Making progress

25 June 2012
Ben Pentreath

My new flat has caused quite a bit of comment on the previous post; I am grateful for your thoughts and gratified by the interest!  It’s taking shape and here are a few more photos.

I’ve decided to say no more pink walls; the space is too light and airy. If you look at the samples below, I have opted for Farrow & Ball’s ‘James White’, the middle colour of 5 on that wall, which will, I think, have a soft green quality in the room.  Still working out staircase and kitchen, which will be a muddy Thames Green and muddy mud colour respectively from Patrick Baty (it will be okay in reality, trust me… and if it is not, the kitchen is the smallest room and easy to repaint). My bedroom is going dark. It just feels the right thing to do; watch this space; Farrow & Ball ‘Brinjal’.  The world’s smallest bathroom is going to be painted in F&B ‘Mizzle’, a colour which is new and which I am very happy with. The walls will be tiled with soft plain white tiles from Delft.


One or two people asked ‘can I see the outdoor terrace?’. Yes you can. Here it is. Are you reminded a bit of being in New York, amongst the rooftops and chimney pots? I love the fact it’s on two levels.

One or two other people asked if I was buying the flat because of all the reconstruction work. The answer is no! In fact I’m quite a believer in renting. So long as you are able to do what I’ve done here, as well as in Dorset; to get in before the place has been done up, and to sign a long lease. ‘But aren’t you pouring money down the drain?’ people sometimes say.  Well, no, I think: because there’s no way I’d ever be able to afford to buy my house in Dorset, or my new flat in London. But I can afford to rent them. So in a sense, I’m spending it on my life. Which is quite a good philosophy, I sometimes think. Massive mortgages aren’t everything!


7 comments on this post

Hey love the pics!! I’ve been trying to find a little roof terrace in London that has chimneys nearby, as I wanted to film a couple of scenes with the chimneys for my music video… if of interest please reply!! Good luck with the paint!! Mandy


I agree with all the above comments and with you about not always having to buy. I lived for over a decade around the corner from you in Great Ormond Street in a rented flat that I loved, but could never have afforded to buy. It’s good to see someone investing in their here and now as well as helping to stop renting seem the wrong way to live.

Love, love, love James White! I used it in my den paired with Verte De Terre which is a grayish green. Beautiful color!


I love your philosophy about renting, I totally agree, we are only lease hold on the planet anyway and never really own anything but can enjoy life to the max when not bound with such burdens as mortgages!


“Massive mortgages aren’t everything” – Hear hear! I’ve rented the same flat for the last decade and have no plans to move yet. I could never afford to buy where I live (nor would I want to), but I still get the pleasure of living in a nice place. However, I’m ashamed to say my paint charts have not materialised onto the walls since I moved in. Maybe next year…

the two-level terrace is full of charm. love it.

Louise Reasays:

Im with you on the rented thing, sometimes wish we had never moved out of London and burden ourselves with not only a large mortgage (for a very very little house) but all the responsibility of maintenance and the lack of freedom -moving is just too expensive. My nomadic spirit is in limbo too! Lovely to see more shots of the fab apartment, the sign on the emergency ladder made me chuckle!! What a great roof terrace, cant wait to see what you do with it all!

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