See inside this converted church in north London that blends modern rustic with understated glamour

Thanks to a few modern finishes, this converted church in north London is perfect for 21st-century living

converted church in north London

The property

A four-bedroom, three-storey flat in a converted church in north London that dates back to the 1890s. The lower-ground floor of this modern home has a kitchen-diner, snug/living room, playroom and utility room.On the ground floor, there is a bedroom and wet room. On the first floor are three bedrooms, including the master bedroom, and an en-suite bathroom.

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KITCHEN

Choosing a home always involves compiling a pick ’n’ mix list of requirements... Has it got enough bedrooms? Tick. More than one bathroom? Tick. Is it in an area we like? Tick. So, seven years ago, when the owners of this place were looking for somewhere to settle with their growing family, living in a church wasn’t at the top of their agenda.

The couple had initially ignored this flat, because it wasn’t a house. The hulking Victorian church had been converted into 11 apartments in 2000, and although the chosen flat’s expansive ceilings and original features (such as two mammoth stone pillars in the kitchen) provided striking details, the use of dark wood and new orange bricks in the lower section of the walls created a depressing vibe. However, being in the late stages of pregnancy pressed the couple to make a snappy decision.

Four years later, they started a major refurbishment and, asa result, they enlisted the help of interior designer Mark Lewis. He suggested toning down the orange brick and losing the modern radiators and chestnut- coloured doors. The clever conversion melds magnificent original features with practical family living.

converted church in north London

Interior designer Mark Lewis wanted to nudge the conversion back to its origins. That meant a raw feel to the walls, traditional flooring and recycled fittings. A lime plaster, with a mid-grey pigment, adds a fittingly dramatic backdrop for the original carved stone church column.

converted church in north London

Every door was changed to a classic white design and when Mark added a grey lime render to some of the walls, the atmosphere was transformed. The original brickwork looked beautiful, the stained glass stood out and the stone masonry came into its own.

converted church in north London

See Also: The 15 best modern kitchen ideas - stylish, smart and chic

DINING AREA

Mark also suggested rejigging the layout of the downstairs space. So the bold move was made to take the kitchen into the main room, turn the old kitchen into a child- friendly den and give the couple their own snug.

converted church in north London

This space is now part of the new open-plan kitchen. The owners had originally bought dark wood furniture for the flat, but Mark suggested painting the table togive it a lighter, more contemporary finish, which also works well withthe lime render on the walls.

converted church in north London

UTILITY ROOM

With four kids in the family, this room gets a lot of use.

converted church in north London

SNUG

A snug for the grown-ups (which was previously a big-cupboard-cum- dumping ground) leads off the large kitchen/dining area. This is where the owners retreat to read the paper, watch TV or simply get some ‘space’.

converted church in north London

MASTER BEDROOM

This is a haven right at the top of the flat, with light streaming through the roof window.

converted church in north London

Interior designer, Mark, painted the couple's bed to give it a more modern look.

converted church in north London

WET ROOM

The waterproof tadelakt finish on the walls is a traditional Moroccan polished plaster used in riads.

converted church in north London

CHILDRENS' ROOM

The simple white furniture and painted ceiling beams and doorway help make this room look light and airy.

converted church in north London

See Mark’s work at marklewisinteriordesign.com

Photography / Paul Massey

See Also: Kids room ideas - 45 fresh ideas for a modern yet whimsical kids bedroom

Livingetc

Shining a spotlight on the now and the next in home design and decor, Livingetc is the UK's best selling high end and contemporary home design magazine. As a brand, showcases the world's very best homes, and has access to leading international designers for insight and ideas. it was first published in 1998, and is currently edited by Pip McCormac.