Wonderfully positioned, this beautiful maisonette and separate commercial space unfold across three floors. The space on the ground floor is currently used as a gallery, while the maisonette above is finished in a neutral Scandinavian-inspired palette. The interiors are at once bright and cosy, retaining original features, such as wooden floorboards and wooden panelling. Two outdoor terraces flow out from the back of the house on the ground and the first floors. Located on vibrant Bethnal Green Road, the area is brilliantly connected, with Colombia Road, Brick Lane, Shoreditch and the City all a short walk away.
Setting the Scene
Dating back to 1840, the house is an early example of commercial Regency architecture in Bethnal Green. Large-scale building clearances and broader town planning in the early 20th century mean that very few Georgian and early Victorian commercial spaces remain, and those that do now mainly form the Bethnal Green Conservation Area. A house with a lot of history, the retail space has had many iterations (even once as a dog grooming parlour). Now home to a popular contemporary gallery, it is a creative hub, well-known in the area. For more information, please see the History section below.
The Grand Tour
Access to the home is on the ground floor from Bethnal Green Road through a private entrance separate from the art gallery. Entry is to a hallway finished in a muted ‘Dolphin’ by Little Greene. Original panelling lines the walls with roundels – thought to be a later addition – above. Stripped wooden floorboards add warmth, and a concealed trap door leads to storage running the length of the space underfoot.
On the first floor, the wonderfully characterful and large reception room is flooded with light. In the open fireplace, bricks have been left exposed, cast-iron radiators compliment the walls which have been finished in ‘Pointing’ by Farrow and Ball, and wonderful original floorboards continue. Sash windows overlook Bethnal Green Road, while the next-door kitchen, which flows from the reception, has glazed French doors that open to the terrace, allowing light to flow around the plan. In the kitchen, the original panelling has been painted ‘French Grey’ by Little Greene, adding a contemporary touch, echoed in the sleek white cabinetry that bounces light back into the room.
On the second floor, the primary bedroom is currently used as a studio and study. Again, this room has large sash windows overlooking Bethnal Green Road. Adjacent is the large second bedroom, a quiet room with a window that frames views over the rear terrace and neighbouring gardens. A sliding door in the hallway cleverly conceals the shower room, and a WC is tucked under the stairs that lead to the third floor.
The top floor of the house is home to a charming loft space, where original beams have been exposed, adding an unexpected vernacular charm. Velux windows have been built into the roof, allowing daylight to pour into the space.
On the ground floor, the expansive gallery space is accessible via the shop front. Currently used as a blank canvas to display art and installations, the room is exceptionally light, due to the floor-to-ceiling glazing at the front. Behind the gallery is a working office, a lovely galley kitchen with chalky green cabinetry and a screening room. There is also a large bathroom with a bath, an overhead shower, a vanity and a WC on this floor.
The Great Outdoors
Externally, the home has two wonderfully secluded outdoor spaces. On the ground floor, a large patio area can be accessed directly from the gallery, making it the perfect spot for hosting events. A spiral staircase leads to a pretty terrace, accessible from the first-floor reception kitchen. Both are veritable sun traps and feel quiet and secluded despite their central location.
Out and About
Bethnal Green is one of the most established east London neighbourhoods. The area has an exciting mix of traditional pubs and cafes, such as E. Pellicci, Tayyabs and The Approach Tavern, as well as a new wave of bars and restaurants, including Brawn, Redchurch Brewery and Sager and Wilde. Common E2 is just around the corner for coffee, while the lauded Laughing Heart and Marksman pubs are within walking distance. The area is home to many design and architecture practices, as well as lots of commercial galleries, including Maureen Paley, Modern Art, and Herald St.
Broadway Market and Columbia Road Flower Market are within easy walking distance, while slightly further afield is Brick Lane and Shoreditch. There are numerous small local parks, including Museum Gardens and Bethnal Green Gardens. The V and A Museum of Childhood is a short walk, as is York Hall Leisure Centre.
Bethnal Green Road is a 5-minute walk from Bethnal Green Underground Station (Central Line) and a 10-minute walk from Shoreditch High Street. There are excellent bus links to Hackney, Canary Wharf and central London.
Council Tax Band: B
Bethnal Green has played a vital role in London’s rich history of manufacturing and commerce. Largely rural until the 18th century, the area was settled by wealthy traders and French Huguenot silk weavers who built waves of both residential and commercial units in the area. The area’s proximity to canals and docks allowed raw materials to easily be transported and exported, founding Bethnal Green as a parish famed for its chair-making and silk-weaving.
Nearly 100 years later, Baroness Burdett-Coutts sponsored the construction of a spectacular market hall on Columbia Road. While the hall never became a commercial success (sadly demolished in 1958), the street now plays host to London’s busiest flower market.
The original buildings of what became the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington were transported to Bethnal Green in 1868 and re-erected on Cambridge Heath Road. Now home to the V and A Museum of Childhood, the museum is a wonderful draw to the local area.
Today, Shoreditch and Bethnal Green are once again an area of creativity and innovation. Relics of the area’s past are found in the remaining early-Georgian to late-Victorian dwellings and workshops, commemorated in spaces like the Geffrye Museum on Kingsland Road.
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