A Cozy London House Will Make You Love Wood-Paneled Walls
Can't-Miss House Tours Straight to Your Inbox
Keep up with our latest house tours each weekday with our House Tour of the Day newsletter
Name: Marianna Popejoy, my husband Ross, our 3-year-old son Finn, and our crazy red headed cocker spaniel Indy also lets us live there and occasionally share the furniture with her.
Location: Wanstead — London, UK
Size: 835 square feet
Years lived in: 4.5 years, owned
We’re the Popejoys. We run a creative agency called Happy Ending Agency. When we tell people the name it’s often received with either a laugh or an “ah how lovely, like a fairy tale.” I think the response can tell you a lot about a person within one minute of meeting them. My name is Marianna (commonly known as Maz much to my mothers disappointment). Until four years ago I also worked full time at the agency, but after having our son I retrained as a Pilates instructor. We have a little boy called Finn and he’s 3; he’s a professional negotiator and an absolute master at hiding the remote control. Our dog Indy also lets us live there and occasionally she lets us share the sofa with her, too.
We live in a small workers cottage in East London, which up until recently was a three-bed house but we took the controversial decision to move the bathroom upstairs and turn it into a two bed… a decision that we do not regret.
Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Modern rustic, industrial meets Scandinavia.
What is your favorite room and why? This is such a difficult one as I kind of love whichever room I’m in at the time. The kitchen and family room is probably my ultimate favorite though. I still get that wow feeling every time I walk in and the natural materials that have been used make me feel calm and give the room a relaxed and homely feel. We are finally getting around to doing the back garden, too, so it’s all starting to come together as one unified space when the doors are open . It was always part of the bigger plan to continue the red cedar cladding around the entire garden to make it feel like an extension to the room. We just needed to save up a little bit more to achieve it.
If you could magically change something about your home, what would it be? This is easy… I would make it lighter. We have lots of natural light in the new extension due to three large skylights but the centre of the house, mainly the dining room, is actually darker than it was before as a result. We have done our best to counteract this by adding wider walkways and a large opening through from the kitchen but narrow terraces are just dark by nature due to having no side windows. We dream of one day living in a self build predominantly made of glass, with light coming in from all angles.
What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last thing we bought was a large sheet of CorTen steel for the back of the pergola in our garden. It’s untreated metal so it rusts when it comes into contact with the natural elements, creating the most beautiful coppery patina. It looks so industrial and is a real feature in the garden. It works perfectly alongside all of the aged copper that we have in our kitchen and I can’t wait to see it against all of the grasses and foliage that we are planning to plant over the next couple of weeks.
Any advice for creating a home you love? We have a huge connection to our home as we have done the majority of it ourselves. It gives us a huge sense of pride and appreciation for every single square inch of it. The work has taken us a lot longer than it would have if we’d have bought things off the peg or paid someone to do it. Of course, that has caused frustration at times when you just want to get it finished but our home is completely unique as a result and it’s one that reflects the style and personalities of everyone that lives here.