a positive influence on your mental well-being. When adding interior touches it definitely takes time to create the right aesthetic for your home; I don't believe in an instant design fix but a slow accumulation of things you love. This way you add personality and grow your style.

Thanks, Louisa!

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