close
close

Discover the honest charm of this London home

First impressions of this London home, titled Tree Courtyard House, include rooms wrapped in grainy spruce, soaring angular volumes, intriguing design-led furnishings and sightlines that draw the eye to a fern-filled private courtyard. It would be a tempting proposition anywhere, and all the more attractive given that it is just steps from the hustle and bustle of a popular east London street.

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

Tour this tranquil, elegant London home

The client, an admirer of architects ao-ft's multi-award-winning Spruce House – the home and headquarters of founders Liz Tatarintseva and Zach Fluker – asked them to design a new house in what was then a neglected courtyard hidden behind a restaurant in Walthamstow Village. The detached two-bedroom brown brick house is now built around a courtyard garden, with the tree taking centre stage in many of its views.

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

Working with luxury real estate agent Aucoot, local design gallery Monument was given free rein to select the furniture, artwork and objects inside. “We always look for the unique in our work, the architecture of the Tree Courtyard House was so interesting to us. And it's always fulfilling to be given carte blanche to express ourselves,” says Leah Forsyth-Steel, who runs Monument with Victoria Spicer.

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

Monument's main consideration was to create a mix that would work well with the wood in the space while also offering thoughtful juxtapositions – such as the deliberately eclectic mix of chairs that sit in dialogue around the simple dining table. Wood was largely avoided in favor of materials such as stainless steel in stone and rugs from Nordic Knots. “These tie everything together and really anchor the spaces,” says Forsyth-Steel.

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

Crucially, Monument was keen to tread lightly and respond to the calming atmosphere of the home. “We wanted it to have a gallery-like feel, not too cluttered or domestic,” says Spicer. A key piece that defines the project is the Christoph R. Siebrasse daybed in the second bedroom, as Forsyth-Steel explains: “It's called 'Contemplation,' and we felt it was consistent with the intent of the whole space.”

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

The subdued light inside the house and the main material, spruce in a cross-shaped prefabricated form, support this concept and create a calm atmosphere. The Portuguese Topcer tiles used in the kitchen and bathroom, with their clear grid lines, were chosen to create a contrast to the organic patterns in the grain of the spruce.

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

“Tree Courtyard House makes the most of space and light on a limited plot. The windows are placed high and low to connect with the garden and trees and provide an interesting play of light throughout the day,” says Tatarintseva.

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

AO-FT and London House Monument

(Photo credit: Ollie Tomlinsen)

ao-ft.com