Stylist Home | Streatham Common | SW16
Stylist Home | Streatham Common | SW16
It's hard to know where to start with this incredibly alternative home in Streatham, South West London.
The easiest thing to do is pick up from when Siouxsie Dickens – one of the current owners and the architect of the avant-garde interior – purchased the house in 2015 along with her husband, who needed a huge amount of persuasion to leave Battersea and take on someone else’s half-finished project. But with a family history of building and interior design, Siouxsie, a highly experienced fashion stylist, turned her attentions to this handsome Victorian house that was once a set of bedsits.
"I just wanted everything to flow" she says, and, from the moment you step foot inside, that's exactly what happens.
The bold colours and period features work supremely well with the open plan nature of the ground floor, totally encapsulating an industrial Victorian splendour with a hint of French Chateaux. Not only was this intended as a family home, Siouxsie also had an eye on a business opportunity: a space to be rented out to the media and fashion industries. "Working in the fashion world gave me insight in to what's required of a location shoot space, so this gave me the creative licence to go nuts on the interior". It's since been heavily featured in some weighty publications with Living Etc coining the phrase "Modern Gothic" when they ran a lengthy cover feature on the house: a description that sums it up perfectly. It's still very much a thriving business today and one that could be passed on to a new owner if they wished to continue its success.
Every single sq ft of this house is exquisitely finished. Despite the incredible styling, it's a very practical family home. Downstairs, the library is a cosy and quiet room and one of Siouxsie's favourites, while next door, "The Pink Room" just makes you smile. "I love hearing people's comments on the house: walking from one room to the next feels like to going from slightly chaotic to serene". Through the pink room and a cute, wood-panelled sun room topped by a skylight provides a gateway to the beautiful kitchen from deVOL, where the rich colours continue. Handmade cabinetry in a stunning blue works beautifully with the polished plaster floor and the exposed brickwork, creating a glorious warehouse feel that's enhanced by the hugeness of the room which makes a perfect family area. From here, the adjoining playroom with a side bay window and built in cupboards is a lovely bright space that could just as easily become a home office.
Head into the grand entrance hallway, past the guest loo and its crazy plaster walls and climb the stairs to the first floor.
Up here, the divine interiors continue. Every room has a theme and an individual style of its own which merits a name for each. From the 'Boho' to the 'Flooded Chateaux', it feels a bit like walking round a boutique hotel. The principle bedroom has its own en-suite, plus there's an equally impressive family bathroom.
Continuing up to a half landing at the very top of the house you'll find two more rooms, one for storage and the other an extravagant dressing room. So when you include the usable cellar, its a lot of house at approx 2,600 sq ft of floor space.
The wrap-around garden continues the open-plan theme. It's a quiet and private place with various corners to sit and contemplate, but also fab for entertaining large groups. The area immediately to the back of the kitchen is beautifully decked and topped with a pergola. Sustainability was a big feature in the materials used with reclaimed wood inside the house and, "Millboard" composite for the decking, making regular replacing and repairs a thing of the past.
Heading out from Kempshott Road to the wider area offers many a chic hotspot to hang out in and frequent. The Rookery Cafe on Streatham Common is at the heart of the local community and a firm favourite of the owners: it's a leafy spot to enjoy some food and seriously good coffee and only a few mins on foot from the house. Also close by are some excellent off-the-beaten track pubs including The Railway on Greyhound Lane and The Manor Arms, both serving up gastro delights in very stylish surroundings. Or try The Earl Ferrers for a relaxed real ale, burger and game of pool that can last well into the small hours.
At the end of the road and left will take you into Streatham town centre where an interesting scene of local independent retailers and cafes has developed alongside the huge Sainsbury's and Tesco superstores for the weekly grocery stock-up: all are within walking distance
A couple of minutes away at the other end of Kempshott Road, Streatham Common station has trains to both London Bridge and London Victoria in around 20-30 mins or, in the opposite direction, head to Gatwick Airport and Brighton with a swift change East Croydon.
So what next for the owners of this outstanding home? “I’m genuinely going to be heartbroken when we close the front door for the last time” says Siouxsie, “But the next chapter in our lives involves replicating this on a much, much grander scale, but this time taking business & home to a countryside setting”.
Kempshott Road, London, SW16