Kiwi Building are featured in Home & Gardens
Located right where the owner grew up, this once tired Thirties house is now a classically inspired home, ideal for modern living.
Alexandra Richardson couldn’t believe it when a Thirties house came up for sale on the road in southwest London where she had lived as a child. “When my husband, Ben, and I went to view the house, it was like stepping back in time as it hadn’t been touched for 40 years. We both instantly had a good feeling about it and shared the same vision as we were walking around it,” she says. “I loved the idea of starting from scratch and being able to do a project, and this certainly was in need of modernisation.”
Luckily the project was in safe hands, as Ben is a property developer, and the couple also joined forces with MWA Architects, Kiwi Building Services and interior designer Sophie Stevens and her team from SGS Design. “The project coincided with Ben taking a sabbatical, so he was able to devote lots of time to it and we were both involved in every decision, big or small says Alexandra.”
To create a more spacious feel downstairs and to improve the flow, they decided to take down the wall between the kitchen and one of the reception rooms. They then extended the kitchen to create a dining area, resulting in the open-plan look they wanted. The sitting room, too, was extended at the back to be half as big again. A loft extension, meanwhile, provided an extra two bedrooms and a bathroom.
When it came to the decor, Alexandra took a lookbook with fabric swatches, photos from magazines and examples of furniture she liked to Sophie Stevens. “I wanted a classic English look with a luxurious contemporary finish,” she says. “We had a few older family heirlooms, so for sentimental reasons I wanted to incorporate those. I love a mix of old and new so everything needed to work aesthetically together.”
Be brave with colours
Alexandra was thrilled with Sophie’s ideas. “She encouraged me to go for colours I might not have been brave enough to pick without her support. For instance, on the kitchen island and for the joinery in our utility room, we chose a dark shade which is so striking and works well with the brass handles and flooring.”
The renovation has been a huge success. “We knew we wanted to live in the house and managed to include everything on our wish list,” says Alexandra. “And it’s just a stone’s throw away from where I grew up!”