We’re all about the open plan this week. A contentious issue (well not globally I grant you but here in this small corner of the internet at least) as when you have small children – you want to be able to see them or maximise the sense of space that having no internal walls can give you.
But then, they grow up. And they won’t give you the sitting room back in time for the Channel 4 news, which is, in any case, far too scary for them to watch. So you end up hiding in the kitchen knocking back a sneaky glass of red and wondering how long before you can insist they go upstairs. And then, when they are about eight they go upstairs into their bedrooms and you have all the privacy you thought you wanted and you can’t get them out of their bedrooms until they are about 18. When they move out. Gone. Just like that. Although if the 16yo continues to play 90s rap at current volumes I may not be entirely distressed when that day comes.
Anyway, open-plan looks great but it’s harder to live in if you live with, you know, other people. These days I like a wall. A bit of separation. A room for reading, a room for tv. A room, as Virginia Woolf so memorably said, of my own. Where I can leave my book on the coffee table open at the right page and not find it has been buried under a pile of pizza boxes when I return from the loo.
You know what I mean. But this is Fantasy Friday. And we’re all about looking and dreaming today so this, in my make-believe world of multiple house-owing is, let’s say, my Saturday house. Lots of space for the family to gather for a sun-filled conversational lazy brunch fuelled by excellent coffee and a small bloody Mary while we gather round the table.
Followed by a relaxing hour in one or other of the two seating areas. Only we are all as one here, so we will happily all listen to the same music at the same time – except for the 90s rap – that’s still not happening. It is a glorious, beautiful, family weekend…
…And then on Sunday, we’ll move to a house with walls. Because everybody needs a break right? This one though, should you be possessed of £1.1m and a job near Leamington Spa, in Warwickshire, is on the market with Fine & Country. I shall be virtually touring this space a lot. From within my walled space.
But for those of you who want walls. Let’s leave the bucolic pleasures of the countryside and head to the smoke. This is in north London. There is some open plan but there are also two sitting rooms. And a playroom. A study and five bedrooms. This then, is for the family with teenagers. The family where everyone needs their own space, but there is a big enough kitchen for everyone to wander into for the odd meal. And then plenty of space for everyone to be i their own space – both mentally and physically – afterwards. This then, is my house. And let’s not let the fact that it costs £2.4m get in the way of that little fantasy.
Mind you I know estate agents are supposed to be selling us the aspirational dream but the 35 images of this one include at least three of the Porsche. I was tempted to ring up and ask if they were throwing that in as part of the deal. It’s on with The Modern House by the way and was designed by Paul Archer, who does do lovely houses.
It’s spread over five floors which means if you buy this you won’t need to buy separate gym membership as you’ll only have to leave the charger at the top once and race up to get it, holding the phone which you will then leave up there when you run back downstairs clutching said charger and wondering why you are even holding that in the first place. This is fitness house.
Where they have gone fully open plan though is with this en suite bathroom. Isn’t it gorgeous. I love the colour scheme – the black taps and floating vanity unit. It’s all very lovely. But there’s no loo. For reasons I entirely understand. But I had a look at the floorplan and I can’t actually spot a loo on this entire floor. And there isn’t one on the ground floor either. And they’re suggesting the basement playroom – where there is a bathroom – would work for nanny or guest accommodation.
So perhaps I won’t buy this one. But I will admire it. Perhaps – I have it now – in my fantasy life we won’t need to go to the loo in the middle of the night so it won’t be an issue. I do still love that bathroom though. And the gorgeous architectural black kitchen at the top.
What do you think? Perhaps listening to all that 90s rap has addled my brain and I’m missing the point.