Monica Brewer’s love of craft inspired a space that’s filled with hand-finished pieces.

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You may not expect to find a charming coastal-style sanctuary on the top floor of a south London property, but that’s exactly what Monica Brewer and husband David have created. The zone previously comprised an uninspiring bathroom and utility space and was in need of some attention.

Although fairly small, the eaves room was big enough to fit a bath, WC and basin. ‘I know that installing a shower would have been more practical,’ admits Monica, ‘but there wasn’t enough room to squeeze one into the layout due to the sloping ceiling.’

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The walls were uneven and in poor condition, so the couple decided to fit water-resistant MDF panelling to save money on replastering. The tongue-and-grooveeffect panels, which have been painted in white eggshell for a durable, easy-to-clean finish, add character and work perfectly with the scheme’s nautical theme.

A large window at the back of the room brings in plenty of natural light, but as it’s overlooked by neighbouring properties, dressing was required. Monica made a simple café curtain with some lace she bought in Greece many years ago, and a Roman blind from an old tablecloth with a seashell pattern.

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The original fireplace behind the bath has been covered with white gloss and, together with an elaborate vintage-style mirror above, sets the tone for the rest of the room. ‘We have two identical mirrors, which look as though they’re made of carved wood, but are actually a light resin,’ says Monica, ‘so I could easily just hang them from picture hooks.’

Monica loves to scour salvage shops for unique vintage pieces, and found a beautiful old washstand for just £40, which she used to create the basin’s vanity table. This was painted to match the walls, in a water-resistant eggshell finish, and beautifully shows off the deep ceramic basin and vintage-style wall-mounted taps. ‘These hand-finished details give the room an individual feel,’ she says.

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Once the bathroom was complete, Monica could display her much-loved collection of shells and coral. ‘They look perfect on the fireplace, windowsill and vanity stand, and give the room a serene finish.’

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Photography: Stewart Grant

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