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South West London's Leading Estate Agent

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Offices  Balham Offi ce 132 Balham High Road, London, SW12 9AA

Clapham South Office 53 Abbeville Road, London, SW4 9JX

020 8673 6111 balham@aspire.co.uk

Fulham Central Office 226 Munster Road, London, SW6 6AZ

020 8675 1222 s.clapham@aspire.co.uk

Furzedown/Tooting Office 020 8769 7900 58 Moyser Road, London, furzedown@aspire.co.uk SW16 6SQ

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020 7381 7381 c.fulham@aspire.co.uk

03/09/2013 10:49


 Fulham South Offi ce 122 Wandsworth Bridge Road, London, SW6 2TF

020 7736 6110 fulham@aspire.co.uk

Battersea Office 242 Battersea Bridge 020 7801 3400 Road, London, SW11 3AA battersea@aspire.co.uk 

 Clapham North offi ce 44 Clapham High Street, London, SW4 7UR

020 7840 3700 n.clapham@aspire.co.uk

 Property Management Dept Balham 132 Balham High Road, London, SW12 9AA

020 8772 6300 management@aspire.co.uk

 Property Management Dept Fulham 122 Wandsworth Bridge Road, London, SW6 2TF

020 3010 1123 propman@aspire.co.uk

.co.uk

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W

elcome to the autumn 2013 edition of the aspire property and Lifestyle magazine. I almost can’t believe it will be our tenth anniversary in December when our first office opened in Fulham, so we thought we should reflect on the journey so far. Everything we do and have done is with the sole aim of achieving our client’s wishes – either letting or selling their home in the time frame they request and at the best possible price. We have not fallen into the lure of becoming a so called `boutique estate agency’ as we are not a café or coffee shop. However, we certainly love what we do every single day. Indeed, as our forthcoming company `short’ will espouse, we are as passionate about what we do for our clients during our working day as we are about our hobbies and interests after work! We’re extremely happy for people to pop in and talk about property, and you can be assured of sound advice borne of thorough local knowledge, if perhaps not a trained Barista! Finally we wouldn’t be reaching our tenth anniversary with seven flourishing offices if it wasn’t for our wonderful staff. They all receive on-going training throughout their employment with aspire which we complement by using the specialist skills of an award winning industry leading trainer and this, combined with our own awards, has ensured our various office teams are second to none. As most people are aware the London sales market has been extremely buoyant throughout 2013 with prices strengthening even further, caused in part, by the low levels of new instructions coming to market. On the lettings front the early part of the year was marked with the opposite problem with a wide choice of rentals for tenants to choose from which created a slight downward pressure on prices. However all our offices have just experienced an extremely busy summer quarter for lettings with the vast majority of that excess property being snapped up and we are now seeing a recovery of rental values which we expect to continue during the latter part of this year and 2014. As a leading SW London agent please do pop into your local office for any advice you might require, joking aside, we can of course provide you with a delicious cup of coffee but it is our sound local knowledge and advice that you will be most pleased to receive.

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Contents

06

Community news

08 - 13

Clapham vs Fulham

14 - 15

Local Taste

16 - 17

Materials

18 - 19

Profile

20 - 22

Neisha Crosland

24 - 25

Furnishings

26

Garden inspiration

27 - 29

How to - Pod and loft conversion

30 - 65

Property

66 - 67

Ask the expert

What’s happening in news and events in your area

- Social - Habitat - Case Studies

Trinity covers eating out and dining in

Bringing nature into the home with Pietra Wood and Stone

Director of aspire Clifford Harvey talks planes and property

The award-winning textile designer shares her local inspirations

Quirky Dovetail make buying antique furniture simple

Products for and inspired by gardens

Advice with Lucinda Sanford

aspire’s guide to the finest homes in south west London

Autumn property predictions from Mark Howell, director of aspire

.co.uk

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Community News

aspire in the

Community Winners announced in SW London schools’ art competition judged by Daily Mail cartoonist - Mac

J

udging of the annual SW London schools’ art competition

Overall Winners: First: Charlotte – Thomas’s Battersea Second: Isobel – Thomas’s Fulham Third: Omari – Hillbrook Primary School

took place in early July by the well-known and highly popular cartoonist Mac, who has been drawing cartoons

The winning schools received significant contributions to

for the Daily Mail since 1970. Run by aspire estate agents

their art department and the children also received a framed

and considered a resounding success, Matthew Dabell, director

certificate and cash prize to spend on art equipment for

of aspire, comments: “Year Two children were asked to design

themselves. The overall winner, Charlotte from Thomas’s

their dream home under the title of ‘My Home is my Castle’ and

Battersea - in a lovely gesture from someone so young -

it is, perhaps, not that well known that within most of Mac’s

requested that the school prize be donated to a school less

cartoons he includes a discreet portrait of his wife and so he

well off than their own.

was looking for fun and interesting ideas that the children may have included! Mac adds, “there were many adventurous and

aspire look forward to the competition growing further next

dramatic entries from the 6-7 year olds, and one of these days

year and hope to include even more schools.

one or two of these children might become architects and build something similar to their design in London - how amazing would that be!’ Mac loved their imagination and thought processes. “The range was enormous - from `food’ related houses, to spaceships, terraced castles and some excellent abstract works!” The many wonderful entries were initially reduced to three to four top choices per school and the final shortlist was compared and contrasted before deciding upon the top five schools and then choosing the final three winners. aspire are therefore pleased to announce the following results: School Winners: Penwortham Primary School – George Thomas’s Fulham – Isobel Hillbrook Primary School – Omari Thomas’s Battersea – Charlotte Henry Cavendish - Zac

