Beach house renovation tips
So how exactly does one give a London home a beach house renovation? Interior stylist Kate Janse shed some light…
Kate’s training as an illustrator and work as a stylist are evident throughout the space, as is her love of colour. It can be seen in her wonderful collection of fabric, art, toys and vintage furniture
70s-Style Beach House
‘The spiral staircase was here when we bought the house – it was probably a ’70s addition. It’s great as it doesn’t take up a lot of space, was in good condition and we both liked it, which was a relief as they can cost a fortune to replace.’ The treads have been carpeted with a dose of Kate’s favourite fire-engine red.
Previously dark and uninviting with cold linoleum flooring and old plumbing, the kitchen was given the biggest overhaul. Deon, who is a chef at London’s Oxo Tower, had exacting standards and was very particular about the fittings, from the tap to the Smeg oven. The white walls create a sense of space and, although the kitchen is not large, it looks very bright, airy and so much bigger with the glossy white floor tiles and units. However, the couple secretly covets an even newer kitchen: ‘My dream is for a freestanding, mismatched kitchen with old dressers adapted for modern use and concrete work surfaces… But that will have to wait for another house,’ says Kate.
Going with the Flow
As soon as Kate walked in the front door and down the hallway, she knew this house was the one. The couple had seen a lot of properties in the area and all of them were overlooked by other houses. This house, however, has complete privacy in the back garden, which is almost unheard of in London. They replaced the stainless-steel sliding doors with concertina doors that fold back entirely to maximise the indoor/outdoor flow between the open-plan living area and the garden. Wooden decking and boxy seating extend the clean lines of the interior decor scheme to the outdoors, while at the same time providing an entertainment area.
Who Lives Here?
Interior stylist Kate Jansen and her husband Deon, a chef, with their two children, Jazmin and Jake.
Reno timeframe? ‘A couple of months.’
Interior inspiration? ‘I’ve always loved jumble sales and car-boot sales. I get a buzz from picking up something beautiful for next to nothing. Deon and I have been together for 17 years and in that time we have rented at least 10 properties together, in the UK and Australia. For many years I tore out pages from style/interior mags and put them in folders, so when we finally bought our own place I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. Deon leaves the decorating to me: he’s very easy-going and trusts my taste 100% … In return, I leave the cooking to him!’
Creative ideas? ‘I suppose I am influenced by my personal taste. I love old things and wooden toys. In fact, I have a collection of London buses dotted around the house, most of them old. I’m not sure why I love them as I hate getting on the real thing!’
Did anything go wrong? ‘We had a deadline to move in by, and got a call from the decorator to say that there was a possibility that the newly sanded and painted floorboards might still be wet … and they were! And then a week after we moved in, the 30-year-old boiler broke down; it was another unforeseen expense to get a new one fitted and fast, as it was November and very cold.’
Future plans? ‘We are currently having our en-suite bathroom done – I am very excited to see it once it’s finished.’
Text: Freya Clyde
Production: Luanne Toms/Frank Features
Photographs: Elsa Young