When I was a child, and particularly during the summer, time dripped by. The southern sun seemingly hung at its highest for hours and hours, and one day felt like an eternity. As the warm rays crisped our necks, my friends and I would lazily weave our bikes around our cul-de-sac until we collapsed in a salty swoosh beneath my family’s pine trees. There we’d sit blissfully unaware that one day we’d lose hold of our tether to time, and it would start slipping through our fingers fast enough to burn.
While I sometimes miss the steady pace of the past, I’ll admit the recent ramp-up has taught me a thing or two about making the most of my time and not resting on my laurels. While I’ve done my best, I’ve got nothing on hard workers like Yoko Kloeden. In just six months she’s fully renovated this four-bedroom, three-floor home in south London, all while living inside with her husband and three children and running her own design business.
In order to master her 1870s-era Victorian, Yoko treated herself like one of her own clients. This meant living in the home for a year before making any major design decisions. The technique helped inform her of both the structure’s ins and outs as well as how her family would use the space. Only once she’d gathered all of this intel would she be fully ready to rumble.
As soon as planning was complete, the next six months consisted of a firestorm of renovations. The bathroom’s carpet was ripped out, intricate tile was installed in the foyer, some walls were repainted and others were totally knocked down. The amount of work Yoko spearheaded in such a short time is mind-boggling. Not only that, but the quality of her work is stunning. Each detail has been planned and every corner has been thoughtfully curated.
Yoko’s mindful approach to decor not only keeps her home from looking like every other one on the block, but has turned it into an intimate homage to her life and experiences. In her daughter’s room, for example, she’s incorporated ancient Chinese ink techniques to create a stunning wall mural. And nods to her own upbringing in Japan and her time spent in Singapore have found their way into the living room’s look. “I wanted to create a house that tells our story,” Yoko says. Without a doubt, she’s done just that. Scroll down for more, and enjoy! —Garrett
Image above: The black steel doors were chosen for how well they frame the beautiful garden and apple tree out back. The sink is made of solid, untreated brass. It’s only been in the home for a few months, but it’s already developed a beautiful patina.