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Hot Houses: Hidden Gem

02/02/2012 06:10 | Updated 22 May 2015

Tucked away in a quiet leafy corner of Muswell Hill, North London, sits a stunning timber-framed mid-1980s gem that's home to graphic designers/furniture upcyclers Jenny Lloyd and Jonathan Parkin, Ellie, Joe and Maz the labrador. We had a snoop around and asked how they made it home.

Hot Houses: Hidden gemThe coolest 80s bungalow conversion imaginable. Pic: Fresh Locations

To see the Hot House in all its glory, check out the picture gallery below:

What kind of condition was the house in when you bought it and what work have you done to achieve the current look?

Unusually for London it is a timber-framed, originally single storey house, one of two built on some infill land between gardens in the mid-80s. The layout consisted of lots of small rooms with small windows and cried out to be opened up; the kitchen and bathrooms were very tired and dated and there was no central heating.

We started off by knocking down most of the interior walls and reconfiguring the space, re-siting the front door, enlarging the bathrooms, creating a walk-in wardrobe in the master bedroom, putting in the central heating (first we needed gas supplied to the house – being tucked away has its disadvantages...). Floor to ceiling glass (some diffused) was installed right along the front

of the house with additional panels at the side and back.

Then came a new kitchen and bathrooms, converting the brick built double garage into a work studio, decking all around the house, landscaping the garden and finally a second storey to provide bedrooms for the kids (who'd been practically camping with very little space) and a third room where we now have the work studio as the garage is now needed for the furniture business.

How long did the work take from start to finish?

Jonathan did a large part of the work himself and yes, it did take a long time overall, let's just say years rather than months! I could also say it's still not completely finished, and of course it's now time to start redoing bits and pieces – it's never ending, but a great house to live in.

Did you have an overall vision for how the house would look décor wise when you set out or did you work on a room by room basis?

Room by room as each one got done, but basically the same limited palette of materials and finishes.

What three words would you most like people to use when describing your home?

Relaxed, modest, welcoming.

What would you least like someone to say about your home?

Bland, pretentious.

Where are your favourite places to shop for interiors?

Kempton Park, Sandown Park, antiques fairs, Ebay, Designers Guild.

Is there anything you would change about the house?

Loads of stuff... but life's too short!

Can you tell us about the artwork you have in the house?

The large painting in the living room is by our friend Karl Bielik. There are also pieces by Jonathan available on the website.

And about the walls full of gorgeous men..!

Ellie's collection from Heat magazine! She's now talking about replacing them with some expensive wallpaper...

Has the house been used as a location for anything we might have seen?

We've had a few magazine articles featuring the house and the business and it's been used for a corporate video shoot.

In your opinion, no home should be without... what?
A real fire and a special dog.

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