Sarah Beeny Autumn 2017 - 185
R E N O VA T I O N S ▲
DRAWN UP BY
arly Elia started hunting for a new
home with only one certainty in mind.
'I wanted somewhere I could put my
stamp on, somewhere not filled with
other people's ideas,' she says. 'As far
as I was concerned, the worse it
looked inside, the better.'
She found the perfect property
in Leytonstone, east London - a
ground oor garden at in a
converted Victorian terraced house
that was subject to a 'long and
painstaking probate sale'.
'From the outside it was overgrown.
There were three trees crowding out
the tiny front garden,' Carly says.
Inside, the property was decorated in
a variety of dated colours: a dull yellow
in the living room (now her bedroom),
black-and-white chequerboard tiles
in the bathroom, green walls in the
WORDS: FAITH ECKERSALL | IMAGES: CARLY ELIA
'I WANTED SOMEWHERE I COULD
PUT MY STAMP ON, THE WORSE
IT LOOKED, THE BETTER.'
kitchen and, Carly laughs, 'lots and
lots of dark brown carpet'.
he original conversion had le
it with a communal entrance hall,
a living room facing the street, a
middle room with a window facing
the garden down a dingy side-return,
a cramped galley kitchen with a door
opening onto the side-return and,
at the far end, the bathroom.
'With most terraced houses you
don't see the garden, which annoys
me because I love gardening and also
because what's the point of having a
garden if you can't see it?' says Carly.
She also noticed the property's
outdated internal archways, a legacy
of a previous conversion, and felt that
she could easily open up the spaces
where they were.
It took arly months to finally
take possession in July 2014, when
she immediately started ripping up
carpets, sanding the original wooden
oors and painting everything white
to brighten the dark rooms.
But she'd put the waiting time to
good use, avidly searching online
property sites for examples of how
other people had converted similar
properties and drawing up a list of
ideas and, later, some plans.
'I toyed with several ideas, but
eventually decided to make the front
room overlooking the street into
my bedroom and create a second
double bedroom in the middle room,
with a light well,' she says.
Carly then decided to move the
bathroom from the back of the house
into the side-return and added a
six-metre extension into the garden,
creating a living, dining and kitchen
area across the full width of the plot.
www.athomemagazine.co.uk OCTOBER 2017 | 193