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of Fulham, and was the second of this annual fund raising event in aid of Ray’s – the local childrens’ centre Playhouse. Ray’s is a charitable organization situated in the heart of Sands End by William Parnell Park. The Fulham ‘party’ was considered a great success with over 2000 local residents and guests visiting the many attractions on offer; from retail stalls and street food to bars selling Pimms, from a mobile spa offering manicures and pedicures to a childrens’ play area with fairground rides, an entertainer and face painting - as well as a mobile stage, with a band playing live music throughout the event and a make shift beach. Aspire’s own shooting gallery was a great success and raised a considerable sum for what is considered a very worthwhile cause. Tom Ward, director of the aspire Fulham office comments: “We are great supporters of Ray’s which we believe is an important attraction to the area and one which has particular appeal amongst the

Sands End Street festival

S

many families and their children that live in Fulham. It is a publicly funded enterprise and so we are pleased to help keep it thriving and very much part of our local community.” Running from 12

ummer celebrations were in full swing on Saturday 27

pm through to 8 pm, with so much to see and do and the sun

July 2013 as The Sands End pub hosted its annual street

still shining for most of the day - all stalls and entertainment

festival - fast becoming a key event on the Fulham

were extremely well supported and helped raise a significant

calendar. Local estate agent aspire was the main sponsor

amount towards Ray’s - and which is currently raising funds

of the festival held on Stephendale Road in the Sands End district

for a new outdoor water play feature.

Clapham Opera Festival A note for the Diary

D

avid Kirkup, of our aspire office is thrilled to be involved with the Clapham Opera Festival. The aims of the festival are to support and promote up-andcoming singers, musicians and production designers

and to bring opera to the local community, for whom it may be a new experience. Founded this year, the Clapham Opera Festival aims to bring opera to people who are interested in discovering it. The best way to enjoy the festival is to come to the whole event, in order to let yourself be tempted by the different styles on offer. It runs across 7 weeks from 4th October to 17th November 4th October, 8PM: Bel Canto Recital – “The Tribulations of love” 11th October, 8PM: Baroque Recital – “The Sweet Pain of Love”

Performance location:

10th November, 3PM: Operetta Recital – “When it all works out”

The Church of the Holy Spirit Narbonne Avenue,

17th November, 3PM: Opera: Don Pasquale – “Love Conquers all”

Clapham London SW4 8EB

.co.uk

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Social

Clapham 

VS

Lifestyle

Fine dining, open spaces and community in Clapham Clapham is centred upon the popular Common, which is the hub for all types of residents – from dog walkers to young professionals congregating. It’s easy to see why; the picturesque green expanse includes tennis courts, boating and fishing lakes, and links all of the areas of Clapham and Battersea whilst even touching on Balham. The area is a honeypot for foodies, with specialist butchers such as Moens and the soon to open Ginger Pig, as well as a multitude of top restaurants.

Social Scene

Vibrant, happening Clapham Clapham has a diverse and active day and night-time scene, with a variety of cafes and bars from the Bandstand café to The Falcon pub, as well as popular clubs for the early hours, such as The Two Brewers, The Clapham Grand and Inferno’s. There is also a good range of restaurants catering to all ages on the High Street, as well as local highlights such as the Clapham Picture House. This caters for everyone, from art-house film nights to a ‘Mothers & Kids’ daytime showings. The Common is also a social focus for sporty outdoor activities, playing host to fitness boot-camps, active meet-ups for young parents and the start-line for the London to Brighton cycle ride.

Crowd

Young starters in Clapham The demographic of Clapham varies across the locale, with young professionals and recent graduates creating a vibrant scene in Clapham North and Clapham Junction to young families congregating around Abbeville Road and the gorgeous tree-lined Clapham Manor Street. The former areas are close to the night-time spots, whilst the latter are close to excellent primary schools. The range of celebrities living in Clapham adds some spice to the homogeny of young families and graduates; Vivienne Westwood, Joanna Lumley, Ainsley Harriott, JK Rowling and Piers Morgan are all proud to call Clapham home.

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VS

Fulham

Clapham & Fulham are two burgeoning areas of London. Our directors David Kirkup, Matthew Carter and Tom Ward, give us their views on how the more refined Fulham compares to a young, vibrant Clapham.

Lifestyle

Coffee shops, culture and gourmet watering holes in Fulham Fulham is also home to plenty of greenery, but with smaller dispersed parks such as Parsons Green and Bishops Park. It does, however, share Clapham’s gastronomic reputation; with local butcher’s Randalls close to our office - a well-established and firm favourite among residents. The amenities are all quite refined – from quaint coffee shops such as Local Hero on the Fulham Road, to Le Pain Quotidien next to Parsons Green station.

Social scene

Refined, relaxed Fulham The social scene in Fulham has a relaxed, cultured atmosphere. Many spend their early evenings at the famous White Horse, which is affectionately named by the young professionals who frequent it as the ‘Sloany Pony’. Other options include sophisticated destinations such as Italian restaurant & cocktail bar Mare Moto, as well as the Jam Tree gastro-pub near Chelsea and Amuse Bouche, a sophisticated champagne bar in Parsons Green. The sporting scene is also refined and doesn’t come much more exclusive than the Hurlingham Club with it’s ten year waiting list. Other exclusive exercise arenas include the rugby and polo clubs in Hurlingham Park, the very smart and sporty Harbour Club, various squash courts, tennis courts and even a bowls green at the Parsons Green Sports Club.

