How to design an apartment interior worthy of 25 Beautiful Homes

Behind the scenes of the Hampstead renovation project that earned ex-Horton and Garton agent Anna Ellis a coveted spread in 25 Beautiful homes

In 2008, Brackenbury Village resident Anna Ellis went back to school to study Architectural Interior Design 

After graduating with merit, Anna Ellis Interior Design was born and her West London practice created. 

Despite having two young children at home and immediately attracting customers, Anna’s love of homes and first-hand knowledge of the West London market led her to also take on a role at our King Street office in 2018. 

“I loved being at Horton and Garton, I really enjoyed looking around the properties... It was great because I knew the houses, I knew the market and I knew everything about the school catchment areas because I’d just been through it all myself."

In 2018, Anna received a call from Todd. He wanted to buy a new apartment that was in great need of the Anna Ellis treatment. “He’d found this place in Hampstead, and it needed everything, complete gut."

Luckily for Todd, he’d caught Anna just as her youngest was starting nursery. 

"Never get a Macerator. 

The first steps when an Interior Designer is given a project, is to work out what the client needs from their new home. 

“It’s not just about the curtains and the colours, it’s about the function-how you can get your waste away and do the electrics etc. For example, some people want to put a toilet anywhere they like in a property. Of course this can be done with a macerator, but never ever have a macerator. You might find someone who’s happy to fit it, but you will never find someone to fix it."

 “Todd wanted an ensuite added to the bedroom. It was quite an ask but we could do it and we wouldn’t need a macerator."

Once the practicalities are out of the way, the fun can begin. 

“Then you take the brief from the client, what they want, what they want to achieve and how they live in that space” and use that to discuss design plans together.  

However, for a project to work, the customer has to be prepared to listen to the designer. 

“With the kitchen, Todd had a very specific idea of what he wanted which just wasn’t compatible with the rest of the brief he’d told me. He wanted it to be all white with a black worktop and a black and white chequered harlequin floor. I told him he could have it, but it just wouldn’t go with anything or relate to the rest of the property.” 

Eventually, after lengthy discussions, Anna presented Todd with an alternative kitchen design involving darker colour options that would fit in much better with the Art Deco style running through the other rooms and thankfully, he listened. 

Blues are in, greys are out.

It was this push for darker Art Deco colours that lead to Anna and the apartment getting a feature in ‘25 Beautiful Homes’. 

“It’s very difficult to get a property featured in a magazine, but because it was blue and Deco they wanted to get it into print as soon as possible. Blue and Art Deco are ridiculously on trend at the moment, which is interesting because the colours we used were decided in February 2019."

A year later and Anna’s designs are still bang on trend and in demand. “Greys are sort of out now, no one’s really doing anything with grey. Trendwise it’s blue, and very dark blue colours and rose gold, chrome isn’t as popular as it used to be."

Most Interior Designers, would experience an upswing in demand following a feature like this in a National magazine, however most features wouldn’t be published during a national pandemic.  

“I’d love to do more refurbishments and property development, but there obviously aren’t many residential projects anymore thanks to COVID-19."

DIY design tips 

With more people inside now than ever, many are turning to improvements they can do around their home themselves. For this, Anna has some recommendations. 

“Given that everyone is at home all the time, now is a great time to see how the changing light throughout the day affects the paint colour in each room. Choose your colour and paint four pieces of paper and stick them on each wall. Then, as the light changes you can see how much the shade changes. Light is a massive influence on the paint colour."

But so is paint quality. 

Farrow and Ball do lovely paint but they scuff more easily and can be difficult to touch up, for darker shades The Little Greene paint company does better quality paint, and that’s the one I used for this project."

Has this inspired you to give your home an Anna Ellis makeover? See more of Anna’s work on her website 


West London pubs re-open this weekend, but what will going for a post-lockdown pint look like?

