Name: Maaike Mekking and Michael Aveling (and Alma, Rosa)
Location: Sydenham, London
Size: 758 square feet
Years lived in: 1.5 years, owned
Art director/Photographer Maaike Mekking and her husband Michael Aveling live in this cute little Edwardian cottage in South East London with their two young daughters Alma and Rosa. The cottage was built by the "Metropolitan Association for Improving the Dwellings of the Industrious Classes," which was the first of these organizations building semi-detached houses with gardens, rather than traditional terraces or tenement blocks. The cottage is full of Edwardian character like high ceilings and big sash windows, and even the estate was named after King Edward VII's wife, Princess Alexandra of Denmark.
This cottage was formerly the local grocery until being converted into a residential home in the 1950s. "It's a very cosy miniature house set in a conservation area, which feels like being on holiday whilst living in London," says Maaike. With only 758 square feet, Maaike admits that being creative with the size is definitely their biggest challenge. "We built storage wherever we could, and fine edited our belongings," Maaike tells me with a laugh. The couple liked the original cupboard that came with the cottage, so they stripped it back to the brick wall and put reclaimed wood inside as shelves.
The couple also sanded the original floorboards in the lounge (it was wooden but with a Mahogany layer on top) back to its natural colour and treated it with Danish and Teak oil afterwards. When working on the staircase they uncovered some original blue and green paint underneath the old carpet, and they liked the pattern so much that they decided to keep it by lacquering over with a transparent coat. Mike also did a lot of work to the kitchen himself — he built the units, plastered the ceilings and painted the walls in shades of Farrow & Ball. Maaike's role is to test out delicious plant-based recipes, which she regularly shares the fruits of her labour on her Instagram Re//store.
Apartment Therapy Survey:
Our Style: Mid-century, Edwardian Cottage, '70s
Inspiration: The Georgian townhouse we used to live (owned and decorated by Tim Whittaker, the author of "The Well-Worn Interior").
Colours by the Pedro da Costa Felgueiras, Eames House, Freunden von freunden, flea markets. Art: David Hepher, Cy Twombly, Helen Frankenthaler . Architecture: Modernism vs early 1900s
Favorite Element: The magical golden daylight, the big period windows, the original built in cupboard, the stairwell with '60s Italian design lamp, the study. It's a very cosy miniature house set in a conservation area which feels like being on holiday whilst living in London.
Biggest Challenge: Being creative with the size.
What Friends Say: Vibrant, Charming easy going.
Biggest Embarrassment: Middleton Pink applied in the wrong room by painters and looking way too pink… I ended up painting it over myself in shaded white...
Proudest DIY: Kitchen, floors
Biggest Indulgence: Italian 60s light bought in Islington.
PAINT & COLORS
Farrow and Ball
Muji Sofa, vintage 70s chairs from the office of the V&A, 60's lamps, vintage Moroccan pillows via Appetite for Decoration.
Ikea, Vintage shelving, Kitchen aid Mixer
Mushroom lamp – Columbia Road