The properTy

A first-floor flatin an end-of-terrace Victorian house in northwest London, comprising an open-plan living room/office/ kitchen-diner, two bedrooms anda bathroom.


The owner started the renovation work within hours of picking up the keys to his new property. To do this, he got building permissions in place and lined up his contractor while the sale was going through, then employed Mark Lewis as project manager.

Structural work was kept to a minimum – the wall between the kitchen and living room was knocked through and the ceiling was raised a few inches, but the rest of the work focused on sprucing up the surfaces and fixtures, using a pared-back palette of putty colours, washed-out blues, wood and metal.

The bespoke cabinets are made from reclaimed floorboards. They and the table are lightened with quick-drying chalk paint, which the owner says is a decorator’s dream due to its malleability.

He also found some nifty ways to save money along the way, such as the kitchen tap, fashionedfrom plumbers’ pipes and a steal compared to the one he eyed up in a shop

Most of the furniture is reclaimed or repurposed, which, he says, was the biggest job of all, involving frenzied hunting trips around the UK, France and Denmark.

Living room

The owner says he didn’t want to create a show home. He wanted it to feel cosy,like you’re cocooned.

He used various shades and textures for tone and warmth and mixed reclaimed pieces with big, comfy seating.


This space was boarded up, so it was a nice surprise for the owner to find the alcove when he bashed down the partition wall – it’s the perfect size for a mini office.


The bedrooms are decorated in the same palette as the rest of the flat,so the whole space flows.

guest bedrooM

He wantedto create calm and tranquil bedrooms, with enough warmth and texture to stop them being monastic.

The owner's photography work decorates this room too, with photographs taken on his travels, in this case in Kerala, India.


Here he has optimised the small space with wall-mounted taps and a counter-top sink. The cupboard underneath provides storage space.

Photography / Paul Massey

Learn more about Mark Lewis’s work at