A 10ft-wide Victorian house on a corner plot in Brixton, that has a kitchen, dining and living space on the ground floor, a bedroom, bathroom and study on the first floor, and a clever staircase (with built-in storage) in the study leading to a mezzanine level to provide an extra guest bedroom.
The front door, pictured above, opens directly into a cosy living room with a parquet wood floor and walls painted deep, moody green.
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The owners are Ed O’Donnell, co-founder of Angel O’Donnell’s interior design studio, and his partner JP Banks, an advertising copywriter. The couple bought the Brixton property as a wreck and have completely renovated and redesigned the interior.
At less than 10ft wide, the property presented a bit of a challenge, but the design studio still managed to inject striking colour and design features, while also maximising every square inch of space.
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Halo-shaped pendant lamps in the living room create an ambient light, with additional mood lighting coming from under the banister of the bespoke steel staircase with wafer-thin treads (pictured top).
Above the fireplace hangs a whimsical print by Icelandic-born artist Kristjana Williams depicting a map of east London overlaid with exotic animals and hot air balloons.
A Deco drinks trolley, from Sunbury Antiques Market at Kempton Park Racecourse, is loaded with colourful liqueur bottles, backlit to create a mini lighting effect.
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The living room sofa is a statement piece, a “contemporary take on a chesterfield” covered in claret-coloured velvet.
Making the most of the limited space, the couple took out the ceiling to create a double height space, they built an extension on top of the kitchen to create a walk in wardrobe in the bedroom upstairs, and created a clever study nook that incorporates a sleep area on a mezzanine level.
Ed and JP totally re-configured the whole house when they bought it, moving the main staircase around and designing a new one to make the most of the bay window in the living room – anyone stepping through the front door of the original house would have been confronted by the foot of the staircase which was awkwardly positioned by the window.
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The new staircase was created in three sections off-site, made from mild steel which has had an acid wash and then oiled, then welded together on site and bolted on to a steel plate inserted into the wall opposite the front door. It was designed by Ed, together with his architect business partner, and the steel makers.
Not only is the slimline staircase space-saving but its burnished bronze colour makes the living room look more enticing and its zigzagging steps pleasingly echo the parquet floor’s chevron pattern.
A wall separating the kitchen and living room was removed. Now a patio with a turquoise wall at the far end of the kitchen is visible from the front door, drawing the eye out to the back and making the space appear larger.
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The kitchen worktop is white marble, with cabinets in a vibrant blue and shelves made from wooden planks with rough-textured bark edges.
The dining table top is made from dye-injected concrete which was then coated in a protective resin.
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A low ceiling on the first floor was removed, which allowed the design studio to create a dramatic double-height space in the main bedroom and a platform, providing a small spare bedroom in the study.
New exposed rafters were added to the ceiling and painted a pale, putty-coloured grey, which makes the rooms look taller.
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The bedroom features a surreal print of a Victorian gent with a horse’s head, while fringed textile wall hangings provide texture.
They built a small extension on top of the kitchen to create a walk in wardrobe. They didn’t have problems getting planning permission as other houses in the street had also added rear-facing extensions, although usually for bathrooms.
The study space features a plywood-clad staircase that incorporates clever storage.
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The steps lead up to a mezzanine level with a sleeping den up in the rafters, also painted in the same pale, putty-coloured grey.
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The small bathroom is kept light and bright, with floor to ceiling metro tiles and a space-saving small sink area on legs, avoiding a bulky vanity. The toilet is wall-mounted, with the cistern built-in, thus creating a handy tiled shelf above the loo for loo roll and bathroom accessories.
The towel rail is mounted in the alcove, so that it’s not encroaching on any personal space.
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As the outside space is tiny, just 1.5m by 3m, and the glass doors open fully, the couple wanted the space to be another room but also to give colour and interest even in the middle of winter.
So they opted for something Mediterranean inspired, painting each surface texture a different colour. The tiled floor just added a lovely pattern as well as practicality.
Floor space was further maximised by building raised flower beds for palms and grasses. To the right of this they also added a space for a chimnea with string lights strung across the top of the fence.
Design by Angel O’Donnell Design Studio.
Photography by Taran Wilkhu