Inside These Walls: A Traditionally Influenced Victorian Townhouse

Property developer and entrepreneur Richard Blaiberg shows us around his Stroud Green property.

Having grown up in the leafy confines of Highgate, one of North London’s prettiest villages, property developer and entrepreneur Richard Blaiberg and his wife Michelle, a lawyer, currently live in energetic and ever evolving Shoreditch, East London. Richard studied Industrial Economics at Nottingham University before completing an MSc in Real Estate at Cass Business School. After qualifying as a chartered surveyor in 2012, having trained at BNP Paribas Real Estate, he pursued his ambitions of developing property and bought his first project with his brother at the top of the market in 2007.

The brothers managed to ride it out and Richard gradually did more property development over the years, honing his experience until he eventually was able to go full time in 2013. Not one to rest on his laurels, this year Richard also launched WinAbode, the UK’s first online property competition platform, with business partner Sam Park and office dog Wally.

Sam and Richard of WinAbode photographed in Stroud Green North London for Davies & Davies Estate Agents blog

Richard was introduced to this grand five bedroom Victorian property in Stroud Green, an enclave of Inner North London set between Crouch End and Finsbury Park earlier this year and could immediately see its potential. It was in dire need of full modernisation but had retained many of its original period features and benefited from incredibly tall ceilings. The well proportioned rooms and spaciousness of the property hold masses of appeal, not to mention its enviable location in the Stroud Green Conservation Area, with easy access to the foodie strip meandering along the Stroud Green Road and onto Crouch Hill and proximity to the tube (not to mention it’s stumbling distance to the famous Faltering Fullback pub).

Wanting to ensure the renovations were in-keeping with the stype of the house, whilst developing a clean but elegantly modern look throughout the interiors, Richard carefully designed the space himself. Trying to retain as many of the original features as possible, Richard set about restoring the original floorboards as well as repairing and, where necessary, replicating the Victorian cornices. He wasn’t alone though, “I did however, have a massive helping hand from my wife! She’s a big fan of shaker style dark kitchens and metro tiles”, indeed it was Michelle who conceived the idea for the herringbone pattern tiling around the fireplaces – an interior design trend that looks set to really take off in 2018.

The property is currently on the market with Davies & Davies Estate Agents, who first introduced Richard to the house. He understands the benefits of having reliable professionals working alongside you when undertaking such a big project; “Mark Scales at Davies & Davies has been brilliant, I’ve worked with him before and totally trust him, he also knows the local market inside out”.

Richard’s Style Notes & Anecdotes

Design Influences: we tried to be true in many ways to the aesthetics of the Victorian era but interspersed with contemporary features and a neutral, chalky colour scheme.

Special feature: the classical Burlington style white bathroom suites, they lend a period feel whilst retaining strong, clean lines that translate to modern tastes.

Most Extravagant Addition: all the Smeg appliances in the kitchen, including the range cooker.

Favourite Part of the Property: the top floor bathroom – it’s huge! It has a freestanding roll top bath, separate walk-in shower and so much natural light. We used a combination of arte and metro tiles to try and achieve a both a contemporary and classic look.

Biggest Challenge: in the living room we had a huge piece of cornice missing, and needed to reproduce the plaster moulding to match the original work done. This was done by cutting off a piece of the original cornice and having a copy recast and installed. Old cornice is particularly fragile, so we lost a samples in transit and had to cut off quite a bit in the end to get a decent piece to copy.

Regrets: if I could do it all again, I think I would have done the side return. We didn’t want to spend too long on this project and also didn’t want to have to achieve a record price in the conservation area for a house. But the side return would have created an amazing space and probably made the property more sale-able.

Advice for Prospective Developers: buy at the right price! You have to be sure there’s enough fat in the deal for you to wear some cost overruns or a reduction in sales price. Oh, and use a builder you trust!

Richard and Michelle are now looking to the North once more in search of a more laid back lifestyle, exploring neighbourhoods such as Muswell Hill and Crouch End as potential locations for their new family home. Both locations will likely appeal to foodie Richard and fitness fanatic Michelle. Richard’s also an Arsenal fan (well, no one’s perfect) so he’ll also enjoy being close to his team’s grounds.

You can check out Richard’s property now for sale by clicking here.
Alternatively, if you’re already enthralled (and why wouldn’t you be) then contact the team at Davies & Davies on 0207 272 0986.

If you’re looking to buy or sell through a market leading, award-winning estate agents (that’s us!) contact our Sales Manager Mark here:
020 7272 0986
Davies & Davies Estate Agents, 85 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EG

Article by Sophie Taylor at Barefaced Studios

Photography by Mike Barry at Barefaced Studios

Originally published for North London Estate Agents Davies & Davies in North Four Magazine

Back to Insights
Part One: I’m a first-time buyer, get me out of here

By the time you’ve finished reading you’ll have stamp duty sussed and will be well on your way to retiring your renting days. So, before you start Googling obscure German hair thickening shampoo brands, read our handy guide to securing your starter home. It all begins with the stuff that makes the world go round: money.

How to not Kill Anyone or end up in Jail

There’s a lot more to letting out a property than just handing over the keys. As your local property nerds, we’ve compiled a list of everything you need to know to make the process of renting out your property as easy and stress-free as possible. 

To sell or not to sell, that is the question…

We’ve looked at the pros and cons of each decision to help you begin with this exciting new chapter in your life. Every situation is unique and we know the importance of this decision, so Davies and Davies are are here to help you make the right choice.

What can you get for £400,000 in North London?

We don’t think you should have to compromise on space and style to save money in your new home search. At Davies and Davies we have a wealth of affordable properties boasting private gardens, Victorian architecture and original fireplaces all nestled comfortably in the heart of leafy and buzzing North London.

