“A stunning parquet floor formed of a kaleidoscope of hand-selected marble”
A few steps from the wild borders and verdant undulations of Hilly Fields Park in south-east London, a grand Victorian house has been given new life through an exquisite renovation and extension, built to a design by Gruff Architects. A carefully crafted palette of high-quality materials unites the sprawling lateral space at ground level, where zonal intimacy is successfully created in the open and long views interact with the enormous private garden. Over 4,000 sq ft of internal accommodation has been created to include a wonderful series of entertaining spaces, serene sleeping and working areas across the upper levels, as well as a dedicated gym, library, and a superb cinema room.
The wide London-stock double frontage of the house lies far back from the quiet residential street behind a substantial, gated front garden where concrete seating and raised beds have been cast, and high privet hedging creates a soft screen of privacy.
A balanced fenestration of arched windows spans the upper level, and a bay window protrudes from the left of the façade. The entrance is positioned centrally, accessed along a mosaic-tiled pathway, and opens to a generous hallway with a stunning parquet floor formed of a kaleidoscope of hand-selected marble pieces. A sweeping view of the garden is immediately offered through an arched pocket doorway and a plexiglass arch within the glass wall beyond the dining room and kitchen.
To the right of the entrance hall, a high-quality cinema room has been created with an audio/visual system by LCAV. To the left, set behind the bay window, is the formal sitting room. Here, original cornicing and a ceiling rose have been restored, and around an open fireplace, a bespoke surround has been created in a thematic Art Deco style. The floor here is engineered oak arranged in a herringbone pattern with underfloor heating.
The ground floor is almost entirely open plan, though cleverly divided into zones for varying degrees of intimacy. Heated polished concrete floors by Lazenby unite the spaces to the rear. Beyond the living room, a second fireplace forms the centrepiece, its surround designed to be the inverse of the living room. This, in turn, links to the library, where timber flooring and floating shelves are illuminated by a roof light overhead. Behind the fireplace, a guest WC has been cleverly concealed. As an incredibly effective device to counter-balance the masses of light throughout, it has been finished seductively in complete black. Beyond the library, a small hallway with a tall window to the garden leads to a further extended portion which now houses the gym and a white-tiled steam room.
The kitchen and dining room extend to the north, forming a sort of courtyard alongside a mass of west-facing glazing. A feature wall of thin-slatted timber serves as a visual backdrop to the dining area and parts to reveal a media system. The kitchen is arranged around an island of Calacatta Oro marble, which, like the flooring in the entrance hall, was sourced from Diespeker & Co. Set directly within the worktop are a series of gas hobs and a wonderful fluted splashback complements the seamless white cabinetry, all lit from above by a large roof light.
The original staircase has been limed to match wide-board oak on the landings and upper levels. The first floor houses three bedrooms, with two guest bedrooms on the north side, served by a striking bath and shower room with terrazzo tiled floors and walls. The principal bedroom lies south of the landing. The walls are finished in a textured lime paint by Bauwerk, and a bespoke low-plinth bed floats in the middle of the space. Steps descend through a deep oak threshold to a dressing room with flanks of wardrobes and marble herringbone floors. The same flooring continues into the bathroom at the rear, where there is a wet-room shower, freestanding bath and fixtures and fittings by Lusso Stone in brass.
The second floor contains three bedrooms, one currently used as a home office, with a shower room between them finished in tadelakt. A studio room at the rear has planning permission in place to add a Juliette balcony overlooking the garden.
From the kitchen and dining room, aluminium bi-fold doors retract to open the space entirely to the outside, where the concrete floors of the interior continue seamlessly to create a primary terrace and seating area. To the south, an angular terrace follows the extension with composite boards in black. Beyond this, the lawn extends to the wide beds of the walled garden, which benefits from being completely unoverlooked, only bordering neighbouring gardens. Planning permission is also in place for the addition of a garden studio.
The house is brilliantly positioned between Brockley, St Johns and Ladywell. There are several cafes, restaurants and bars all within easy reach, including now-legendary Browns of Brockley coffee shop, Joyce natural wine bar and L’Oculto for excellent tapas and wine, as well as a wide array of other options in every direction. Every Saturday, the Brockley farmers’ market sets up at the foot of Tressillian Road, a short walk away, featuring seasonally sourced fresh fruit and vegetables as well as award-winning breakfasts, brunches and produce.
Hilly Fields, arguably one of London’s finest parks, is less than two minutes’ from the house. As well as expansive green spaces and elevated views across the city, it has a café, playground, a nature reserve, tennis and basketball courts. There are also several other fantastic parks nearby.
Also a short walk from the house is Brockley & Ladywell Cemetery, spanning 37 acres of beautiful green space all protected within the Brockley conservation area.
The house is incredibly well connected with four stations within ten minutes’ walk. St Johns station is at the end of the road and runs direct services to London Bridge (Jubilee and Northern lines) in around nine minutes and Cannon Street (Circle and District Lines) in around 14 minutes. Brockley Station is a short walk away and runs London Overground services to Canada Water (Jubilee Line), Shoreditch, and Whitechapel (which will connect to Crossrail upon its completion). Brockley station also runs direct services to London Bridge in around ten minutes via Southern Rail. Ladywell runs fast services to London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross. Lewisham is also close by and operates the DLR, for connections to Canary Wharf, Bank and National Rail services to Charing Cross.
Council Tax Band: G
Please note that all areas, measurements and distances given in these particulars are approximate and rounded. The text, photographs and floor plans are for general guidance only. The Modern House has not tested any services, appliances or specific fittings — prospective purchasers are advised to inspect the property themselves. All fixtures, fittings and furniture not specifically itemised within these particulars are deemed removable by the vendor.