Crowd

Established professionals & their families of Fulham Fulham has a very similar crowd, although the demographic is slightly older, but nevertheless still vibrant and active. Young professionals looking to buy or rent their first flats are found in the Munster Village and Sand End areas of Fulham, whilst families look to the more prestigious areas, such as the large five to six bed houses on the Peterborough Estate, Parsons Green and the roads off Fulham Road. Famous people that have made Fulham their home are Kelly Jones of Stereophonics fame, Les Dennis, Jemima Khan and Daniel Radcliffe. A diverse range of celebrity residents demonstrate Fulham’s broad appeal.

.co.uk

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Habitat

Clapham 

VS

Starting from scratch finding your first home in Clapham

First time buyers tend to focus around Clapham North for lower property prices, before moving up towards Abbeville Road for their second purchase. The typical one/two bed flat has prices starting at £500 per sq ft in the former, and larger family houses in Abbeville are priced around the £750 per sq ft mark. The Northern line provides three stops within the area, and the Victoria Line is only a short distance away in Brixton and Stockwell. Clapham Junction train station manages one of the highest volumes of passengers in Europe, and provides excellent links to London and the South of England. Residential properties typically date from the Victorian and Georgian periods.

Abbeville Road, SW4

Clapham Manor Street, SW4

£1,300,000

£850 PER WEEK

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VS 

Fulham

Putting down roots choosing from Fulham’s prestigious properties

There is a similar spread of residents across the area, corresponding to a similar separation of prices per sq ft between one/two bed flats and large family houses. However, the former is at an average of around £800, and the latter at around £1100 for the most prestigious houses in the area which is a substantial increase on Clapham’s prices. District Line stops include Parsons Green and Fulham Broadway, which provide access to terraced Victorian property in the centre. Fulham Palace provides a focal point, with a newly opened honey farm which contributes to the eclectic country vibe, a community feel enhanced by the Hurlingham Club. As with Clapham, the architecture is diverse ranging from Victorian through to the modern apartments on Imperial Wharf and Chelsea Creek. The prestigious properties are to be found on the Peterborough Estate, the red-bricked destination for movers from Kensington & Chelsea.

Rosebury Road, SW6

Letterstone Road, SW6

£1,250 PER WEEK

£1,100,000

.co.uk

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Case studies

Clapham

VS

£ per square foot for the average family home £1,000.00

£800.00 £600.00

£400.00 £200.00 £0.00 Munster Village

Abbeville Village

A direct comparison is demonstrated here for two similar family orientated areas but located in completely different boroughs. This graph represents how much space one can buy in either area and the results show that the average family home in Munster Village is about 25% more expensive per square foot. Of course these figures are only averages.

% of Garden Flats compared to Upper Flats

38.60% 61.40%

On Clapham High Street and the surrounding areas

29.6%

 Top floor flats  Garden Flats

70.4%

On the Wandsworth Bridge Road and the surrounding areas

The pie charts above demonstrate that Upper Flats are more abundant in both areas. Why? Vendors are more likely to retain their garden flats for a longer period of time as there is less need to move when starting a family and in turn, they provide a great rental investment and perhaps more summers like this years will only make this trend more prevalent!”

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VS

Fulham Average size of garden (length in feet)

40 30

20 10 0 Munster Village

Abbeville Village

Abbeville Village appears to offer almost twice the average garden size compared to Munster Village; a clear indication that the architecture of the houses in each area differ significantly and could also signify that the average size of the houses in Abbeville Village are larger.

Quantity of Leashold properties compared to Share of Freehold properties

37.20% 61.40%

Clapham

 Share of Freehold

44.4%

55.6%

 Leasehold

Fulham

There are more share of freehold tenured properties in the Fulham area, perhaps implying that the trend to purchase a share in your freehold started earlier in Fulham than Clapham. As London property values have grown over the past decade the potential ‘marriage value’ of lease extensions or an outright freehold purchase have also grown significantly.

.co.uk

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Local taste

Trinity at home: The Ultimate Dinner Party

Nestled in the picturesque location of Clapham Old Town, Trinity has been south-west London’s go-to gastronomic destination ever since it opened in 2006. three AA Rosettes for the last six years. Having perfected the experience of eating out, Trinity has now set its sights on intimate dining in the comfort of your own home. For many of us the idea of entertaining five guests for dinner sends us into a tailspin of anxiety and panic which is why the offer of a fully catered gourmet dinner party for anywhere between 6 and 14 people is something of a godsend. For £100 a head the Trinity team can be hired to cook up a feast of Trinity’s signature British dishes for you and your guests, meaning all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy the evening without any thought of rushing in and out of the kitchen. In order to ensure the freshest ingredients, Trinity’s menus change regularly with the seasons, but dishes to expect on the evening’s five-course tasting menu include chilled pea and mint soup with cow’s curd; charred Cornish mackerel with gooseberry and apple; scallop-filled courgette flower, crab and samphire; new season lamb loin with heirloom tomato, basil and pine nuts; and a warm brownie with fresh raspberries and raspberry sorbet. Not only is the stress of cooking removed

W

but if one should so desire any pressure to play sommelier ith a menu that highlights the best of seasonal

can also be eradicated. Hosts are of course free to supply

British produce, Chef-Owner Adam Byatt has

their own wines – ideal if you’ve been saving a few bottles of

gained a reputation as one of the best chefs

something special – but for an extra £40 a head, Trinity can

in the country, and the restaurant has held

supply matched wines for each course.

