Buy Of The Week: Chelsea

Apart from the odd splash of silver and lilac, this riverside house is whiter than white. Nick Lloyd Jones reports

'But we liked the fact that it was structurally sound and was being sold with planning permission to add a fourth floor.'

Peter and his wife Shula had already some hands-on experience of renovation, having designed a chain of holistic London-based beauty salons called Ark - a business they launched seven years ago.

They set about redesigning their new home from the top down. The roof came off first and an additional floor was added - a project that took six months. They next turned their attention to the infrastructure - rewiring, replumbing and replastering - shifting stuff around as they progressed.

However, they bided their time when it came to design details, deliberately postponing the work for a year to soak up the atmosphere of the house and reflect at leisure on what would work best. In the meantime they whitewashed the walls and laid down cheap foam carpeting.

'We couldn't decide at first whether to go for a traditional or for a contemporary design,' says Peter, 'but in the end we decided to compromise by preserving the more traditional look on the outside but introducing a more contemporary feel for the interior.'

The original Victorian façade with its sash windows, delicate renderings and stone steps was retained, though the black iron railings at the front were given a modernist twist and repainted silver - a colour repeated in the house's many brushed steel fittings. Lilac is another colour that crops up a lot - on the front door, in the Welsh slate used for paving the front yard and inside in the carpets and curtains.

Much thought has gone into the lighting too. 'Terraced houses can often be dark and gloomy,' says Peter, 'so we have tried to maximise the play of light throughout the house.'

Walls and ceilings are painted white and extensive use is made of open-plan design. The front door leads directly into the first-floor sitting room - originally two rooms that have been knocked through into one. Here, as throughout the house, the wooden flooring has been stained chocolate brown and given a varnished finish. A slim fireplace lends symmetry to the space while overhead lighting is supplied by two giant chandeliers wrapped in a silvery fabric that reflects the rays. The futuristic feel is reinforced by a plasma TV built into the wall above the fireplace and in the minimalist fittings and furniture. A summer room to the back of the lounge, meanwhile, leads out to a bamboo-fringed decked garden area.

The open-plan kitchen and dining room area is below the lounge, down a flight of timber stairs incorporating sensor-triggered lights. 'Perfect for midnight feasts,' says Peter.

They retained only the Victorian parquet flooring from this level, stripping the plaster from the chimney breast to expose the London stock brickwork and using the same bricks to build the breakfast bar island. There's a utility room and mini-gym to the back of the kitchen and a south-facing patio courtyard adjoining it.

The floor above the lounge is given over to two sizeable bedrooms and a bathroom, while the top level is devoted to a light and airy master bedroom suite. 'Because we have gone right up to the eaves of the roof and installed five Velux skylights in the vaulted ceiling we've been able to make best use of all the natural light to achieve an incredibly bright effect,' says Peter.

The bathroom is en suite but its free-standing bath and twin basins are only partially screened off by a limestone partition. A further potential bedroom to the back of the house currently serves as a walk-in wardrobe with fitted floor-to-ceiling closets while a short flight of stairs leads out onto a sun terrace.

Peter and Kim are now planning to buy a new home in Spain and make do with a London pied-a-terre from which to oversee their business. What will they miss most about it? 'The views over the Thames, the fresh air and the fact that the whole house is bathed in natural light,' says Peter.

Get the spec

What's for sale: Three-double-bedroom house, on four floors, in Chelsea riverside location, with patio, decked garden area and sun terrace.

Serious kit: Rationale kitchen cupboards and units, Neff double oven, Miele fridge, Gaggenau gas hob; fitted plasma TV with surroundsound; four-zone centrally controlled Bose audio-visual system; concealed sensor-operated LCD lighting in stairs.

How big? About 185 sq m, including open-plan kitchen/ dining area, generous living room, gym and master bedroom with en-suite bathroom and fitted walk-in wardrobe.

Buy it: Cluttons, 020 7584 1771, £1,275,000.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Sport
Christiano Ronaldo enjoys his opening goal
champions leagueLiverpool 0 Real Madrid 3: Ronaldo and Benzema run Reds ragged to avenge thrashing from their last visit to Anfield
Arts and Entertainment
Awesome foursome: Sam Smith shows off his awards
music22-year-old confirms he is 2014’s breakout British music success
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
food + drink
Arts and Entertainment
Contestants during this summer's Celebrity Big Brother grand finale
tvBroadcaster attempts to change its image following sale to American media group
Extras
indybest
News
Wilko Johnson is currently on his farewell tour
people
Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidate on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
Call me Superman: one of many unusual names chosen by Chinese students
newsChinese state TV offers advice for citizens picking a Western moniker
Voices
New look: Zellweger at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
voicesRenée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity, says Amanda Hess
Arts and Entertainment
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page are starring together in civil rights drama Freeheld
film
Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voicesVicky Chandler: Zoella shows us that feminism can come in all forms
Life and Style
health
Arts and Entertainment
Pink Floyd on stage at Live 8 in 2005. From left to right: David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason and Rick Wright
music New album The Endless River set to overtake boyband for most pre-ordered of all-time
Property search
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Solutions Architect - Permanent - London - £70k DOE

£60000 - £70000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

General Cover Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Great opportunities for Cover...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Day In a Page

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink