One of the greatest joys of buying a property is the chance to put your own stamp on it, especially after living with the design constraints that go with a rental place.

But a shared ownership home comes with its own complexities and there are restrictions on what can be done.

Structural changes such as extensions, new kitchens or adding bi-fold doors all need written permission from the housing association or developer.

Cosmetic changes are down to the individual and, like all other homeowners coming out of the lockdown, shared ownership buyers will be focused on creating a calm working-from-home space and maximising outdoor areas.

Carving out a study may be top of the DIY to-do list, however, you need to consider the whole household before diving in, says interior designer Sam Pye of Echlin studio.

“The kitchen table may be the nicest space to set up a laptop; but is someone in your home going to want to spend all afternoon making banana bread? Look for the quiet and underused corners of your home, and measure out whether a desk will fit,” Sam advises.

During the spring lockdown ‘balcony’ rocketed into the top 10 search terms on Rightmove as cooped-up flat owners longed for some outside space.

The majority of new-builds in London have large glass doors from the living areas onto the outside space, says Sam, so shared ownership buyers need to think about looking at their balcony all year around.


Calm and composed: Valley House, near North Greenwich Tube station features neutral tones

“There are some great LED-wireless lamps available now from brands such as Marset and Menu which look great inside and can be carried outdoors when needed,” he says.

With more people working-from-home fashions are swinging from block colour back to nude paint schemes. It’s easy to get bored staring at the same brightly coloured walls.

“Rigid colour schemes can be restrictive,” says Sam. “I prefer a plain or calm backdrop.”

One-, two- and three-bedroom apartments are due to launch at Valley House this autumn close to North Greenwich Tube station.

The Peabody homes have sleek kitchens with Silestone worktops and balconies that face Canary Wharf.

Register interest at

One- to four-bedroom homes are available at the RemixHelix, built by Hyde Homes, in Harlesden are painted with a white Matt emulsion throughout, wood-effect flooring and splashes of coloured wallpaper.

It’s £196,000 for a 40 per cent stake of a £490,000 two-bedroom home. Call 0800 002 9580.

Shared ownership homes in Kiln Works, Lime House

One- and two-bedroom homes are available at the Kiln Works, newly launched by Notting Hill Genesis, in Lime House.

Prices start from £101,875 for a 25 per cent share of a £407,500 one-bedroom home. Visit for a virtual tour.

Wall art and furniture add pops of colour

David White, 30, and Mark Russell, 32, were renting in Tooting when they spotted the chance to get on the property ladder in Zone 1’s Elephant and Castle.

The couple, who both work in marketing and PR, put down a 20 per cent deposit and bought a 30 per cent share of a two-bedroom apartment that is worth £570,000 in Manor Place.


(Richard Eaton)

They have views from their balcony of old clock towers, chimneys and the Shard.

“We can see both new and old London,” says Mark. They furnished the apartment themselves.

“The design is eclectic mid-century with a modern twist,” says David.

The Scott orange sofa comes from, the rug is from La Redoute and the dining table and floating shelves are from IKEA. Other items come from Urban Outfitters, Loaf, Eve, charity shops and vintage markets.

They have used wall art and furniture to add colour but are considering panelling with a dark statement colour in the hallway.

Follow their decor decisions on Instagram on their design blog @forwardfeatures.

Design hacks for your home

Sam Pye, of Echlin Design Studio,has the following tips to kit out your home:

1. Think outside the box

Use furniture (such as drawers) listed in the bathroom sections of websites and department stores as the proportions are much smaller so great for tight spaces.

2. Help your shelf

Good-looking shelving brackets from shops like Trouva are really helpful. You can then buy plain shelf board from DIY stores and paint them with chalk paint.

3. Score second hand

Buying second-hand storage is a great way to get a more luxurious look for less, go to Vinterior.

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