As businesses reopen, we spoke to Pub Landlord Mick Pearson about what changes The Cross Keys on Black Lion Lane have been making during lockdown

This Saturday is July 4th, the day many of us have been waiting for. It is the day that the hospitality industry has the green light to reopen, and the streets of London will again be filled with the usual Summer soundtrack of bustling pub gardens.  

In our Hammersmith officewe’ve long been fans of The Cross Keys on Black Lion Lane. Last week, Autumn met its Landlord Mick Pearson (and famous pub cat Kirsty) for a socially distanced interview to find out what changes this traditional British pub hamade ahead of the big reopening. 

“At first I couldn’t wait to be open again, but now it’s a bit strange. It seems like such a long time ago that I was working, I was working 9am til midnight. But we’ll just fall back into it, it’s like riding a bike. 

At the time of the interview, the Government was yet to release guidance on how to reopen your restaurant, pub or hotel post-lockdown' and the risk assessments this will entail. Crucially, the success of the Cross keys (and many other independent bars and eateries) depended on whether a 2 metre or 1 metre distancing rule was enforced.  

1 metre is doable, 2 metres isn’t- in any pub I would imagine. Hopefully, by the time we get to the 3rd we’ll be in a position to have a 1 metre rule and be more relaxed. 

However, whilst they may be allowed to reopen, many residents will need to be reassured that it will be safe for them to return to their favourite pubs and barsAt the Cross Keys, Mick has been making some big changes. 

We already have a massive supply of sanitiser and we’ve installed more dispensers around the pub. In the toilets, we’ll now have two dispensers- one for soap and one for sanitiser, there will now be one on the back bar for the staff, and they’re all contactless. Then by each one we’ll have a data sheet. For the surfaces, we used to use a detergent but now we’ll swap to a sanitiser-based spray .

Luckily for Mick, the Cross keys has the benefit of a spacious beer garden that he’s spent lockdown giving a makeover, complete with giant mural of Kirsty herself painted by a local artist.

Outside of being a pub landlord, when he moved to Hammersmith in 2018 Mick set up a community initiative to tackle the growing amount of litter on the St Peter’s streets. St Peter’s Pickers meet on the first Saturday of every month, collect litter for an hour then return to the Cross keys for a free tea or coffee. 

First I goin contact with a couple of local councillors. One department donated all the sticks and the tabards, and another organised a truck to come and pick up the bags of rubbish- I just had to provide the people. The councillors have been very supportive, particularly Asif Siddique. He’s been to every one and been really helpful, then there’s a core of locals that attend every month. 

The Pickers were on pause for the Winter and then COVID-19 further halted the sessions, but Mick assures me that they will soon be back cleaning the streets again. If you live in the area and are interested in joining a team that keeps their community clean then email Mick at [email protected] 

Personally, we can't wait to welcome Mick and all the other local pubs, bars and cafes safely back into the community as we all adapt to the 'new normal', and ensure our West London businesses bounce back stronger than ever.


12 years at the Grove Neighbourhood Centre

After retiring this month, Centre Manager Theresa Tobin reflects on her time at the Grove Neighbourhood Centre in Hammersmith 

Residents of Brackenbury Village and surrounding neighbourhoods will all know of the Grove Neighbourhood Centre on Bradmore Park Road, but few will know the key role that this registered charity has been playing in the community since 1973. Here at Horton and Garton, we have long been sponsors of the GNC and all the amazing work they do year-round for the W6 community. We were even due to attend their 2020 Spring Fete but, just like all other public events scheduled for this year, it had to be cancelled with the hope of rescheduling for a later date. 

Centre Manager Theresa Tobin first joined the Centre in 2008 and now, twelve years later, Theresa is due to retire in the middle of a pandemic. We spoke to Theresa as she reflects on her twelve years at the Centre, how it has been impacted by COVID-19, and why we all must do our bit to ensure its survival. 

I joined the Centre in 2008 having worked locally for a firm of Solicitors. Given my experience as a carer, a legal secretary and that I sat on the Hammersmith and Fulham Alzheimer’s Committee, I felt I met the criteria the GNC were looking for. 

