As it's all gone renovation nation in E7 and there seems to be more architects per square metre in Forest Gate then anywhere else on the planet, it's about time we have a lil' snoop around an architect's abode.

So who better to start than local architects Astrain Scheldt aka co-working couple Irene Astrain and Peter Scheldt who no doubt you've seen out'n'about with their baby daughter Lola and lil' cocker spaniel rascal Freddie! Their fingerprints are all over local dwellings and community-powered spaces including their 'PlayGrown' project in Maryland for Shape Newham.

Though the demands of running their own architecture practice results in juggling business, childcare and spending some downtime as a family to enjoy local life, they've also managed to squeeze in renovating their own home.

So as they're ready to unveil their bijou Victorian conversion nestled in the Woodgrange Estate Conservation Area, they open their doors so we can get a first glimpse and have a chat about their renovation inspiration.

What's home life for you?

We are a family of four; Peter and Irene the parents, with Lola our 1 year old daughter and Freddie our 2 year old dog-son.

Home life is, well, practically our whole life at the moment! A little chaotic these days, it starts much earlier than we would like, as Lola rules wake up time. We either work from our garden studio or the amazing new local co-working space Forest Gate Works - we also happen to run a business together and share a lot of the childcare, so our work and home life is all very cosily intertwined! Whenever we can, home life spills into the garden for playdates, meals or a little bit of gardening.

We love having friends over and feeling the house is very full and lively.

Home life is also going on our morning dog walks to our hugely treasured Wanstead Flats and Wanstead Park, squeezing in local drinks and coffees, and having cozy wintery evenings with our living room curtain divider drawn after our daughter has gone to bed.

How have you made your house your home?

We have put a lot of thought and effort designing and renovating our house. With a tiny renovation budget we did most of the construction work ourselves, with help from family. We also got married at the same time and our house has ended up full of wedding gifts ranging from the rooflight, to the microwave, lamps and often even construction materials! It is the first home we own together and Lola and Freddie’s first and only home. So there is a lot of love in one tiny house!

Not only that, but we absolutely love Forest Gate - the friends we have made here, the community we are part of and the parks, cafes, library, local businesses that we get to enjoy every day.

Describe your colour palette...

Bright, contemporary, warm and cohesive - complimenting the original victorian palette.

Our house is small, so we tried to maximise light throughout using reflective bright colours, but we didn’t want to end up with just white everywhere!

We introduced mint green to add some colour and birch plywood for warmth and rawness. Touches of black and white as well as carrara marble compliment the original textures and colours of the house such as the black fireplaces with marble surrounds, and the chequered black and white tiles in our dining room which would have originally accommodated the kitchen of the adjoining double fronted house.

Minimalist or maximalist? Be honest...

Completely depends on the context. For this house, it made sense to be minimalist - as the house wasn’t big enough to insert a lot of texture and decorative pieces and it already had so much character and a rich material palette. We can’t wait for a maximalist project at some point though!

Best bargain piece or treasured possession you'll never let go of?

Our old original side board unit in the living room with a Carrara Marble top bought at the Forest Gate jumble trail for £15 was quite possibly the biggest bargain in our house!

If money was no object, what would you do in your home?

Have it cleaned and tidied every day!

Plant policy both inside and outside?

Connectivity between the interior of our house and our garden has always been an integral concept for us - from the earthy colours used in our kitchen, to the tones we chose for our plants in the garden - everything is part of a cohesive and consistent palette. We have also gradually introduced plants which remind us of members of the family who are no longer with us, such as the apple tree at the bottom of our garden and the mimosa tree which provides shade for our patio.

Cats or dogs?

There is only one correct answer to this: Freddie our Cocker Spaniel.

Where are we most likely to bump into you out and about?

Wanstead Flats, we are usually there multiple times a day!

Why should we move to Forest Gate?

Apart from the obvious amenities such as the Elizabeth Line that everyone has patiently waited for! We love the way Forest Gate has a village feel to it, you are always bumping into people you know and it feels like there are so many support networks in the areas - whether that be for parents, dog-parents, or local business owners. Making the move to Forest Gate was the best decision we ever made!

Check out the new Astrain Scheldt website for their gallery of architectural work and for further updates follow @astrainscheldt