Finding her Wimbledon home, tucked away on a quiet lane just moments from the village, was, says Lucy Woodruff, a case of serendipity. “My husband, Mark, and I had restored and lived in many homes around this part of London, so we were considering a complete change, and moving to Kent,” she says. “We had resolved only to stay if a home came up on Hillside, a street that’s known only to real locals.”
A chance conversation two decades ago led to the news that a wisteria-clad period house on this cul-de-sac, set within walled gardens and topped off with an Italianate tower, was being discreetly marketed. “When we first walked around it, we had to keep pinching ourselves,” says Lucy, an interior stylist. “Not only did it span several eras, with Victorian and Edwardian features intact, it had lateral living across two floors – a dream find for London. It was the perfect home to share with our three children.”
The house has almost 5,000 sq ft of main internal living space, with a former coach house integrated into the floor plans, a boot room, extensive cellaring and a tack room – all of which made a move to the country moot. It had, however, been owned by the same family for 35 years, and needed a lot of updating.