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The

Review Matthew Carter from aspire’s Clapham North office samples the fare at Trinity. 

W

hen considering where to take a client for lunch, or even get together with some friends for a midday meal, I often find it tricky to strike a balance between cost and quality.

I don’t want to nip into Pret for a sarnie but neither can I afford to dine at Claridge’s every day. Trinity on the Polygon in Clapham to my mind would have fallen within the latter category, more appropriate for a special occasion rather than a casual lunch, if it were not for my visit last week. Offering a set lunch menu which runs from Tuesday to Saturday, the entire meal comes to only £27 for three courses (a steal!) and although they provide only two choices for each course each option is carefully thought out and, most importantly, seriously delicious. The soaring temperatures outside made the gazpacho just the ticket – light and freshly flavoursome it made for the ideal refreshing opener. The second starter, Cornish mackerel with charred skin on top of a gooseberry and apple sauce, provided an incredible combination of taste and texture. Next came Cornish cod with roast fennel, preserved lemon and black olive which was an excellent follow up to the soup and was cheerfully washed down with a crisp, dry Sancerre. The lamb faggot, the other option for the set menu main course, was cooked to perfection and paired with barley and peas adding a delightful earthy quality to the dish. To top it all off came BBQ Charentais melon, crème fraîche sorbet and granola, which was utterly outstanding. The brownie was not overly rich and the rum and raisin ice cream made a great accompaniment. We were served two desert wines hand-picked by the sommelier, adding a distinctly high-end flair to the proceedings. The service was excellent, unfussy but intelligent, but what mostly shone was the food and the standard of cooking. With prices at this level, it is a restaurant I hope to see a lot more of in the coming months. 020 7622 1199, www.trinityrestaurant.co.uk, www.trinityrestaurant.co.uk/index.php/trinity-at-home 4 The Polygon, London SW4 0JG

.co.uk

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Materials

Where the

Wild Things Are

A

s is so often the case, we are hard pushed to improve on nature in most areas of life. No artificial lighting can take the place of a perfect sunset, the hues of changing autumn leaves are unmatched

by any colour schemes we can devise and few water features can capture the romance of a babbling brook. It therefore makes sense to seek within nature for the finest materials to create the best possible environment at home, which is where Pietra comes in. Specialising in wood and stone, the company began it’s life in 2003 as a wholesale company supplying architects and developers with high quality flooring and cladding materials but has organically developed into a retail venture with outposts all over the country. The showroom in Fulham, located oh so handily on the Wandsworth Bridge Road, boasts a range of diverse, and in some cases, unique natural materials and finishes - these exquisite resources are procured through several partnerships throughout the UK and Europe. Pietra’s reach isn’t limited to London as is evidenced by a further two showrooms located in Holt in Wiltshire and Bath respectively nor do they cater only for interiors; whatever the size of your project, be it a full scale renovation or a minor tweak you can expect a tailor made service from knowledgeable staff who are ready and willing to help. 020 7610 6111, www.pietrawoodandstone.com, 198 Wandsworth Bridge Road, Fulham, London, Greater London, SW6 2UE

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Cooking Au Naturel For many people, the kitchen is is the heart of the home and worth making as close to perfect as possible. Using beautiful oak floor boards, produced in super long lengths, and finished in chic, grey oils will give your kitchen a contemporary and stylish feel. If stone is more your thing then using one of the many versatile limestones could be right for your space. Limestone is, contrary to popular belief, very hard wearing and when sealed correctly and looked after will maintain its colour and character for many years.

When Nature Calls Bathrooms are often somewhat overlooked when it comes to decor, a mistake that can be rectified by the simple addition of quality natural stone or particularly striking fixtures. Antalya is another limestone that is wonderfully pale in tone and consistent in colour. It can transform a small area making it feel lighter and more spacious. Pietra also have unique hand cut stones such as Nero Sangemini, a limestone and Thassos, a white marble, which as panels can provide striking details to any bathroom walls. The patterns cut into the stone are reminiscent of lotus flowers.

.co.uk

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Profile

Profile Agent

We take a look a one of our directors who wanted to be a fighter pilot, and ask how it compares.

C

lifford Harvey, director of aspire, Balham, wanted

what he does – his favourite part of the job is going out and

to be a pilot from a very young age. This wasn’t

seeing potential client’s homes with a view to helping them

just a fleeting schoolboy dream; Clifford seized the

achieve their own goals. Meeting people and getting the

opportunities available to him in his quest to soar

price right for both buyer and seller is what makes his job

above the clouds. He spent some very happy teenage years in

both rewarding and interesting. Clifford’s passion for flying

the RAF cadets, and on his 17th birthday, before he was even

reflects his straightforward approach with customers. He

allowed to buy a drink in a pub, Clifford became one of the

tries to make sure moving house is as simple as possible

youngest holders of a glider’s licence. On this same birthday,

and believes the process of moving should be direct and fun.

however, he decided to follow a practical option, and get his

He doesn’t even mind the phone calls at extraordinary

driving licence and a car rather that working towards obtaining

hours, as he understands that his customers are going

a pilot’s licence. It is a decision he doesn’t regret.

