Girl Power strikes Streatham

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WORDS: JENNY KNIGHT

Tell me what you want, what you really, really want…Thanks to a team of five women a tired, run-down conversion from the 1960s has been completely reconfigured and extended to create ten upmarket and unique one and two bedroom flats.

It was nearly 60 years ago that that two substantial Victorian houses in Thirlmere Road, on the edge of Tooting Common, were converted into studio and one bedroom flats. Over the decades the property was poorly maintained and by the time it was sold the existing flats were cramped and depressing.

Now thanks to the vision of the architect, Chantal Michelin, stakeholder Clare van Dam, developer Mary Hurst and interior designer Rebecca Wakefield, the new apartments have everything a first or second-time buyer could desire. And to complete this collaboration even the estate agent – Xenia Goodman – handling the sales for Winkworth is a woman.

(left to right) Xenia Goodman, Chantal Michelin, Mary Hurst, Rebecca Wakefield and Clare Van Dam

Architect Chantal, founding partner of Flower Michelin, explains: “It was pure coincidence that the project was handled by a team of women. Within the construction industry there can often be a low diversity level so it was great there was a balanced mix on this project which included the contractor, structural engineer, quantity surveyor and planning consultant.”

Rebecca Wakefield, the interior designer from Studio Fortnum, says: “Often new flats are all a bit vanilla, but all the flats in this project are totally individual, some with gardens and some with private roof terraces and one with a large cellar.”

To complete the transformation of what had originally been two handsome three storey houses knocked into one, the team drew up new plans to extend upwards and outwards. Ceilings that had been lowered to suit the tastes of the 1960s were reinstated to their original heights to add a sense of space and light.

Rebecca adds: “This is a great location with excellent transport links. These are the apartments that first-time buyers always hope to find and so seldom do.”

Because Rebecca was involved from the beginning of the project the interior designs are extra stylish with solid oak herringbone floors and with upmarket touches like beehive door knobs and well selected colour schemes.

She adds: “The idea is modern living for young London buyers. Every single bathroom and kitchen is different. Often new flats are devoid of personality. Here we have a beautiful Victorian building with large windows and natural light so we were able to create decent living spaces that people can easily imagine living in.”

Over the years the building had lost much of its period feeling so the team reinstated the Victorian skirting boards and covings while bringing the interiors up to the minute in terms of convenience and comfortable living. Some have quirky finishes like high pitched ceilings and exposed fireplaces, with interesting tiles and colours.

Xenia from Winkworth Streatham confirms that three apartments launched in the first phase in the summer have already found buyers and that the available flats currently being finished range in price from £355,000 for a one bed to £650,000 for the large garden apartments with two double bedrooms and two bathrooms. The stylish modern interiors all blend with the traditional proportions of the substantial original building.

The interior finishes include: solid oak herringbone-laid parquet floors, luxury specification bathrooms and modern integrated kitchens with marble worktops and splash backs.

Thirlmere Road is near to Tooting Bec’s famous Lido and has easy access to Balham and Streatham High Road. Central London is within easy reach from nearby Streatham (Thameslink) and Streatham Hill rail stations and Tooting Bec/Balham tube (Northern Line).

All the apartments are on sale with a share of freehold.

Thirlmere Road, Streatham, SW16, from £355,000 to £650,000, Winkworth 020 8769 6699

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