Friday already so it must be time we gathered our sandwiches and our comfortable shoes and set off round the country for the weeklyl virtual open house that is having a nose around other people’s homes and wondering what we would do differently if we lived there.
First up is this rather fabulous gaff in the Cotswolds, which belongs to the interior designer Clare Nash. Those of you who have ever eaten in a burger in Byron will be familiar with her work. Her four bedroom house near Chippenham, in Wiltshire, is on the market for £1,000,000 via Knight Frank.
Originally two cottages, it dates back to 1824 and it’s now a spacious four bedroom house. On the ground floor is this utility room (pictured above) and the large kitchen, as well as the dining room (with stairs up) sitting room and study.
Upstairs there are two good size bedrooms and bathrooms and a smaller one while under the eaves there is another bedroom with a mezzanine sitting area.
At the bottom of the garden there is a brook with a pretty waterfall and a garage that could be converted into a studio or office. As usual with these houses I quite fancy it myself.
What appeals, of course, is the decor which isn’t too chocolate boxy (a common problem with these houses) and the mix of navy blue and grey with lots of natural stone wood. Painting the beams white is a simple trick that almost no-one in low-ceilinged cottages ever seems to do, but which was how they were intended to be seen. It does make the ceiling recede and appear higher.
Now where shall we go to next on our virtual ramble? How about Highgate, north London, to see this ENORMOUS house which is on the market with The Modern House for £7m. I know, this slightly exceeds even my fantasy lottery wins but on the basis that we’re unlikely to see anything like this in real life, we might as well sneak in virtually.
I mean look at the size of that. And all those trees out of the window. I mean if we’re going to be picky it does look quite long and narrow. But then again it’s 6,000 sq ft which is huge. I mean three times the size of The Mad House for example.
The main house is four bedrooms (as is the one above – although clearly scale is everything in this case) and there is a building in the grounds (snap) but this one, and perhaps this is what you get for 7m quid, is referred to as a writer’s retreat or guest house rather than office. Mind you that’s not all, there’s also a three or four bedroom apartment over a shop which opens to the High Street and behind which this whole set up is located.
Although it’s clearly industrial in style it’s still warm (I think) partly because of all the wood inside – and remember Dulux were talking about warm wood being a key part of that homely feeling the other day- and partly because you just see greenery from every window which softens it all. Not that I wouldn’t sling down the odd rug but check that red velvet chair just in shot above. That is the sort of unexpected touch in which we delight in The Mad House.
A similar effect has been achieved with this old painting on the wall which contrasts with the modernity of the building and all the steel. You’d expect to see a picture like that in a National Trust property but in here I think it looks better than a modern abstract one.
Now, this room is one you might be able to use as inspiration. An office under the eaves is something many of us have in loft conversions and here they haven’t bothered with a dormer window to increase space or head height but have just arranged storage along the sides. You can walk down the middle of the room and easily get files and printers that are stored in the dead space that you can’t stand up in.
Oh and I did I mention the infinity swimming pool? I’ll take it. And the other one. So I need eight million quid by about four o’clock this afternoon. Anyone got any plans? Shall we set up a Kickstarter – there are bound to be rooms we can rent out in return for investment.