Home Automation – How to Bring Your Home Into The 21st Century

Upgrading your home isn’t just about not wanting to appear out of touch when your neighbours pop round. Smart tech can put you in control of your bills, reduce your property’s environmental footprint and provide a talking point at dull dinner parties.

How to make your property work for the planet and your pocket

With many of us switching up our shopping habits to include more ethical choices, adopting a sustainable mindset could just be the selling point your property needs. But it’s ‘gonna take more than a few LED light bulbs to create that green dream. From upping your recycling game to investing in smart tech, here are eight ways you can shrink your home’s environmental footprint while increasing your profitability.

Davies & Davies voted the 7th Best Estate Agent in the UK

We’re pleased as punch to announce we’ve been awarded “Gold Exceptional” (the highest score you can get) in both sales & lettings, ranked 7th Best Estate Agent in the UK, by the Best Estate Agent Guide awards 2019.

Taking the inside out: making the most of your outside space

If you’re lucky enough to have access to outside space, you may be itching to make the most of it now the weather is finally beginning to turn. Perhaps you can plant that herb garden you’ve been meaning to cultivate and really transform your basil pesto once and for all!

The Tenant Fees Ban Explained

Our comprehensive but jargon free guide to the new tenant fees ban. As of June 1st 2019, letting fees for renters will be banned and tenancy deposits will be capped for all tenancies signed after this date.

Women who Run North London: Alina from Davies & Davies

For the final piece in our series, today we’re spotlighting our very own Alina, who has been with D&D for the last 11 years. After starting out as a bookkeeper for the company, she has worked her way up through the business to become one of the two female directors at Davies & Davies. 

Women who Run North London: Esther at Crisis

Everything you see when you step into Crisis has been tailored to Esther’s design and created with help from the charity’s volunteers. There’s a story behind it all- from the coffee bag dress in the window, to the coffee stained wooden units themselves.

Women who Run North London: Claire from Barefaced Studios

The culture that Claire has created at Barefaced: of collaboration, attention to detail, and client care, is evident the moment you step through Barefaced’s doors. Though the agency’s reach stretches worldwide, they have deep roots within the local area, and know it inside out (especially anywhere serving food).

Women who Run North London: Yvonne from Aquarius Beauty

Yvonne, and her sister, Sharon, are well and truly “Finsbury Parkers”. The salon is right at the heart of Finsbury Park, and with the trio of Aquarius Hair, Aquarius Beauty, and Mento, the family own this corner of Stroud Green Road.

Women who Run North London: Bridget from The Deli at 80

The Deli at 80 is positively full to the brim with some of the best food produced both in the local area, and further afield (the cheeses, charcuteries, and mustards come direct from Paris!). 

Women who Run North London: Mary from MoseyHome

Mary’s background at the V&A shines through the moment you step through the door- the store is beautifully curated and expertly arranged.

Women who run North London: Georgina from Pretty Shiny Shop

Pretty Shiny Shop is aptly named- an eclectic treasure trove of gifts, cards, and jewellery, it is filled to the brim with things to tempt your magpie sensibilities.

Women who run North London: Sharon from Mento

Mento is nestled just opposite Finsbury Park station, but bursting with vibrancy the moment you step through the door. We spoke to self-proclaimed Finbury-Parker, Sharon, over some Jamaican iced coffee. Part of our International Women’s Day 2019 series.

Women who run North London: Kat from Salt the Radish

Salt the Radish is a mere five minute walk from Finsbury Park station, but it’s the area’s own little slice of calm, cafe culture. We sat down for a chat with Salt the Radish’s owner, Kat. Part of our International Women’s Day 2019 series.

International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day has now been running since 1911, and this year’s theme is #BalanceForBetter. We thought this was a cracking opportunity to celebrate some of the incredible female-led businesses right on our doorstep.

How to up Your Chances of Selling Faster and for More

At Davies & Davies we know the real deal when it comes to selling fast and at the right price. Here are our top insider tips for achieving the best deal, from the people who really know how to sell properties in your local neighbourhood.

Jargon Busting: The Buyers and Sellers Edition

We all want to know what we’re talking about when dealing with something new or complicated, so here’s our attempt at busting some of the jargon that you are likely to encounter when buying or selling a property.

Davies & Davies Estate Agents Finsbury Park - an independent, local estate agents in North London
Online or Traditional Estate Agents?

Does it really make a difference if you use a traditional high street estate agent or go for an online service? We speak to North Four Magazine about marketing, viewings, and negotiation.

Inside These Walls interiors tour at this property in Finsbury Park, North London marketed by Davies & Davies Estate Agents
Inside These Walls: Conran-esque Design in Finsbury Park

Design-geek power duo Sarah and Charlie Almond takes us for a tour around their charming two bedroom home in Finsbury Park, delving into design inspirations, lighting squabbles and where to get the best Eggs Benedict in North London.

Davies & Davies Estate Agent's guide to the new MEES property legislation for landlords and rental properties
Don’t You Forget About MEES: A Guide To The New Regulations

Hunt down the EPC rating for any properties you’re letting out, it might be time to upgrade! Think lighting, boilers, double glazing, smart technology, and the Green Deal.


Get In Touch


020 7272 0986


Finsbury Park Office,

85 Stroud Green Road,

London, N4 3EG

Opening Times

Mon – Thurs 0845 – 1815
Fri 0845 – 1800
Sat 1000 – 1600
Sun: Appointments by Request

Sales newsletter

* indicates required

By submitting your details you are consenting to Davies & Davies sending you their sales newsletter. You can request to have your data changed or removed at any time - please see our Privacy Policy.

Rentals Newsletter

* indicates required

By submitting your details you are consenting to Davies & Davies sending you their rentals newsletter. You can request to have your data changed or removed at any time - please see our Privacy Policy.