The Househunter 3/10/14

Oh it’s the start of the month, the fantasy coffers are full and the estate agents are full of promise so where shall we go today? Well, we’re going to start off in Hove, East Sussex, with this little number called Poets’ Corner, which is for sale via The Modern House for £725,00. I know! Less than a million – that’s a fantasy right there.


It’s a four storey house converted from a Maynards sweet factory and the ground floor has been designed as a work space with two studios and a utility room. That’s it. I’m already thinking of moving there.


The first floor has two bedrooms and the second is a huge open plan space with the kitchen, living and dining rooms. The sitting room part has a double height roof and glass ceiling.


The top floor is a mezzanine space where you could fit another bedroom and there’s also a roof terrace and small private garden.



This was originally created as the show home for the conversion so it’s been done to a high spec with oversize doors and limestone worktops. The agent also reckons it’s got the best views but that’s a matter of opinion.


One thing you will need to factor is in the £90 a month service charge to include window cleaning (you’ll be glad of that) and other service charges.


So, that’s the seaside covered. Where shall we go now? Well for some reason I have always loved Somerset. No idea why but it seems to have great houses – both old and new. And this week we’re off to see a real beauty near Wells.


Designed by Richard Paxton of Paxton Locher, and set in 112 acres of grassland, there is a main house and a secondary one so it’s  two for the price of, ahem, two million. Yes, say it quickly, it might help. It’s also on with The Modern House by the way.


You can also see Glastonbury Tor from one side – which means there’s good odds you can hear it too in June. The building was designed to echo local farm buildings but I love the interiors.


Sometimes people go a bit stark when it comes to modern buildings and it can be a little harsh but I love that the current owners have used colour in the rugs and soft furnishing and even, steady, the odd antique chair.


Every time I watch Grand Designs I always love the architecture and weep slightly at the interior design choices. I love the juxtaposition of ultra modern exterior with lots of glass and old furniture with some history bringing the two elements together.


Take the curtains for example. Normally I can’t stand a curtain. My Victorian house has minimalist white blinds – perhaps for dust, perhaps to let the cornicing and architectural details stand out. In this house, I love the heavy, slightly old-fashioned curtains. Perhaps that’s just me though.


What about sheep in the garden though? Finally, after my slight rant about furniture choices I’m going to show you this. Back to London to this five bedroom town house which is on the market with Domus Nova for £6,500,000.


It’s empty. Yes that’s right. That way we can’t be swayed by bad sofa choices and bland accessories. This time we’re just going to look at the space and imagine what we could do with it. I know exactly what I would do…

empty warehouse space

This is a total renovation job. Currently there are two residential units and an office and the pictures are a mix of CGI and what it currently looks like. So yes I’m afraid if you want that staircase you might have to build it yourself.

steel doors

When completed it should cover 8,000 sq ft which is possibly too big even by my delusional standards but still, it’s fantasy furnishing time now.


So we’re done for this week. I’m moving to Somerset what about you?








Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.