In some families, things seem to go in twos. When Susie McLean told her older sister that the flat directly underneath her weekender on the West St Leonards sea front had come up for sale, Caroline Egan jumped at the chance to buy it with her, so they now own the two of them together. 

The downstairs flat’s dining area is almost a mirror image of the flat above (pictured above), except with antique pieces

The downstairs flat’s dining area is almost a mirror image of the flat above (pictured above), except with antique pieces

An amazing captain’s window is the stand out feature of the sitting room in the upstairs flat

An amazing captain’s window is the stand out feature of the sitting room in the upstairs flat

An armchair upholstered in a patchwork of Ikat provides the perfect place to sink into after a day at the seaside

An armchair upholstered in a patchwork of Ikat provides the perfect place to sink into after a day at the seaside

The kitchen tucks neatly into a room at the rear of the flat

The kitchen tucks neatly into a room at the rear of the flat

The front bedroom of the upstairs flat is very light and feminine, with a white fireplace and over mantle mirror, a lovely old brass bed and a temptingly squashy armchair

The front bedroom of the upstairs flat is very light and feminine, with a white fireplace and over mantle mirror, a lovely old brass bed and a temptingly squashy armchair

A long corridor passes from the front to the back of the upstairs flat, between the sitting room to the rear bedroom

A long corridor passes from the front to the back of the upstairs flat, between the sitting room to the rear bedroom

The compact bathroom has a cool nautical feel

The compact bathroom has a cool nautical feel

One upstairs bedroom has a complementary masculine feel, with the air of a gentleman’s club in the leather chair, velvet curtains, horse painting and the ‘New Antique Books’ wallpaper by St Leonard-based wallpaper designer Deborah Bowness.

One upstairs bedroom has a complementary masculine feel, with the air of a gentleman’s club in the leather chair, velvet curtains, horse painting and the ‘New Antique Books’ wallpaper by St Leonard-based wallpaper designer Deborah Bowness.

A monochrome floral duvet set and textured white throw soften the masculine feel of one of the bedrooms in the top flat

A monochrome floral duvet set and textured white throw soften the masculine feel of one of the bedrooms in the top flat

The final bedroom upstairs is very much a child’s sanctuary, featuring a dolls’ house made for Jen’s daughter

The final bedroom upstairs is very much a child’s sanctuary, featuring a dolls’ house made for Jen’s daughter

There’s something rather Famous Five about walking out of one front door, scuttling up the stairs – past the wonderful ‘steam trawler’ sign Susie bought in an antique shop in Norman Road – and in through the front door of another flat

There’s something rather Famous Five about walking out of one front door, scuttling up the stairs – past the wonderful ‘steam trawler’ sign Susie bought in an antique shop in Norman Road – and in through the front door of another flat

In the downstairs flat’s open plan sitting and dining area the dining table was too high, so Susie commissioned Woodworks 1066 to make some chairs specially to fit it, with a bench to go opposite

In the downstairs flat’s open plan sitting and dining area the dining table was too high, so Susie commissioned Woodworks 1066 to make some chairs specially to fit it, with a bench to go opposite

While it wouldn’t be right to call the bedroom behind the terrace the ‘master bedroom’ because all three of them are special in both flats, it does have a very specific and thrilling feature: a raised ‘princess and the pea’ bed.

While it wouldn’t be right to call the bedroom behind the terrace the ‘master bedroom’ because all three of them are special in both flats, it does have a very specific and thrilling feature: a raised ‘princess and the pea’ bed.

Susie found the antique kilim in one bedroom in an antiques centre near her home in Crystal Palace

Susie found the antique kilim in one bedroom in an antiques centre near her home in Crystal Palace

The twin bedroom features a fern theme, inspired by the vegetation in the garden it overlooks

The twin bedroom features a fern theme, inspired by the vegetation in the garden it overlooks

A utility area leads out onto a delightful balustraded balcony, one end panelled with tongue and groove painted a deep marine blue

A utility area leads out onto a delightful balustraded balcony, one end panelled with tongue and groove painted a deep marine blue

  • words:
  • pictures: David Merewether
  • styling: Lucy Fleming

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