The Househunter Room by Room

9th June 2017


Forget what I have said about any other house ever. This is the one. It’s in north London. It has three bedrooms ( I can work with that) and a garden and it’s on the market with The Modern House for – slight snag here – £3.5m. Cue background music screeching to a halt.

Oh I know though, they just get all the best houses don’t they? This is on a corner plot – so it’s probably a foot or so wider than the rest of the street and probably has an extra window or two too. It has been remodelled by the owner with the help of Paul Archer Design and it’s just lush.


I think we’re probably going with no expense spared and ultimately I won’t buy it (3.5 million quid not withstanding) because it’s all so beautifully done that you wouldn’t want to change anything. Mind you it would be perfect for the friend I had who rang once rang me from John Lewis to say: “I’ve just bought green curtains. What colour should I have?”

When I, politely, but slightly to mess with her, started asking: “Is it mint, olive, pistachio, racing, lime, grass or just dark or light?” She said I was breaking up and lost the signal. Essentially it’s the perfect house for someone with really good taste but no time or inclination to do it themselves.


It’s not just the shades of grey – although that helps – it’s the wallpaper. A word about wallpaper people. If you’re going to use it then USE it. All the walls. Or half way up all the walls or down if you have a dado rail below which you want to paint. But do it with conviction. As if you meant it. Alternatively if you want to use it only on one wall make it the fifth wall – otherwise known as the ceiling.


Moving out into the hall and this zebo carpet is familiar to regular readers and followers of my instagram. I have a rug made from this and its sister carpet Dotty runs up my stairs. I would love to have zebras there though. This carpet ties in perfectly with everything I have said about the importance of decorating your hall. It’s the first place you see and this is definitely making me want to see the rest of the house.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 15.03.04

Upstairs and did I mention that if you were going to use wallpaper then go big. Before you say anything I will say that personally the matching bed and curtains may be a touch too far for me but they’re making the point.


Finally dreamy bathroom. Huge. Amazing tiles which are by Emery and Cie and I think they’re the Zellige tiles that have an angled edge which means you don’t need to grout or see any grout as the edges fit together seamlessly. This is brilliant for showers as soap inevitably stains grout brown and it’s impossible to shift. Although if anyone has any tips send them my way.

blue zellige tiles in bathroom via the modern house

Wanna see another? Let’s leave the City and head out to Wiltshire to this five bedroom, 17th manor house which is for sale with Carter Jonas for £1,950,000.


In London I think we have to be less obsessed with the exterior as it’s all about how much space there is inside and can we get our mortgage offer in place before the 346 people who are ahead of us in the queue for the only house they and we can afford. In the country, I’m not saying the competition is less, but the exterior is a very important part of the package. And on this one I’m sold. I seem to be having an expensive week.


I love this grand hall although I will say that the unexpected turquoise sofa has a lot to do with that. They can keep the check one if they like. I should point out, at this stage, that you only get part of this manor house, which dates back to the 17th century. But while we’re looking at staircases, you get two – one at each end.


Elsewhere there’s lot of panelling and big fireplaces and mullioned windows and all that sort of thing. It’s all very up my street but I can see it might not work for everyone. Mind you there’s a recording studio attached for anyone who fancies themself as a bit of an artist. That would take your karaoke parties to the next level wouldn’t it?


There’s also land of around 1.2 acres and a heated outdoor swimming pool. I’m jaded by looking at London prices for so long but I’m beginning to think you get quite a lot for your “fantasy” money. What think you?


Who’s moving where this week? I need both of them. Might have to sell the cat.

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  • PigtownDesign 14th June 2017 at 3:54 pm

    For the first house, I love that they’ve used decanters as the light fixtures! Clever.

  • Ursula in Cádiz 9th June 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I know what you mean, Eve, but OOOOOOOOO KATE – those bathroom wall tiles, swoon; ditto, the stair runner.
    It appears true though that it’s difficult to have it all; I’m with Stephanie on the heated pool front, especially if I lived in the UK. Isn’t it funny that that sort of check on the sofa (see also cream sofa cushions) could make us say no to a manor house? Easiest thing to change, though some of the myriad of different woods would have to be painted eventually.

    Ermmm, might be my first comment. Just started reading a few weeks ago and I really love the blog, thank you Kate!

  • Janet Whincup 9th June 2017 at 1:23 pm

    The first house is far too pretentious.
    I would happily live in the second house, in fact I’m on my way now.

  • Beth 9th June 2017 at 10:42 am

    Delicious! That stair runner! <3

  • Stephanie Heath 9th June 2017 at 10:00 am

    The first one came across as quite dark to me, although I did love the hallway. It’s the second one for me – I was sold when you mentioned 1.2 acres and an outdoor heated swimming pool!

  • Our French Oasis 9th June 2017 at 8:39 am

    I will happily take both too, but I must admit the bedroom in the London house would give me a headache every time I woke up! I am quite in love with that turquoise sofa in the Manor House, fabulous colour.

  • Annie 9th June 2017 at 8:07 am

    Oh man, both please!!! Although that bedroom in London is making me go cross-eyed…

  • Eve 9th June 2017 at 7:19 am

    I’m not a fan of the first house. The bathroom tiles on the wall and floor really jar in my opinion, in colour, style and pattern.

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