What have been the most memorable moments from your time at the Grove?  

Too many to mention but the GNC’s Christmas lunches have been great fun and it’s wonderful to see so many people get into the spirit of things and for many, this is the only Christmas lunch they get. Wonderful atmosphere created by all the volunteers and staff and everyone goes that extra mile and of course the food is delicious! Our annual outings to the seaside have also been enjoyable and I particularly remember one trip where a few of us took a couple of funfair rides including the ghost train. 

Why is the Neighbourhood Centre so important to the W6 community?

It’s widely used by residentseither for classes or by many to just drop in and have a cup of tea and a little bit of company. We also assist many in filling out forms or signposting them to other organisations to solve any problems they may have. It offers volunteering opportunities for those people with spare time and to share their skills. Many visitors have commented on what a warm and welcoming atmosphere the Centre has. 

How was the GNC affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic? 

The Centre had to close to the public at the end of March in accordance with Government Guidelines. Sadly, our income stream stopped almost overnight – not being able to rent our rooms or halls and staff had to be furloughed early in May. Fortunately, we have many committed volunteers who continue to monitor the phone, emails and keep the building clean and tidy. 

What project is the Centre focused on currently? 

The Lunch Club outreach service has been delivering hot homemade meals every Friday for up to 40 residentsand shopping for some of the most vulnerable people in the community. This service is currently being run by volunteers due to the staff still being on furlough and it is a nice way of keeping in touch with our users and local residents and to ensure they are safe and well.  

Do you have a final message for your community? 

The Centre looks forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as we are permitted to open. Staff and volunteers are keen to get things back to normal as soon as possible and continue to deliver our services and events, which hopefully will include one of our annual fetes before Christmas. I shall miss my colleagues, volunteers, committee members and users, many of whom I have formed a strong relationship with and consider to be friends. However, I will be popping into the GNC from time to time, and am really looking forward to joining Lunch Club one Friday for a nice meal and to catch up with all their news. The GNC is a vital part of the local community and I look forward to watching it grow from strength to strength. 

If you would like to support the Centre's crucial work, you can either donate online here, or send a cheque payable to The Grove Neighbourhood Centre to their address at 7 Bradmore Park Rd London, W6 0DT. 

Here are some more photos of the team from last Fridaycaptured by local resident photographer Annabel Moeller. 

 


Property of the week: Converted Artist's Studio in Ravenscourt Park

Unique property "The Studio" on Greenside Road isn’t your usual Ravenscourt Park home

If you took a stroll down Greenside road in Hammersmith, you would be forgiven for overlooking the two garage-style doors nestled amongst the Victorian terraced houses 

A two bedroom property with no ground floor garden might, on papernot seem that unusual in Ravenscourt Parkbut what you wouldn’t know is that behind these doors lies the most unique home in the postcode.

From the Victorian façade, to the spectacular use of light throughout, every Sq.’ of this L-shaped space has been designed through an artist’s eye, being owned by an Artist and an ex-Olympian. This contemporary converted studio has hidden staircase, private walled roof terrace and breath-taking 1100. Sq. ft. reception room with a double-height vaulted ceiling perfect for seamless entertaining. 

Across this impressive space lies an active artist’s studio on the ground floor that, should you not be artistically inclined, could easily be transformed into a third bedroom or second reception area. 

However, don’t be fooled into thinking The Studio is style over substance, it also boasts a spacious open plan kitchen/dining room, private off-street parking space and ample storage thanks to its in built cupboards and eave space. 

We think this home is one of a kind, but don’t just take our word for it. Call Horton and Garton, the local market leading agent to arrange an appointment to view on 0208 819 0510. 


We give 'The Old Fireplace Shop' an NHS makeover

We say thank you to Key Workers with our window display of children’s artwork  

Walking to and from our King Street office over the years, it’s hard to miss the Fireplace shopSince 1980 this green façade has been the recognizable face of Glenthorne Road. Now, after closing last year, the shop has been sitting dormant and boarded up waiting for a new occupier. 

