The question is 'when is a flat not a flat?' The answer is when it is one like this beautiful example in Oxford Gardens. With its own private entrance and exclusive use of the wraparound walled garden and outdoor dining area, it was easy to forget this is a flat and not a house.
Even more impressive is the dual-aspect lounge with its large floor-to-ceiling sash windows that flood the room with natural light. The double-height space is so large that it easily accommodated the owner’s baby grand piano. This was set against an all-white backdrop with white-painted floorboards and whitewashed walls that made the most of the light. We were also impressed by the owner’s modern furniture collection. Le Corbusier LC2 sofa? Check. Le Corbusier LC4 chaise longue? Check. Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona chairs and stools? Check. Eero Saarinen Tulip chairs? Check. Philippe Starck Ghost chairs? Yep, those too.
Interspersed with these modern classics was a beautiful assortment of antiques including a mirrored armoire in the lounge, a full-sized harp and, more inexplicably, a 19th-century guard’s uniform complete with epaulettes. They were the perfect complement to the original sash windows, ornate cornicing, wide floorboards and other original features that still graced the flat.
The staircase was another example of modernity juxtaposed with the antique. A polished stainless steel column ran up the length of the stairs, giving an industrial feel, while a life-sized 19th-century wooden carving of St Christopher graced the landing.
Many people view a flat as a stepping stone to a house but, with this beautiful maisonette, it was clear that flats can be just as big and accommodating.