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From the kerb, beside the main road running through Battersea, London SW8, this looks an unremarkable early 19th Century terraced-house. Once inside however, a striking interior is revealed of rooms elaborately decorated with reclaimed pine fretwork to all surfaces. Created by Khadambi Asalache between 1986-2006, the Kenyan-born poet started the embellishments in an attempt to cover a damp patch on the basement kitchen wall and continued over 20 years to transform his home into a work of art. 

Now owned and managed by the National Trust, a solution ironically had to be found to treat the original damp conditions that had initiated this labour of love.

Stonehouse were called to advise. The hand-cut fretwork, created from non-durable pine door panels and wooden boxes was decaying in the damp conditions of basement. Working with conservators, we removed the damp wall plaster and applied Newton 503 meshed cavity drain membrane to targeted walls which allowed a dry surface to be re-plastered and the fretwork reinstalled.

Due to the small size of the property and the delicate nature of the fretwork the property is only open to pre-booked guided tours. Read more about this house on BBC News.


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