Nikki in her modest home (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace).
This week, What’s Mine is very colorful.
We speak to Nikki, who is behind the Instagram account @tierneyterracelocation and is on a mission to bring more life to her South London home.
Nikki bought her home in Streatham Hill four years ago and put her own colourful spin on it.
This is what she had to say about her home buying experience….
Hey, Nikki! Tell us about yourself.
I’m 34, originally from Bradford in Yorkshire, but have lived in London for about eight years now. My work is divided into two areas: Most of my work is communication.
I’m a consultant, but I also run our house as a filming location. People come here to make music videos, press shots, TV interviews, and so on.
Under normal circumstances we like to have a house full of people, so we really like it. My partner Luke is a songwriter and music producer.
Nikki in her favourite room (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Where is your property located? What do you think of this area?
We’re in Streatham Hill, South London, and we love it. There really is a great community and a vibrant mix of young people and families.
There’s a lot happening here – it’s a very lively and bustling place with absolutely fantastic food everywhere you look, and the connection to Brixton further down the road is a big bonus.
When did you move here?
We bought the house about four years ago, in September, lived in it for 18 months as it is now, and then renovated it for over six months. Thus we lived for about two and a half years in the present splendor.
The house is used for television and music videos (Photo: Nikki / Tierney Terrace)
What is the value of your property?
We bought it for £482,000.
How much did you contribute?
We paid a deposit of £140,000 to buy the house, but have since used some of that to fund repairs.
What is the monthly cost of living here now: The mortgage and the bills?
That’s only about £2,300 a month.
The design is inspired by Palm Springs (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace).
How did you save up for your down payment?
It was a combination of savings and income from our previous house, which we renovated and sold, and the house I owned before that.
How did the process of getting a mortgage go for you? Did you find certain parts difficult?
Complicated. We’re both independent, which makes it all a bit more complicated, but we found a great realtor who specializes in these types of situations, and he was absolutely wonderful.
Where did you live before – did you rent or live with your family?
We’ve lived our lives the same way. We bought our first apartment together on the same street as this house, so we already knew it. We had already rented a flat in Stockwell when we moved from Yorkshire.
A surprise around every corner (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
What made you decide to buy rather than rent?
I bought my first house when I was 18, so this is actually my third. As we are both self-employed, we have no pension. Our goal is to gradually acquire real estate and build our retirement fund so that we can live out our days carefree and experience whatever we want.
How did you find this place? Why did you choose it?
Since we lived on the same street, we drove past it for a few months until it sold. It really needed a lot of maintenance, and I think people were put off by the style of the house, and also by all the mobility aids (shower chair, stair lift, etc). After just being curious, we went to look and immediately fell in love with the house and its potential.
To put this in perspective: We bought this four-bed house for only slightly more than the price of our one-bed apartment on the same street – so it was the definition of a good deal, and we were honestly very surprised and grateful to have found it. That’s how it should be. And the only real surprise was that it needed a new roof, costing £10,000.
I also generally like this style of houses and anything modernist, brutalist, and medieval. We both have a love of geometric design, so there is something about the straight lines and angular nature of this house that really appeals to us.
And since there’s no risk of ruining something with historic charm, I knew we could be very creative with this house and make it our own. Besides, we already knew the place was perfect for us.
Bright and colorful accents (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
How did you make the house feel like home?
We decided to indulge in this house – we decided that if we didn’t do well with this house that needed so much love, we would never do well. So it’s a true illustration of our style and taste, right down to the work we did on the outside of the house.
She certainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but we love her and she makes us laugh every day.
What is the inspiration for your home’s color/decorating palette?
Of course, when we bought the house, there was a lot of work to do. I’ve always loved the modernist style and design era, but I really started exploring it and ended up in a mid-century Palm Springs room.
I totally fell in love with the colors, the shapes, and the idea behind this whole community and fellowship. I just discovered that I have a strong resemblance to this style. So I tried to bring a bit of the California desert to South London through color and design choices.
The houses of that era were also built as sturdy homes without frills, and some of the materials we chose tried to respect that. For example, there is very little brass or gloss in the house – all our taps, handles and even door hinges are black or matte white. Our countertop is concrete and the façade on the front of the house is old corrugated iron with a powder coat finish. Not that these materials are so cheap now that they’ve become so popular, but it was important to us to stay fairly true to the original house.
What is your favorite piece and why?
It had to be a pink bathroom. It’s such a happy space, with all my favorite things: pink tiles, geometric floors, new lighting and brutalist glass blocks. It makes me laugh every time I go there.
Do you feel like you have enough room?
At the moment we have enough space, but in the long term we want more. Finally, Luke needs a place to build a skate park in his backyard, so he’ll probably take the next train. And although I’ve never made pottery, I’m convinced I need a pottery studio.
Nikki worked to put her own stamp on it (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace).
Do you have plans for changes to your property?
No, we have no intention of doing anything else with the house.
Any property problems?
No! We love it!
What do you want people to know about buying a home?
It’s expensive, intimidating and sometimes a big headache, but if you’re able to put your own stamp on the place, it’s worth it.
What are your plans for the future in terms of housing? Are you planning on staying here longer?
We definitely want to live here for a few years and enjoy our home, but it won’t be our forever home. I can’t imagine us ever settling in the same place – we’re both too curious. We would love to buy a house in the Italian mountains one day for a holiday, but we wouldn’t go any further than that.
Nikki’s house before…
Almost unrecognizable in the past (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Kitchen (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
The landing has since been completely remodeled (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace).
For the master suite (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Second bedroom (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Now, Nikki’s house…
What a transformation. (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Lighter and lighter. (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Bright blue is present throughout the space (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace).
Beautiful dining area (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Usable space (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
The most amazing bathroom (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Shower room (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
First bedroom (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Second bedroom (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace)
Perfect for this time of year (Photo: Nikki/Tierney Terrace).
How can I get involved in something that belongs to me:
What I Own is a series from Metro.co.uk that takes you inside someone else’s home to give you an honest insight into what it’s like to buy a home in the UK. If you own your home and are willing to share your story, please email email@example.com.
There is also no need to mention how much you paid for the apartment and how you paid a deposit, as this is very important.
If you are a renter, you can participate too! What I Own is parallel to What I Rent, it’s the same series but about renting. Again: If you would like to participate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
MORE: Something that belongs to me: Detective Beth, who put down a deposit of £8,050 for her share of the house in Staffordshire.
MORE: Something that belongs to me: Ashley, who paid £7,750 for her two bedroom home in West Sussex via shared ownership.
MORE: Something that belongs to me: Sarah, who moved to New Zealand and paid £34,000 for a four-bed house.