The problem with finding the perfect area to raise your family – we’re talking outstanding schools, parks-a-plenty and great shops – is that, invariably, everyone else has too. Which is what happened when Ella and Valli Ardalan began looking for their forever home in the sought after ‘Between The Commons’ area of south London, so-called because it is nestled between Wandsworth and Clapham Common. ‘Our priority was a school place for our eldest,’ explains Ella. ‘But it was very competitive which meant our search area was reduced to just a couple of streets, and it became more about the location than the house itself.’ While those streets were made up of beautiful terraces, many had been rented out for several decades and had fallen into a state of disrepair. ‘We bought a shell which had been rented for 25 years with no work done to it in that time.’



Admitting this was a ‘chunky’ first big building project, the couple started work digging down into the basement to create a practical utility room, building up into the loft for a guestroom and extending to the side to create a large kitchen and dining area, with the small matter of replacing all of the internal walls and ceilings along the way. Pregnant with her third child, Ella recruited Nicola Hicks Designs, who recommended Sola Kitchens.


‘We were hoping to create a Scandinavian look with the whole house and originally I wanted a classic Shaker kitchen while Valli wanted a more contemporary design,’ explains Ella. ‘Then we hit on the idea of going for one of Sola’s modern Danish designs in a more natural colour scheme. This ended up being exactly what we wanted.’



For a couple who don’t like clutter, efficient storage has been worked into every available inch of the clean white Form 6 cabinets, including a large pantry larder-comebreakfast station, cleverly concealing the cooker hood and fitting around the fridge-freezer.


Designer Skandium pendants define the cooking and dining zones, while the space has been kept purposely clear of bar stools and anything which might affect the flow of the kitchen. Wooden materials, white walls, plants and sunlight combine to create serenity.



'We practically live in the kitchen and wanted a space we could all relax in,' adds Ella. 'I never imagined it would look like this but it’s actually ended up being exactly how we wanted it. It’s a friendly, open place and we just love it.'


A combination of two different designs from the Sola Kitchens Contemporary Collection; the island is made up of white stained oak Form 1 cabinets, while the main run is the ultra sleek Form 6 in crisp white. Worktops are Silestone in Kensho, a soft grey quartz which is easy to clean and very durable, while flooring is engineered oak. Kitchens start from £35,000.


Photos by Lind and Cumings Design Photography


Article by: Victoria Rolison