This "Christmas House" Isn't What You Think

beige and green dining room
credit: Adam Scott

The late architect Ted Christmas may not be as well-known as other Arts & Crafts architects, but his legacy lives on in the houses he built in various London neighborhoods between the late 1880s and 1930s. These houses, commonly referred to locally as "Christmas houses," featured lots of custom work and attention to detail.

One such house, built in the 1920s, had fallen into disrepair before being revived by London-based architectural firm Fraher & Findlay for Findlay Developments. Located in Brockley, a district of South London, in what is now deemed a Conservation Area, the house had endured multiple renovations (including one that turned it into two poorly laid-out units) before Fraher & Findlay's modernization, which transformed the two large units into three. The building, which was once a single-family house, can now house three families in a style that is both a nod to London's past, and modern, thanks to clever use of color.

minimalist dining nook
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credit: Adam Scott

The Arts & Crafts movement inspired architects to create houses filled with stained-glass windows, sunrooms, and exposed beams. This Christmas house renovation incorporates these ideals, including keeping a traditional sash arrangement of the windows with bespoke panes by Oriel.

green kitchen cabinetry
credit: Adam Scott

Surrey Marble & Granite countertops crown the top and sides of the kitchen island. The custom kitchen in the flat was designed by Shape London.

green kitchen cabinetry
credit: Adam Scott

In London's chillier months, the residents can use the Polypipe underfloor heating system to warm their feet, controlled by a Nest device. The roof, which wasn't as practical before, was replaced, and the team added better insulation.

beige and green dining room
credit: Adam Scott

The bright paint colors were inspired by the home's architectural era, during which red brick and traditional green tones were popular.

small home office
credit: Adam Scott

An awkward corner becomes the perfect spot for a minimalist home office, where a wall-unit saves space.

blue and pink bedroom
credit: Adam Scott

In one flat, the bedroom was painted in Little Greene's Light Peachblossom and Hicks Blue.

blue and pink bedroom
credit: Adam Scott

Despite being separated into three flats, the interior of each flat is slightly replicated to create harmony between the separate homes. One way the team was able to accomplish this harmony was through the use of color: Little Green's Hollyhock and French Grey hues are also used throughout the homes.

blue and white bathroom
credit: Adam Scott

A Laufen sink outfitted in a Laufen bathroom tap is cradled in a minimalist structure. Classic square-shaped bathroom tiles from Mosa Tiles give the otherwise ultra-modern bathroom a vintage feel.


Kate Santos

Kate Santos

After interning at Dwell magazine in San Francisco, Kate began writing about arts, design and culture for other national publications. She is based in Los Angeles and San Francisco.