It was this sad sight that caught John Horton’s attention one morning and, after talking to the building’s owner Jonathon Aaron, he hatched a plan to transform the windows with photos from around the neighbourhood to showcase the community spirit shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Photographing the Village 

During lockdown, resident photographer and Horton and Garton beautifier Annabel Moeller turned her attention to capturing her Village during a lockdown. This endeavour resulted in some wonderful photographyincluding over a hundred photos of NHS and Key worker thank you messages displayed on people’s homes. 

"Walking through the streets of Brackenbury I am endlessly struck by the sheer character of this beautiful neighbourhood. Flowers boisterously decorate almost every building as far as the eye can see, whether lovingly tended by a proud home-owner or cheerfully growing out of brickwork or a pavement crack all on its own. The spirited determination of nature is food for thought and for the soul. As I amble along I find this place to be infinitely photogenic and the perfect antidote to these peculiarly testing times. It is fantastic to find strength and smiles everywhere in the multitude of drawings, paintings and quirky sculptures in praise and thanks to the NHS. It has been a privilege to photograph all of this, over these last months.” 

The transformation begins 

On Monday, the Hammersmith company FastSigns began the transformation and as ever, Annabel was there to photograph it every step of the way. With over 35 individual rainbow drawings, paintings and thank you messages, the window now perfectly represents the gratitude felt by the nation at the hard work of key and NHS staff over the past months. 

What do you think about the new windows? We can’t wait for everybody to see them and be reminded of how the community pulled together during this strange time. 

To see more of Annabels’ work, follow her on instagram @annabelmoellerphotography, or visit her website. Also stay tuned to our social media pages where we too will be posting our favourite of Annabel’s shots. 


Listen, learn and donate. Now is the time to show support and solidarity with our black community

Ways to stand strong together against racism in our community

Here at Horton and Garton, we love being part of the wonderful and diverse community of West London.

The diversity of our neighbourhoods is what makes this area so strong and so resilient. Which is why we’re supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and the safe, peaceful protests that have sprung up across the world after the murder of George Floyd in Minnesota.

When the four officers involved were not immediately arrested or charged, Floyd’s murder reignited the anger at biased police brutality against black people, and the systemic racism that it reveals.

To express their outrage, and in the hope that it will bring attention to the everyday racism experienced by BAME individuals, protests in support of the Black Lives Matter movement have since taken place in both the US and the UK.

Racism has no place in our society or in our business.

Hammersmith lit purple

Hammersmith & Fulham Council Leader, Cllr Stephen Cowan, also recently shared a powerful message pledging the council’s support, later lighting up Hammersmith Town Hall in purple as a mark of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter demonstrators.

At Horton and Garton, we have always had a zero tolerance policy for racism or hate speech of any kind. And luckily for us, we’ve always been proudly purple.

Most importantly, we understand that – unless you are a person of colour – you can never truly understand the urgency behind this movement. Instead, it is our responsibility to educate ourselves and promote the many local organisations that are valiantly fighting against racial discrimination and police brutality.

Resources

The Bush Theatre in Uxbridge Road has shared a great list of podcasts, children’s books, TV shows and documentaries in an effort to improve the understanding of race-related issues. Finimpact also provide a helpful compilation of resources and organisations, highlighting ways to support local black-owned businesses.

If you find that you have any questions about Black Lives Matter, or why so many thousands are choosing this moment to protest, the answers can be found in resources like these and in our local institutions.

Another way to show support and solidarity with black members of our community is to donate to an organisation working hard in the UK or the US to fight racism.

Here are some recommended UK-based charities:

· Stephen Lawrence Trust

· Show Racism the Red Card

· Exist Loudly Fund

This list is by no means exhaustive and in the US there are many charities working on the frontline to ensure protestors receive access to fair legal services.

If you have any suggestions of other organisations or resources, please share by either messaging or commenting on our Instagram, Twitter or our Facebook page.

Let’s keep the momentum going, keep learning and stand strong together against racism.