It’s very rare for a property to have a zen-like effect on you, but this Grade II-listed home on Claremont Square in Islington is certainly one exception
In the crazy world that we all live and work in, our home should be an escape – but what if there’s even more clutter there? Cue stress as you try to work out where to start with the clear out. It’s obviously not a problem affecting Emma and Jens Grede. Stepping into their home on Claremont Square is literally a breath of fresh air.
‘That’s the look we like,’ agrees Emma when I point out how spacious and clean every corner of the home is. ‘The furniture is all pretty classic and unfussy too. That is, apart from the nursery, where the walls are covered in beautiful wallpaper with grey pencil drawings of every animal imaginable. The nursery is our favourite room.’
That must be a tough choice as elsewhere there’s always something to catch your eye. For a start, there’s the actual building itself, all 2,700 sq ft of it. ‘After looking at a lot of houses in Islington, this house felt so open and full of big lateral spaces,’ Emma recalls. ‘The light is also a big plus point – the property is situated on a corner plot, so we have light and clear views from three sides, which again adds to the feeling of real space. The light is incredible and it’s the first thing anyone mentions when they come into the house.’
The space and light are accentuated by the colour palette throughout. ‘We kept it neutral, white shades and grey throughout,’ Emma explains. ‘All the floors have been taken back to a light finish and the tiles in the entranceway are white, making the most of the space. And because the house has a spiral staircase, we’re afforded much more internal floor space.’
The Gredes have done plenty with what’s on offer. When they moved in, they got to work on refurbishing the whole house. ‘Ultimately we wanted to create both a beautiful and a functional family space,’ Emma says on their plans. ‘Our aim was to keep it simple and enhance the house’s outstanding original features, such as the 10ft high sash windows and the spiral staircase.’
There are five bedrooms, including a master bedroom suite that covers the whole of the third (top) floor. ‘It’s perfectly private,’ Emma smiles about that space. ‘It’s also really nice that it’s right at the top and away from the happenings of the house.’ Those ‘happenings’ could include get togethers in the double reception room on the first floor, the ideal size for entertaining, and the rather fabulous dining room on the ground floor. ‘Elegant and understated,’ Emma says on the look of the dining room. ‘We reinstated the original wood panelling and added French lining to the walls above it. It’s a massive room overlooking the square, which is lovely to entertain in. It’s the most grown-up room in the house.
‘At this time of year we always have the doors open,’ Emma says on the direct access to the garden, ‘so it does feel outdoorsy, but you have that sense throughout the property. There are a lot of windows looking onto greenery, which is lovely considering the central location. The garden itself is a little piece of heaven – the plants are really mature and every wall is covered with greenery. It’s nicely divided with a good-sized grassy area and the rest is decked, making entertaining easy.’
You do forget how close the home is to Angel’s vast array of attractions, not to mention the neighbouring Amwell Street, which Emma says ‘adds a real sense of community’. But then again it’s easy to forget about what’s going on around you thanks to the overwhelming impact of the Gredes’ home. After all, when asked to summarise the kind of feeling Emma hopes people will have when they walk through the front door, she simply says: ‘A calming one.’
Words: Mark Kebble
Viewing of the property, on the market with a guide price of £2.995m, is strictly by appointment with Savills by calling 020 7226 1313 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org