through a life changing upheaval, and they really appreciate

Since colour blindness prevented him from joining the RAF

their estate agent going the extra mile. This culture of

and training to become a commercial pilot, he tried out a

putting the customer’s needs first is one that Clifford really

completely different career path – embarking on a week’s

feels differentiates aspire from the competition, and is the

work experience in an estate agent’s office. At the end of the

reason why he gets up at 5.30 am most days and never

week, they were so impressed with his flair for the job they

leaves the office before 7 pm. Clifford laughs as he explains

offered him a full-time position as a trainee sales negotiator,

it isn’t quite true that he gave up the dream of flying once

with a starting salary of £1,000 a year! And Clifford has not

he’d experienced life as an estate agent.

looked back; having found his career niche he climbed rapidly

He trained for his private pilot’s licence in his spare time,

through the ranks, first becoming one of the youngest office

although this has unfortunately fallen by the wayside a bit

managers before he eventually became a Regional Director.

since his family and his dogs won the competition for his

He subsequently set up and then sold his own estate agency,

attention and his daughter discovered a love of horses! If

as well as qualifying as a financial advisor before coming to

he ever stops loving what he’s doing in his job, he says he’ll

aspire just over three years ago. Whilst being an estate agent

just spend more time doing the things he enjoys – flying,

can’t quite, literally, match the highs of flying, Clifford explains

spending time with his family and dogs, and golf.

that the job has more than its fair share of excitement. Estate agents operate in a market that is incredibly sensitive to

Or just spend his days in Barbados drinking champagne and smoking cigars!

the prevailing economic winds, and if these switch direction then dramatic changes in the market can happen almost

020 8673 6111

overnight. Even without the drama, Clifford gets a buzz from

balham@aspire.co.uk

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ď §

Clifford Harvey

Director of aspire, Balham

.co.uk

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Neisha Crosland

Weaving

wonders

From a wrong turn in the V&A to royal honours, Tabitha Joyce meets award-winning textile designer and Battersea resident, Neisha Crosland.

I

n her own words Neisha Crosland does not compromise;

Her early ambitions to study fine art were foiled, however, as

she does what she wants. And it seems to work. Crosland

her father put pressure on her to pursue a more commercial

is one of the most successful UK textile designers of recent

path. She settled on graphic design at Camberwell.

times. Her elegant yet quirky designs are full of personality

Almost a year into the course, Crosland had her ‘Eureka

and have been acknowledged by a number of awards over the

moment’ when she got lost in the V&A’s textile department

years, most notably the honorary Royal Designer for Industry

and came across some astonishing 16th century Ottoman

in 2006. When we speak, she has just been awarded Homes

textiles. It was a wrong turn which would prove to be a defining

& Gardens Surface Designer of the Year for her parquet

moment in the course of her life, leading her to transfer from

flooring and is thrilled. ‘It really is fantastic to be recognised,

graphic design to textiles. After obtaining a BA, she went on

particularly when it took such a long time for me to get it right.

to complete a postgraduate course in Printed Textiles at the

What I love about this floor in particular is that it looks really

Royal College of Art. Her final project presented a range she

chic whilst not being terrifyingly sophisticated.’

had created by printing layers on velvet she had picked up

It’s a sentiment that could easily be attributed to

from flea markets around London. It was this collection that

the designer herself. Born in Knightsbridge, Crosland moved to Battersea with her mother after her parents divorce at the age of eight and she never really left. ‘I love Battersea because it’s not too trendy,’ she explains. ‘You don’t feel like you’re quite in London, yet you

led to an invitation from Anthony

“I love Battersea because it’s not too trendy. You don’t feel like you’re quite in London, yet you only have to hop over the bridge and you’re in town”

only have to hop over the bridge and you’re in town.’ Unsurprisingly, it is this understated elegance which translates into her eponymous designs. A shy and retiring child, Crosland was creative from a

Little, of Osborne & Little, and carte blanche to design her first commercial collection for the brand. After a frustrating, but not unsuccessful, few years freelancing, Crosland launched her own label in 1994. Starting with a range of scarves, her designs

have stretched from fabric and wallpaper to tiles, stationary and rugs. ‘It is brilliant being able to work with such a range of people at the top of their game,’ she enthuses when I ask about the best part of her job. ‘To design a pattern and leave

young age. Seeking refuge in drawing, Neisha’s extreme

the manufacture up to the experts is a real privilege. I love

shortsightedness resulted in incredibly detailed sketches (an

seeing pattern work on such a range of things.’

element which continues to present itself in her work today).

She makes it sound so simple, but it’s not all been plain

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sailing. It’s been almost two decades since she started her own label, but Crosland still struggles to gauge why some designs sell and others don’t. Decorating her own house proved a real learning curve. ‘You have to want to live with something and be enveloped by it,’ she tells me, explaining her decision to tone down many of her colour palettes. ‘To do this there must be a friendly element; something soft and warm.’ A sneak peek inside her home reveals rooms filled with her own fabrics and cushions, yet only a couple showcasing her wallpaper. The reason for this? Pattern only works, she says, if it brings a sense of calm. Her new ‘Weave’ collection, launched for Turnell and Gigon, uses playful motifs and elegant tones in exactly this way. Yet award-winning textile design is not the only feather in Crosland’s cap. Alongside a more-than-full-time job, she has managed to raise her two boys, Oscar, 16, and Samuel, 13, a particular feat considering her French husband, Stephane, spends his weeks in Paris. But travel, she says, is something that has always inspired her work. In fact, at the time of our meeting, she had just got back from the Palmeraie outside Marrakesh, where the family visit year-on-year. If she didn’t live in London, she says she would choose Paris, where she and Stephane already own a flat. ‘The boys will probably go to university in Paris. Hopefully then I’ll be able to spend more time there,’ she says with a real sense of longing. That is, of course, if she can bear to part company with her beloved Battersea. One thing which strikes me most about

