Location: Though the address is technically on the bustling Brixton Road, the house is set back as a refuge from the action. “When you come off the street, which is really busy and hectic and polluted, and there’s this very quiet, high-walled, green garden out the back, it really does feel like a little oasis,” Rosie says.
The before: Prior to the renovation, the kitchen and living room were combined in a cramped, gloomy box. With just a single barred window, the area was so dark that Rosie needed to keep all the lights on during the day. The finishes were also rather cheap.
The inspiration: “The building itself is Victorian, but because it’s a basement flat, there are no original features—no cornicing, no historical fireplaces. If I had had those things, I probably would’ve gone for a more classical look, but I thought it would be quite nice to go for something that had echoes of modernism. I wanted it to have a slight midcentury feel, but also be quite contemporary.”
Square footage: 4 square meters (approximately 43 square feet)
Budget: £70,000 (approximately $89,700)
Cabinetry: Pluck Custom Birch Plywood Cabinets with Ruskin Blossom Laminate and London Plane Veneer Fronts and Pill-Shaped Recessed Handles. “I went for the pink, which is obviously an incredible millennial cliché, but it is really lovely, soft, and easy to live with,” Rosie admits. “The wooden-fronted ones are London Plane, which is a native tree that’s found all over the city. They have a very beautiful lace grain.”
Countertops: White Corian. “I was obsessed with having really bright things because my last kitchen was so dark,” says Rosie. “I wanted it to feel really clean and fresh.”
Flooring: Granorte Cork Tiles. “The cork floor is very ’70s, but I love it,” Rosie says.
Windows and Roof: Futureglass.“There’s an aluminum frame with panes of triple-glazed glass, so it’s got really good heat retention. It’s quite cool as well,” says Rosie.
Wall Paint: Little Greene French Grey Mid
Lighting: Hans Due for Fog & Mørup Pendant. “That is an eBay find,” Rosie reveals. “It’s a ’70s Danish light. The half-mirrored bulb gives it an interesting element.”
Faucet: Nivito RH-300 in Brushed Steel
Appliances: Bosch Electric Range and AEG Oven
Most insane splurge: The custom Pluck cabinetry system was Rosie’s most expensive purchase.
Sneakiest save: “I try to never buy new furniture,” Rosie says. “Obviously the appliances were new because you can’t get those secondhand, but everything else is old. I love hunting for stuff and going to markets and antique shops and car boot sales. You can find that hanging lamp on 1stDibs for 600 quid and I think I paid 60. On eBay, you can find these amazing things for not very much.”
The best part: “I love the fact that you can sit in the kitchen and you effectively just have a green wall with the view out into the garden,” says Rosie.
What I’d never do again: “I’m pretty happy with it,” Rosie considers. “There’s not a lot I’d change.”
Final bill: Rosie came in right on budget at £70,000.