The Househunter is Back for September

It’s September and so it’s back. Time to poke around someone else’s house. Just one for you this week, partly because the market is only just getting going again since the summer slowdown, and partly because I have been in Amsterdam for a party (I’m terribly glamorous you know) and you will be able to read all about that trip in a couple of weeks (look out for the Alessi circus post) and in the meantime you can get a flavour of it on my instagram account if you fancy it.

Anyway, this house. It’s in east London (screamingly fashionable Hackney) and it’s on the market with The Modern House for £495,000, which is an absolute bargain for London until you realise it only has one bedroom. But we’re not here to worry about the money. Some people play fantasy Football, we are in the game of Fantasy Friday here and the main question is: if we had a bottomless pit of money would we fancy this as a little weekender pied a terre? I’m thinking yes, quite possibly. If only for the bathroom and the brass tap in the kitchen. Come…

themodernhouse wilton way with pinch furniture

See the brass tap? In the corner. Lush isn’t it. I would love a brass tap. But then I would need a new sink and a new worktop as we have stainless steel so then I would be thinking Cararra marble and then I would need new cupboards and the problem is that my actual house isn’t a fantasy house it is a real bricks and mortar one paid for by a very non-fantasy bank account so that’s out then. As you were.

brass tap in kitchen

But if we’re dreaming of buying this with our pretend lottery win then that tap is a bonus. You should also know that wooden kitchen cupboards like this are currently also terribly fashionable but they’re only just coming in so a) they will be around for a while b) you can get in on this trend early. Which is the only way to get in on a trend. Otherwise you’re just late and possibly copying that school mum, who will pretend to be flattered while secretly complaining furiously about you to anyone who will listen.

Unless, of course, you don’t care about trends. Which, of course, we shouldn’t don’t. Because we are all about buying only what we love now and will love for ever and are true only to ourselves and not at all to the passing whims of fashion unless they stick around long enough to become a classic. Which wooden cupboards quite possibly are.

minimal sitting rom

So that’s all right then. Anyway, worrabout this mid century sofa and chairs? I wrote about a Russell Pinch sofa covered in this material, which is utterly gorgeous and I hadn’t realised the material wasn’t exclusive to his studio. I have a rather tatty chair, and a tatty chaise longue come to think of it, both of which need recovering. I have been coveting some pattern so perhaps one of them needs to be wearing this velvet by Christmas.

And finally the bathroom. We are about to redo our bathroom (details will follow but you can always subscribe to never miss any of my ramblings a post) and I am angling for dark grey walls. I think it’s fantastic with natural wood, and we will be having some of that. And don’t forget all that white sanitaryware does lighten it up again, so it’s not as scary as you might think.

dark grey bathroom
Take this one for inspiration anyway and let me know what you think. Of course they have more brass taps in here (cue wailing and gnashing of teeth) which, again, we won’t be having but you can still have a beautiful bathroom without brass … I keep telling myself…

A final look at this rather lovely open plan kitchen/sitting room. This is, by the way, a good example of how to arrange furniture. The temptation in a room like this would have been to put the furniture round the edges so that you were staring at the kitchen, but by putting it in the middle you can turn you back on the washing up and feel like you are in a different room, which is important when you have a small space.
open plan living kitchen with brass tap
So what do you think? Fantasy buying or not this week?

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.


  1. William Holland do brass fittings, that seem to be the best priced ones I have found.
    According to the website, justleroybrooks, you can get their products in an unlacquered brass finish, although if you look on the main Leroy Brooks website I can’t see that option…but they do bottlertraps etc as well.

      1. The Bert & May ones are beautiful. I’ve also just found one on Superfront that’s a bit more affordable. Thank you!

  2. The brass is amazing. Like you I’d dearly love brass for our upcoming bathroom renovation but the prices I’ve seen are sky-high for anything remotely covetable. Any tips on where to source handsome looking brass bathroom fittings that won’t break the bank?

    1. HA! let me know when you find out! It’s a fairly new thing so I think prices are still high. They will come down and more people will start doing them but I have yet to find the whole set – waste, plug holder, taps and bottle traps at affordable prices. You can decide to push the boat out if you really love it – they look great with simple white metro tiles, which are very inexpensive.

  3. I am admiring the built-in storage.
    I painted our WC dark and don’t like it (change coming but arguments with husband about what kind of change; I am still wearing him down). When you get to the point of having bifocals and magnifying mirrors, you want surgery-ward wattage in the bathroom, best reflected by white walls. Maybe if I were younger and less blind.

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