In the first of our Through the Keyhole series, we meet vendor David to find out more about what first attracted him to Sternhold Avenue, what improvements he's made to his home and why he'd recommend Balham to anyone.
What first attracted you to the house?
Our move here was from The Hyde Farm Estate, which is all of 200 metres away! We have always loved living close to the common and wanted to remain in the area. When we first viewed the house, we fell in love with the design and open layout of all the rooms. Features such as the floor to ceiling windows, plus the fact there was such a beautiful garden for entertaining sealed the deal.
Why did you choose this area?
We have lived in London for over thirty years and, for the last twenty five of them, in the Balham area. Plenty has changed during this time, but we still have fantastic transport links with tube, train and bus links of both Balham and Streatham just a short walk away. We also have the commons right on our doorstep, hundreds of bars and restaurants, and the highly regarded Telferscot Primary School 100 metres away.
How long have you lived here?
We have lived in Sternhold Avenue for six years, and before this for fifteen years in Hyde Farm Mews. The first ever house I ever purchased was at auction in the early 1990’s, it was a mostly derelict 3 floor Dutch style house at the top of Sternhold Avenue!
Why did you decide to renovate?
The house had been completely remodeled before we bought it by Zac Monro, the creative architect presenter of the current Channel 4 programme Inside Out Homes. It was his first commercial project.
We then further extended in 2015 through Permitted Development and updated throughout the house. This included a top to bottom refurbishment with a new kitchen and an amazing loft extension, we worked with Barnes Architecture and Design and Bulthaup Kitchen for these.
We modernised by installing a new boiler, underfloor heating - which is amazing in winter - a water softener, a Sonos system, new lighting, as well as redecorating and reflooring throughout.
What are your favourite features of the renovation?
We both love the kitchen, it’s of an incredibly high quality and is well designed, with hi spec appliances. We’re also fond of the master bedroom/dressing room/ensuite, which is very grown up!
But for me, the winner is the loft conversion. I work from home and it provides such an amazing flexible space. It is currently set up as an office and bedroom with a wetroom ensuite, but it could be another master suite, a bedroom with dressing/sitting area, a teenager’s bedroom/homework space or a play area.
The views are amazing all year round and in winter you can see all the way to the Shard. It is so light, with big Velux windows and a glass door. We have huge skylights, one that opens electronically and comes with a moisture sensor that closes it automatically if it gets wet or dewy. It is the perfect bright and breezy office studio for me.
Why are you moving?
It’s probably a middle aged thing. We both want more of a country life now, and as technology has allowed us to work from home, we can live anywhere within reason - as long as I can get to the occasional meeting.
For more information, contact our Balham branch.