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CALIFORNIA DREAMING

Monmouth Place, W2

One-bedroom flats are often the bridesmaids and never the brides. They are used as pieds à terre – just glorified hotel rooms, really – or as an inexpensive first-time buyer option sparsely decorated with flatpack furniture. This one-bedroom maisonette, though, was a complete departure from those sad stereotypes. First, it was no magnolia box but an amazing space spanning three floors just off Westbourne Grove.

It was bought by the owners just over two years ago, when it was little more than a wreck. “When we walked in for the first time, it was like a squat,” they said. “It hadn’t been refurbished for 20 years; the carpets were mouldy, the paint peeling – and the smell! When we bought the property two months later, we completely gutted it. We moved the kitchen from the top floor to the bottom, the bedroom from the bottom floor to the top and opened up the terrace to the living room. In essence, we wanted to make the apartment a super-spacious one-bed as opposed to a cramped two-bed.”

The first floor was a kitchen that would be the envy of any aspiring chef. “We wanted a property for us to live in, which meant a comfortable kitchen as we love to cook and eat.” Glossy white units were topped with a Carrera marble work surface that was polished to a reflective shine. A built-in seating area added a blast of colour with its lime green benches accented with cushions in bright berry shades.

The floor above was a contemporary living space with stainless steel storage units and exposed brickwork. Floor-to-ceiling windows led onto a patio painted in vibrant blue and burnt orange. The owners say they were inspired by the heat of California and the exoticism certainly shows.

Upstairs was arguably the pièce de resistance. The entire floor comprised a master suite complete with a large master bedroom, an en-suite bathroom with a huge walk-in shower and his and her sinks, and a walk-in wardrobe.

“We wanted a property with potential to exercise our creativity in an unconventional yet interesting space,” the owners added. “The way this was configured over three floors was awkward but definitely had room for improvement; we knew that a better layout would deliver luxurious and spacious living zones. It ticked all the other boxes, too, with amazing outdoor space and an excellent location behind the buzz of Westbourne Grove, yet with the tranquillity of a mews.” The result must be one of the most spectacular one-bedders in London. It just proves that less is sometimes more.