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Mrs Sledgehammer

building site

I know it’s a bit of a city-girl-turned-mummy cliché, but I do love an interior design project here and there. The first house I bought together with Big M was in fact a complete sh*thole, and doing it up was a bit more of a project than I had bargained for. By the end of it, I hadn’t only gathered first hand experience of the meaning of steep learning curve; I had also grown a baby and was ready to pop. Yes, there were lots of tears. Not only on my side. I think the builders were actually terrified of my raging hormones and me.

Three years later, we had decided to move back to West London, we had bought a new home (read: sh*thole), and we had started to grow another baby. We had also changed builders (learning number one: more capable builders make for less raging), and I had much more of a clue of what I was doing. And this is how it went:

details art deco 20s

To begin with, we were looking for a theme that should find its way throughout the apartment. As it is a lateral flat within an old mansion block in a rather posh neighbourhood, shabby chic was off the menu (shabby chic is my favourite interior style – you buy something chic and the kids turn it into shabby in no time. So easy!). We settled for 1920s inspired Manhattan chic. Think chrome detailing, smooth floors, marble and walnut.

floors chevron parquet

We replaced the old floors with oak chevron parquet in a dark stain that’s very similar to walnut, but much more affordable. Bevelled edges give the floor a soft lived-in look, taking away the ‘brand new’ aspect.

kitchen plan1

The kitchen was a tiny and cluttered space with old white goods and awful cabinets that didn’t fit the unevenly shaped room. It all had to go. And I had to sit down and come up with a plan. Because despite its miniscule size, it had to fit a dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer, family sized cooker and decent fridge-freezer plus cabinets and drawers for storage. No mean feat then.

shaker kitchen plan2

BUT we succeeded. The kitchen is one of my favourite rooms with its grey shaker style doors, cup handles, the big cooker, marble worktops and sink underneath the window. It’s our little machine room, and we often find ourselves squeezed into it all at once, kids on the floor and Big M and I cooking/chatting.

…to be continued…


  1. I am in love with the kitchen’s floor – like a giant fishbone.
    It’s always so fun seeing the before & after photos (if you’re not involved in the process/pain/tears, of course).

  2. Marie says

    It looks wonderful! The kitchen especially and all you managed to fit in there. Looking forward to the next part and learning any tips of the trade from you.

  3. Your kitchen looks so so lovely! I can’t wait until I can move into my home – which is currently a construction zone!

  4. OMG! I need to meet you after reading this! We have a small kitchen, same need to redo it as it literally is a shithole and no idea where to start… Do you do consultations? I’m jealous of your expertise and can do attitude. Well done

  5. It all looks lovely and I’m full of admiration. We’re currently househunting and one idea is to buy a sh*thole and do it up – not sure I have your level of creative vision though.

  6. Pingback: Mrs Sledgehammer, part II - Metropolitan Mum

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