BY NATALIE WAIN, HOUZZ
“When we first saw this flat, it was pretty dark and in bad condition, but we felt it had so much potential,” says architect Pereen d’Avoine of Russian For Fish. It was part of a former bakery that had undergone a cobbled-together conversion in the 1980s, and what it lacked in windows and natural light, it made up for in ample floor space.
Her partner, Matt, is also an architect, “and luckily we have similar taste when it comes to interiors,” says d’Avoine. “But we were on a really tight budget, so we decided to live in the flat for a while before starting work on it, so we could understand what we needed from the space.”
One year later the pair applied for planning permission to put in a new window, transforming a dark corner and helping them to make the most of their living area. Completed in 2012, the crisp, well-designed space now enjoys lots of natural light and is filled with restrained, midcentury-style furniture that complements the bold checkered floor.
13 Choices for Checkered Floors
Houzz at a Glance
Location: Bethnal Green district of London
Designer: Russian For Fish
Size: 2 bedrooms; 1 bathroom
“We had a really tight budget, so we didn’t want to rip out the solid wood floor, but it was stained a dark red color that totally sapped all the light in the room,” says d’Avoine. The solution: “Matt and I both love checks, and the bold pattern gives the flat a sense of width, which is helpful, as it’s quite long,” she says. “It also leads your eye naturally into the other spaces.” The statement floor is d’Avoine’s favorite part of the flat, although her contractors were not such big fans. “I think they hated it,” she says. “It’s all hand painted, and it took a whole week to finish.”
Russian For Fish, original photo on Houzz