This delicately composed two-bedroom lateral apartment is positioned on the first floor of a handsome Edwardian mansion block in central Dalston. Built in 1905 to a brilliant design, all rooms pivot off a wide central hallway. The plan flows effortlessly from one space to another, encompassing a new kitchen and bathroom. The building and this apartment have been completely renovated in recent years. Internal accommodation extends to over 600 sq ft, with most of the original architectural features painstakingly preserved and revealed, including all joinery, box sash windows and pitch pine floorboards. Contemporary interventions include the beautiful kitchen and bathroom; column radiators feature in all rooms. Additionally, there is secure bicycle storage at the block’s secondary rear entrance, a communal barbeque area and access to a large non-demised roof terrace.
Setting the Scene
Dalston was once a small hamlet on the southern stretch of the Kingsland Road, known mainly for its nurseries; however, like much of east London, by the 1850s, it had grown exponentially to become a respected middle-class suburb. It is home to fine houses decorated with neoclassical stucco work and apartment buildings made of Imperial facing red brick, such as Eagle Mansions. Kingsland Road has a multi-layered history dating to Roman times when it was the main route from London to York. It was originally named Ermine Street and latterly the Old North Road.
The Grand Tour
Set behind a low wall on a quiet no-through road is Eagle Mansions. A fine building, set over five storeys, it is built from red brick with stucco dressing, which stands proudly from the canted bay windows resting on the main façade. The apartment within lies at the southern range of the block, upon the adjunct of Truman’s Road; it is remarkably peaceful despite its vibrant location.
Entry is on the first floor, immediately to the apartment’s private wide-set hallway. Here, carefully stripped four-panel doors and frames punctuate the light-filled space; lime-washed pitch pine floorboards run underfoot. Original reeded glass fanlights are set above some doors, allowing an abundance of natural light to travel from room to room as the sun moves throughout the day. Sleeping quarters are set to the front of the plan, while the living spaces are at the rear, with the bathroom positioned centrally.
The living room is elegantly designed, with walls painted dark grey with undertones of forest green. Deep original cornice frames the ceiling, and two tall box sash windows are set into the southern elevation. An open shelf runs along one wall, the perfect home for treasured objects. The kitchen is a cleverly conceived space, with slabs of exquisitely veined Carrara marble set upon and behind matte white handless cabinetry. Appliances are discreetly concealed behind cupboard doors, and a butler sink is inset beside the large window. There is space for a table that can comfortably accommodate five for cosy kitchen suppers, and the floor is laid with tiles in a bold yet muted patterned design.
The main bedroom is painted an enveloping deep blue, creating a restful space for nighttime. Currently used as a study/nursery room, the second bedroom is painted a pretty pale pink; further storage is housed in a bank of fitted cupboards. This room can comfortably accommodate a double bed if required.
Clad in honed Carrara marble tiles from Fired Earth, the bathroom unifies with the design of the kitchen seamlessly; a contemporary room with a careful nod to the history of the building’s provenance. Larger flagstone-size slabs are used underfoot, while the smaller Edwardian tile design is used on walls, with a niche inset within the wall housing bottles for convenience when bathing. The room’s sanitaryware is made of white porcelain in an Edwardian design, and the brassware is chrome plated. The bath is boxed along one wall, with a fixed thermostatic rainfall shower set above and behind a glass screen; this is a beautifully conceived and luxurious space. Two east-facing windows with discreet reeded and etched glass allow for a lovely morning light.
Out and About
Kingsland Road is conveniently positioned for the pubs, restaurants, shops, and cafes of both De Beauvoir and Dalston. The Scolt Head and De Beauvoir Arms are both excellent local watering holes, while the favoured De Beauvoir Deli is moments away for quality provisions. Immediate cultural distractions include the wonderful Rio cinema and the highly respected Arcola theatre. Dalston itself has an eclectic range of bars, restaurants and cafes, including Furanxo and Brilliant Corners. Regent’s Canal and the famed Towpath Café are within easy reach, providing a gateway to the rest of north and west London. The shops, galleries and restaurants of Shoreditch, Islington and London Fields are less than 10 minutes away by car or bicycle.
Dalston Junction and Dalston Kingsland stations are both a short walk away, providing transport links on the east/west and southbound branches of the London Overground. Buses run regularly to London Bridge, the City and West End directly from Kingsland Road.
Tenure: Share of Freehold
Underlying Lease: Approx. 988 years remaining (999 years from 24th June 2010)
Service Charge: Approx. £2000 per annum
Ground Rent: £80 per annum
Council Tax Band: C