BEST OF EVERYTHING
The well-proportioned, three-bedroom house dates back to the 1920s or 30s and still has some character features, such as an original staircase and architraves. "At the same time, however, I have given it a very modern feel," she explains. "I have black and white cheques in the hallway and a very contemporary, handmade kitchen, for example." It was both the style and size of the house that initially appealed to her, as well as the exceptional location. "I liked the fact it had big rooms and a very mature garden," she recalls. "It is also within walking distance to good state and private schools, is well positioned for commuting into London. We are also close to Knighton Wood and just five minutes from Epping Forest."
ENHANCING THE HOME
Since moving into the house five years ago, the current owner has carried out significant upgrading work. In addition to the new kitchen, she has installed new cloakroom and bathroom fittings - which include Villeroy & Boch sanitary ware - decorated the drawing room in a subtle Elephant's Breath grey and had new flooring laid. She has also had handmade wardrobes made for all the bedrooms. But the greatest changes to the property came with the creation of the stunning new ground floor living space. "We extended the kitchen and it now has a lovely family area, as well as a dining space. There is plenty of space for food preparation and storage, with the central island, and the whole area has porcelain tiling and under-floor heating."
SUNRISE AND SUNSET
Further work to the house saw her convert the garage into a separate utility room and storage area. This can be accessed from the front or back of the house, as well as the hall. The drawing room, which has a large bay window, is to the front of the house and the cloakroom and kitchen and living area are towards the back of the house. All three bedrooms, the family bathroom and an additional cloakroom are upstairs. "All the bedrooms are equal in size and are very nice," she says. "The sun rises in front of the house and pours into the bedrooms there in the morning; it then comes in through the back as it sets on the garden side in the evening. The third bedroom has a slightly sloping ceiling and access to eaves storage all the way along, which is very useful."
Although the house is beautifully finished, there is still scope for new owners to take it further. It could, in fact, be given a whole new level of accommodation. "I do have planning permission to go up into the loft space," she says. "There is room up there for a bedroom and bathroom. Many of my neighbours have had loft conversions carried out." The house as it is has been perfect for her family, however. "When I came here I had twins who were four and then I had another child who is about that age now - the space in the house has worked well for all of us and in the summer we all love being out in the garden."
IN FULL BLOOM
One of the major features of the very private garden is a spectacular magnolia tree. "I remember the first time I came to visit and I stepped out into the garden," she recalls. "The magnolia tree was in full bloom and I stood there thinking how beautiful it was: that was when I really fell in love with the house." She and her family have enjoyed the sense of being close to nature at The Glade. They often head off into the nearby forest at weekends. "We are lucky to have the woods so close while also having easy access to the underground station, lovely restaurants and good shops," she adds. "This is a great place to live because everything is so convenient."