HIDDEN behind a nondescript front door in Primrose Hill, which to the untrained eye looks like a converted garage entrance, lies one of London’s swankiest one-bedroom apartments — yours for a mere £2.65million.
What makes this abode, located in the lower-ground floor of an 1860s semi-detached villa, all the more remarkable, is that just a few years ago the place was condemned by Camden council as uninhabitable after it fell into disrepair under the occupation of a sitting tenant. Sadly, there’s no picture of its dilapidated state, but the current owner’s massive renovation has made it palatial.
Remarkably, it has never been lived in, as the owner’s plans changed, and mere months after completion, it is on the market. The lucky new buyer will be moving into a brand new property with high-end fixtures and fittings.
The journey of discovery starts at the entrance with its large skylight, which lets natural sunlight flood in. The first sign of space-saving innovation is hidden behind a door that resembles a large coat cupboard but actually houses the apartment’s laundry facilities.
Next stop along the corridor is a ‘cloakroom’, which understates its grandeur. In reality, it’s a high-class wet room, complete with large shower, basin and vanity mirror.
Adjacent to that lies the study, which doubles as a guest room. A bed, concealed in a wall unit, can be pulled down for visitors to use. The room, with its large windows, feels bigger than its dimensions may suggest.
Across the gold-polished, plaster-lined hall is one of the apartment’s unique selling points — an enormous, 32ft open-plan reception room with floor-to-ceiling windows. The owner excavated and lowered the floor of the property, which has created rooms with much higher ceilings than you’d expect to find in a basement flat. The room looks out on to the 80ft private garden, landscaped by designer Laura Arison, which has striking Tasmanian ferns illuminated at night by special architectural lighting.
The kitchen area has everything even the most flamboyant host would require. There are four ovens — steam, microwave and two conventional ones — Gaggenau appliances, a range of hot plates including an induction hob, grill and teppanyaki grill, and two wine fridges.
There’s also a formal dining area, offering views of the expertly maintained garden. While all furniture is available for purchase, pending negotiation, the sculpture in the garden, by Eve Khalastchi, is not.
The main sitting area also has some fancy features. A bio fuel fireplace is concealed in what resembles a bench but it can spout flames several inches high to add warmth and decorative interest to a winter’s night. The TV is also out of sight — lowering down from the ceiling and turning the seating area into a mini-home cinema.
The bedroom suite isn’t far behind as a selling point. Again, cleverly designed proportions make this 18ft space feel much bigger than it is. There’s another bio fuel fire in the bedroom and, to the right hand side, is a spacious dressing room area. Bespoke wardrobe fittings maximise the storage capacity with plenty of room for designer garments, while to the left is a spacious en-suite bathroom with luxury finishes, such as a large, Napoli freestanding bath, double vanity with Napoli basins, a sound system and an Ese low-level toilet and bidet. The shower is double the size of those you might find in even the fanciest hotels.
The agents point out that the scale of the garden and reception room more closely resembles that of a London property costing £15million. They anticipate it will appeal to young, affluent bachelors or buyers who are downsizing from a larger London place or the country but would still like a garden and entertaining space.
If you fit neither category but have £2.65million (not a fortune in London’s prime property market) and fancy living in one of the capital’s most desirable neighbourhoods, then this could be the place for you.
■ For more information go to beauchamp.com