I love Dulwich; to my mind it is one of the most beautiful areas of London. I think it is the captivating combination of serene calmness, quiet sophistication and the cerebral atmosphere of a university town, accentuated with its fine schools, art gallery, local amenities and community life.
The neighbourhood offers locals and visitors alike an eclectic mix of the most stunning properties in South London from the grand Georgian mansions, the palatial Victorian and Edwardian houses, the pre- and post-war homes, to the lovely hidden cottages tucked away down secluded alleyways. One cannot fail to be impressed by the distinctiveness and diversity of the elegant properties that make up the unique residential district around Dulwich.
The other evening I was strolling around the village just as twilight fell. The homes lining the streets suddenly proffered a passer-by a quick, tantalising glimpse through the warm glow of tungsten lit windows into the private worlds of their occupants.
As I peeped through the glazed windowpanes into the concealed private lives behind these enclosed walls, my curiosity was challenged: are these homes really like I am imagining them to be? I also wondered how many other people have shared this secret desire of mine to learn more about the histories of these houses, the lives of the people who live in them and what the interior spaces and decor of these amazing properties are really like inside.
That’s when I had an idea.
Why not write a monthly article under the title ‘Step Inside Dulwich’ and have it published as a regular feature in our local SE Magazine.
The next morning I eagerly telephoned Angela Burgess, the magazine’s editor, and invited her to lunch at the congenial Gail’s Artisan Bakery and Cafe, situated in the heart of Dulwich Village to discuss my idea and ask if she would be interested in such a feature. To my amazement and delight she agreed. So here I am now, nervously writing my very first column to introduce myself, share my thoughts with you and ask for your help and assistance.
I am looking to recruit any readers who would be interested in having their home reviewed for the column and to contact me for further details. We are keen to take a ‘peek through the keyhole’ of any property that has an interesting story to tell. We want to have an informal chat with the occupants, to discover the history of the house, what they can tell us about its past and present role in Dulwich life and showcase the distinctive interiors that exist. I hope to include properties that have been recently renovated as well as those properties that may still contain some original structural features and layouts.
Other topics I also intend to cover in this new column will include insights into the world of interior design, reviews on the latest design trends, as well as tips, hints and ideas to help you create your own distinctive home styling.
About Ems Penniston
Ems is Creative Director of Impressions London South, an interior design and bespoke decorating company based in Crystal Palace. Ems has a real passion for interior design, providing her clients with fresh ideas on how to create simple, yet elegant living spaces with the help of her partner Kevin McGurk, who simply describes himself as the mature, level-headed one who you can trust to transform Ems creativity into practical, affordable reality.
You can contact me for details via my email: firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Angela Burgess via the SE Magazine website at: semagazines.co.uk to learn more about how your home could be featured.
This article first appeared in the March 2017 issue of SE22 magazine