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Crosland is her genuine love of the neighbourhood. When I ask for some local tips, I am met with real enthusiasm and a barrage of answers. The Birdhouse Café, she says, serves ‘the best coffee in London’, whilst the French deli on St John’s Hill will cook you a delicious Coq au Vin in your own casserole dish. Ready-made meat pies should come from Dove and Sons on Northcote Road, and dinner should be at Chez Bruce in Wandsworth (‘nowhere else really matches up’) or The Fish Club on a Saturday (‘as a treat for the boys’). Then there’s the new Thai restaurant, Khaosarn, which apparently is a ‘must’. I scribble down the list, struggling to keep up with her numerous recommendations. It’s easy to see then why Crosland chose to work just a few minutes from home – a decision which helps her balance running a business and looking after the boys. It begs the question though, what is the secret to her success? ‘Make the most of every opportunity,’ she says, ‘even if this means waiting tables every other moment to make it work.’ This advice, she assures me, comes from years of experience and I am left wondering what the future might hold for Neisha Crosland? The launch of her fine china range this month, is what. Over three years in the making, it is set to be a huge success and I have little doubt that it will be. neishacrosland.com

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Furnishings

Sitting Pretty Iain Selwyn-Reeves, Director at aspire’s Furzedown office, uncovers hidden gems at quirky DOVETAIL

O

ften people are intimidated by the thought of buying antique furniture. Questions of value, quality and longevity can seem daunting to the unseasoned buyer, which is really where quirky

DOVETAIL comes into its own. Established by friends Gill and Andy, who both have ten years experience in the world of antiques, the shop is able to offer expertise as well as products of an exceptionally high standard. Specialising in painted pine and antique furniture there are a fabulous, unique pieces on offer as well as an expert restoration service to return furniture to its former glory and a furniture painting service to create a unique antique, contemporary or quirky look. “We spend time and effort seeking out antique and vintage furniture because we believe it has been built to last.” This ambition, along with a passionate commitment to recycling and remaining environmentally aware, sums up the heart of the business – well, that and some truly beautiful furniture. 020 7720 3312, www.quirkydovetail.co.uk 32 Old Town, Clapham, London SW4

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Garden Inspiration

Garden

Variety 2

1

4

3

5

6

7

1 The Kew Gardening Range - £6 Pocket Gardens / £15 Garden Grow Boxes, Peter Jones, Sloane Square, SW1, 020 7730 3434; johnlewis.com 2 Watering Can - £34.95, Available from All Good Gifts Ltd, 65 Northcote Road, SW11, 020 7223 8257; wildandwolf.com 3 Oliver Bonas furniture - 304 Centre Court Shopping Centre, Queens Road, SW19, 020 8946 0655; oliverbonas.com 4 Outdoor Candles - £2.50 each, Cargo, The Exchange, Putney High Street, SW15, 0844 848 3300; cargohomeshop.com 5 Susie Watson Designs - £32, 125 Northcote Road, SW11, 020 7228 9955; susiewatsondesigns.co.uk 6 Allotment Postcard - £7.95; 28 Shad Thames, SE1, 020 7940 9775; designmuseumshop.com 7 Miniature Greenhouse - £24.95, 28 Shad Thames, SE1, 020 7940 8775; designmuseumshop.com

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How to

Interior

Design advice Loft and Pod Conversion Lucinda Sanford offers expert advice for those planning to expand their home

ď §

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Local designer Lucinda Sanford discusses her most recent development and the benefits of a pod or loft conversion 

Can one loft be different from another? Yes, very much

so. There are two methods of getting permission for a loft and pod: via a full planning application and in some cases via permitted development, a Certificate of Lawfulness. Both of these offer advantages and disadvantages. In my opinion the main thing that really makes a difference between one loft and another is the head height you achieve. Generally to really make an impact on the head height, the ceiling’s in the first floor need to be lowered; this has a cost implication but it really makes a difference. 

What advice do you give to people who are about to embark

on a project? My advice is to make sure that you plan your house as a whole even if your budget won’t allow you to do everything in one go. For example if you are refurbishing the first floor then you need to think about investing in the steel work for the loft, and lowering the ceilings at this point. Its always terrible to undo good work done on a house when you get to phase 2. I spend much of my time working with new home owners to build a “shopping list” of items and then try to make a logical plan of phases. Doing this takes time but in the long run will allow for a better house and should save costs. You also need to think about what you need. It may seem very impressive to have ensuite bathrooms and shower rooms everywhere but you also have to think what they are like to use. Do you really need them and is your family dynamic going to change over the years. 

Why do quotes vary so much? The devil, as ever, is in the

detail. You need to make sure that all the elements are accounted for – I always like to price for the ultimate goal: carpentry, handles, finishes. If people aren’t including this in their original budget then it can be a problem once they have done the work but end up with no storage, doors or decoration! It’s better to know the total and then make the choices to cut back. 

Pod or Roof terrace? This is a big debate in SW6 and I think

it’s a personal decision. If you are in a flat with no garden then a roof terrace becomes very important. If you have access to a garden, then I generally think the extra room is more valuable. 

