Meet the two local women making very stylish waves in the south east London property market with their company Our Amazing Houses, combining property development with interior design

Words by Victoria Purcell

It can be hard to walk away from a project, especially our first, as it was such a unique home,’ says Kim Baarda, one half of Our Amazing Houses, a new south London-based property development company with an eye for interior design. ‘It was just the most gorgeous little Georgian house packed full of original features. We could both imagine our kids living in that property one day.’

Our Amazing Houses is something of a labour of love for Kim and her friend and business partner Sara Mungeam. Founded of a shared passion for property, interiors and ‘a bit of a project’, the duo have been making waves in the south east London property market of late. Bored of the bland, white boxes created by many property developers, Kim and Sara go one step further to extend, refurbish and even interior design the houses.

‘We love bringing old, tired and often partially falling down properties back to their former glory. We have a vision and, while we obviously need to keep an eye on the profit, we are not afraid to spend a little extra to bring that vision to life.’

The aim is to create a lifestyle that appeals to buyers by staging a high-end, individual finish with stylish, contemporary furniture and furnishings, many of which are ‘borrowed’ from Kim and Sara’s own homes.
The two met through mutual friends at a book club and realised their shared desire to go into property development. Things didn’t go quite to plan at their first property auction – as the hammer was about to go down on their bid for a house in West Dulwich, the bidding ‘went crazy’ and it sailed over the asking price. So instead they decided to work with local estate agents. Their first development was the aforementioned two-bedroom Georgian cottage in Brockley, which was in such demand on completion that it sold within a week through sealed bids.

The Resident: Our Amazing Houses entirely revamped the kitchen of this Peckham homeOur Amazing Houses entirely revamped the kitchen of this Peckham home

‘We’ve found that putting that little bit more effort into resourcing and design has really worked,’ says Kim. ‘Friends of ours have been looking for houses and they’ve been so disappointed because there are no original features, just magnolia. It’s so uninspiring, there’s just no wow factor.’

That certainly can’t be said of their latest development on Adys Road in Peckham, a cool, contemporary collection of Scandi influences, geometeric prints and splashes of nearly neons that sold within two weeks of hitting the market.

The Resident: The back view of the redeveloped kitchenThe back view of the redeveloped kitchen

‘We’ve tried to make sure we think about every single little detail,’ says Sara. ‘In every room there’s something you could fall in love with. We keep an eye on what the trends and fashions are and try and pepper that throughout the house, without going to extremes.’

The kitchen in the Adys Road property is the showstopper. Kim and Sara have coaxed it out from its shy, pokey original Victorian layout, knocking down walls, extending into the side return, lowering the floor to create more ceiling height and adding a glass roof to the side return. Light now floods over the exposed brick wall of the side return – fixed with outdoor light fittings from Rocket St George – and from the steel-framed floor-to-ceiling windows that open the kitchen up to the garden, resulting in a spacious, industrial chic-style kitchen.

The Resident: The main bedroom at Adys RoadThe main bedroom at Adys Road

The huge, floor tiles resemble polished concrete and a dark grey feature wall adds warmth, picking up on the grey flecks in the marble granite worktops. A large industrial pendant light hangs above the rustic wooden dining table, accompanied by white plastic Eames chairs with wooden legs. Benches straight from the school science lab provide seating at the vast island.

Grey runs through the house as the neutral shade, setting a contemporary backdrop for the carefully selected furnishings – bright coral armchairs, an Ercol sofa with yellow cushions from Kim’s house and a slate-grey sofa populate the front room. A huge bunny print sits atop the reinstated fire surround sourced from Aladdin’s Cave in Lewisham and nurtured back to life by their carpenter. Furnishings and decorative items are sourced from all over – The Old Bath House in Sydenham, Ardingly Antiques Fair, the East Dulwich Forum, eBay, Ikea, Habitat…

The Resident: The children’s bedroom at Adys RoadThe children’s bedroom at Adys Road

The staging continues upstairs, with a statement chair here, a diamond-shaped Frama lightbulb on bare black flex there, a super-cool Scandi-style desk by Ladderax in the master bedroom, flecks of bright yellow and more shades of grey in the soft furnishings. The bathroom floor even sports a geometric print and there are carefully considered wall hangings peppered throughout the house.

The Resident: The rear reception room at Adys RoadThe rear reception room at Adys Road

‘We’re not just selling a development, we’re selling a lifestyle,’ says Kim. ‘I think a lot of people find it difficult to imagine how you could furnish a house and we’re showing them that if you put your table there, your sofas there, and buy this colour paint, you can really create
a beautiful home.’

Kim and Sara also offer an interior design and build management consultation service. Call Sara on 07887 936 329 or Kim on 07974 575 984. See ouramazinghouses on Instagram