You have used your loft conversion for your Master

bedroom, why was this your preference? For me the loft is such a large space, allowing for storage and light that it seems a shame to only use it as a spare room. We use our

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pod as a master bathroom so when I climb upstairs it’s like a

wouldn’t change anything but I have no doubt something

lovely sanctuary away from everything! Particularly with the

will spring to mind!

basement dig going on below us!  

What are your favourite features of the new master

What in your opinion, is great about the area you live in?

I love living here in Sands end, it has changed a lot over the last

bedroom suit? I am a carpentry lover! Everybody needs

few years and continues to get more popular by the minute. I

storage and all of my clients have a bugbear that they never

love our little street and while we may have been making some

have enough. So for me it’s all about making these a feature

noise on it over the last few months - it is generally really

of rooms. Using mirrors throws the lights around the room

peaceful and welcoming!

and is a lovely contrast to the dark colours on the walls. I love details and nothing makes me happier than admiring

the handles, the braid trim on the curtains and the way the

The price increases in SW6 have been amazing but I still see it as

Do you see property as a good investment?

new coving meets the wall and ceiling. The details are what

a good investment. I am currently working with various clients

makes something special, and I think when one is investing so

in the area - designing developments, searching for further

much time and money into a project it is important to allow

investments, as well as working on peoples’ personal homes.

oneself the ability to have these little things that make it all

For the former they believe the area is still going from strength

seem worthwhile. In the bathroom we have picked up the same

to strength plus it has a good foundation to build upon. For the

panelling as the master bedroom so you can look to one from

latter, clients who live in the area, enjoy the peace of mind that

another and they are very in keeping. I am really pleased with

their investment into their homes is making a good return. They

the mirror wall, which joins the two rooms together as well as

look to me to combine my understanding of the values in the area

adding light and space. All these things take time and energy

as well as the building and design of a property to make a really

but they are worth it in the end.

well rounded product, so they can be confident in their property achieving the right price for them should they want to sell.

What would you change? An interesting question, every

project I do for my family or clients I learn something. I have

Lucinda Sanford design and build, 0207 231 8060,

learnt that your Juliette balcony needs to be wide enough to

www.ljsproperty.com, 128A Lower Road, Rotherhithe

open doors onto – for so many reasons. So far on this one I

London, SE16 2UG

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Cloudesdale Road SW17 A classic mid-terrace family home on a quiet residential street in the heart of the sought-after Heaver Estate. Presented immaculately throughout, this charming house boasts plenty of period features.

UNDER OFFER ÂŁ1,100,000 020 8673 6111 balham@aspire.co.uk

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Laitwood Road SW12 A four bedroom mid-terraced family home in this sought-after residential street in central Balham. The house boasts four very generous bedrooms, downstairs cloakroom, an eat in family kitchen leading out to the particularly private and large low maintenance garden. Most original period features remain including stripped wooden floors, fireplaces and pretty sash windows.

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UNDER OFFER £975,000 020 8673 6111 balham@aspire.co.uk

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Ormeley Road SW12 A four bedroom mid-terraced family home in this soughtafter residential street in central Balham. Presented in immaculate condition throughout the house boasts four bedrooms, two bathrooms - one en-suite to the master bedroom - and a thoughtfully extended family kitchen leading out to the particularly private South-West facing garden.

UNDER OFFER ÂŁ950,000 020 8673 6111 balham@aspire.co.uk

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Woodnock Road SW16 A beautifully refurbished five bedroom family home on one of Furzedown’s most desirable roads. Finished to a high standard, this wonderful house offers excellent living space with a large reception, open plan kitchen / dining / family room.

SOLD ÂŁ925,000 020 8769 7900 furzedown@aspire.co.uk

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Rectory Lane SW17 A fantastic newly refurbished four bedroom house finished to a very high standard close to Tooting Bec Common. This delightful property offers four double bedrooms, three bathrooms (one ensuite), a large through reception, stunning kitchen and a garden.

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FOR SALE £750,000 020 8769 7900 furzedown@aspire.co.uk

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Clapham Manor Street SW4 A beautifully refurbished four bedroom house on the highly sought after Clapham Manor Street. The accommodation has been completely opened up on the ground floor, creating an amazing living space and kitchen with the highest standard of finish. There are four good size double bedrooms, two bathrooms, two reception rooms, office space with Juliet balcony over looking one of the reception rooms and a fantastic size garden.

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TO LET £850 PER WEEK 020 7840 3700 n.clapham@aspire.co.uk

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Landor Road SW9 A fabulous Victorian conversion garden flat situated on Landor Road, just moments from Clapham High Street and Clapham North underground station. The accommodation, arranged over two floors, comprises two large double bedrooms, extremely bright and spacious reception room, dining room, kitchen bathroom and manicured rear garden.

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SOLD ÂŁ16,000 over asking price with multiple

020 7840 3700

offers in the first week of marketing

n.clapham@aspire.co.uk

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Abbeville Road SW4 This superb five bedroom family house measures in excess of 2,200 sq ft, offering bright and airy living accommodation arranged over three floors with five bedrooms and three bathrooms. On the ground floor there is extensive living accommodation, the large kitchen has space for sofas and a large dining table and double doors leading to the attractive garden.

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FOR SALE £1,300,000 020 8675 1222 s.clapham@aspire.co.uk

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Elms Crescent SW4 This larger than average Victorian terraced house is positioned on one of the area’s most sought after residential streets with extensive accommodation over three floors the house offers excellent entertaining space and a large garden. Over the upper floors there are five bedrooms and three bathrooms the master having an ensuite and dressing room.

FOR SALE OIE ÂŁ1,575,000 0208 675 1222 s.clapham@aspire.co.uk

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Hambalt Road SW4 Finished to an exacting standard this beautifully presented house offers a double reception room leading to a fully extended kitchen with bi-fold doors on to the landscaped garden. Three bedrooms and a family bathroom are set over the first floor. The property STP can be extended in to the attic.

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FOR SALE £1,250,000 020 8675 1222 s.clapham@aspire.co.uk

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Fernhurst Road SW6 An imposing house set on this highly sought after road in the heart of Fulham. At just under 1600 Ft2t, subject to the usual consents and permissions, the house offers the opportunity to extend considerably. Fernhurst Road is located just off the Munster Road and close to the many local amenities of the Fulham Road.

FOR SALE ÂŁ1,695,000 020 7381 7381 c.fulham@aspire.co.uk

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Letterstone Road A wonderful three double bedroom house set within the popular Munster Village, moments away from all the local, quaint amenities and transport links. Comprising space and

FOR SALE

immaculate decoration throughout, the property has a double

ÂŁ1,100,000

reception room, a stylish kitchen with dining area, a family

020 7381 7381

bathroom and a patio garden.

c.fulham@aspire.co.uk

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Stephendale Road SW6 A wonderful Victorian terraced property presented to an exceptional standard and located over three floors providing an excellent family home. A beautiful kitchen and breakfast room is the key feature of the property and leads out to the manicured garden.

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TO LET £950 PER WEEK 020 7736 6110 fulham@aspire.co.uk

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Hazlebury Road SW6 Finished to exacting standards, this engaging house has been created by a well respected local developer to offer contemporary living throughout from an incredible basement boasting a sizeable kitchen/diner to a double sitting room, four double bedrooms and a pretty garden and roof terrace.

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FOR SALE £1,350,000 020 7736 6110 fulham@aspire.co.uk

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Abercrombie Road SW11 A beautifully presented house benefitting from fully extended kitchen, leading out to garden, twin reception, master bedroom/ en-suite and two further bedrooms.

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TO LET £675 PER WEEK 020 7801 3400 battersea@aspire.co.uk

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Battersea Bridge Road SW11 A charming Victorian terrace house situated close to Battersea Park, recently modernised but retaining many period features. The property has two bedrooms but the versatile space could be re-arranged to provide three.

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FOR SALE £725,000 020 7801 3400 battersea@aspire.co.uk

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Lumiere Apartments A stunning sub penthouse apartment, an award winning development, moments from Clapham Junction Station. The property benefits from 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a roof terrace and residents -only cinema room.

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FOR SALE ÂŁ800,000 020 7801 3400 battersea@aspire.co.uk

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Ask the expert 66

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Ask The

Expert Mark Howell, director of aspire Battersea, tells us how the lettings market looks moving in to the Autumn after an active summer, why prices are set to grow in Battersea, and what to look out for when finding a property to rent.

Can you describe the current shape of the lettings market in

best protected from any future worries by being as thorough as

Battersea? July through to November is traditionally the busiest

possible before any tenancy agreement is signed. The best way to

time for the lettings market, as it coincides with the starting

ensure this is by dealing with an agent that is qualified.

dates of many recent graduates’ new jobs as well as the end

All aspire offices are members of either the Association of

of the school year, which presents families with a good time to

Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) or the National Approved Letting

look around. Supporting this, we have seen applicant registration

Scheme (NALS), which means we always all up to date with the

levels increase by around 25% over the summer months, and

latest legislation and regulatory controls within the lettings market

the properties which moved most quickly are those that are

plus of course protecting the money we hold on behalf of our

sought after by young professionals and recently graduated

clients within a protection scheme. We are also registered with the

sharers. Historically, strong summer market conditions have

Tenancy Deposit Scheme [TDS], which is a government run scheme

followed through to autumn and we expect 2013 to be no

to protect and regulate all deposits made.

different. We should see demand peaking in October, with high interest in lettings predicted across the next three months.

Is there anything else that sets you apart? Beyond our

professionalism and attention to detail, we have a close network 

How do you expect the Battersea market to change over the

of offices in SW London, which gives us excellent coverage

next few years? Over the past six months, we have seen fairly

from the outskirts of Chelsea through to Tooting. This helps us

stable average prices. However, this is set to change, and we

provide the best possible service to both prospective tenants

anticipate some consistent growth for the foreseeable future.

and landlords, by using our network to match prices and

Our in-house analysis at aspire has forecast a 5% rise in prices

requirements within local areas.

over the next four years. The main reasons for this increase stem from the re-development of Battersea power station and

We are most proud of our work in the local community, we have

the corresponding regeneration of the surrounding area. The

helped businesses, charities and schools in SW London, including

re-location of the American Embassy together with a growth

Battersea. This allows us to put something back into the local

in the overseas student market – one of the fastest growing

community, and make a small contribution towards making

demographics in the area – means that demand for Battersea is

Battersea a fantastic place to live and work.

increasing, pushing up average prices. 

This all sounds promising. Is there anything that landlords (and

tenants) should watch out for? Both landlords and tenants are

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03/09/2013 12:09


WELCOME TO YOUR NEW HOME aspireconcierge “Thank you so much for saving the day the other evening - I am really not sure what we would have done had you not been holding our keys” C.T.

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2013

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Aspire autumn 2013