The Househunter: Room by Room

5th January 2018

Welcome back to the first Househunter of the year. Are you ready? Sandwiches packed? Tape measures in hand? Comfy shoes on? Right, let’s see what we can find to start off 2018. First up we’re going to Hampstead to have a look at this beauty on Flask Walk. It’s on with Goldschmidt & Howland (via Zoopla)  for £2,599,950 but as regular readers will know, we don’t pay attention to a little thing like price on here. We’re all about Fantasy Friday, about spending that lottery money and seeing where we would end up if money were no object.

We’re also all about having a poke around other people’s houses to see if we can get some inspiration for our own and maybe, just maybe, one day someone might even buy one of these featured. I do know of people who have been to view some of them with a view to buying but I’ve yet to hear of a sale. I’m like Cilla Black in the days when she used to present Blind Date. She had a couple of weddings and bought a special hat. If I land a sale I’ll put my hat on and send round the champagne. And if that doesn’t clinch it I don’t know what will….

Anyway, enough of these outrageous incentives. Worrabout this kitchen? Dark kitchens are definitely becoming a strong trend in 2018. Lots of navy around already and I think lots of green and black to come. The trolley as island is a great idea if you don’t quite have enough room for a permanent one as you can use it for storage or prep and then wheel it to one side if you need more space in the middle. Do make sure you get one with brakes on it though.

I’m also a big fan of a banquette. They don’t have to be in alcoves, although that is a logical thing to do with the space, but you can put one at the end of a run of cupboards and don’t forget you can have lots of storage under the seat too. Benches often aren’t comfortable for extended periods but a padded banquette is more comfortable and often means you can squeeze in an extra one if necessary.

Time was I would have said that an all-tiled bathroom can be a little municipal but these look like fancy Zellig tiles (angled edges so you don’t see the grout, which is already better for a bathroom as it gets so stained) and the round mirror and thick wooden shelving soften all the white so the effect is more modern rustic than municipal. What do you think?

Staying in London for the time being. Technically it’s still Christmas you know – we’ve only got to 11 Lords a Leaping so we don’t want to be out for too long and it’ll be dark in a minute. And those mince pies won’t eat themselves either (detox schmetox). So let’s head East to Fawe Street to one of the East End’s original warehouse conversions. This is on with The Modern House for £1,150,000 and is a three bedroom live/work apartment.

I’m already in love. The combination of modern open plan with industrial touches and antique furniture gets me every time. I was all over the of painted kitchen cupboards until about, ooh, five minute ago and now I want vintage wood – not the pale pine ones but the dark ones that you can just see on the right below and in the foreground of the image below that.

Add in a couple of red leather barstools for a splash of colour and we’re done. Now where is that lottery ticket?

When I move in I think I might paint the windows dark – as they are on the outside – which frames the view much better and looks more modern than white ones. Other than that we’re all set.

Or are we? I’m not sure about exposed brick. What do you think? I can’t decide if it’s a trend I’ve seen enough of or if it’s just the colour of this particular brick. It’s like plain floorboards, they tend to be a little too orange for my taste and I’d rather paint them white or stain them dark. It’s the same for brick. I think I’d rather paint it light or dark. But perhaps that’s just me. After all, a warehouse conversion is the one place where exposed brick feels appropriate to the building’s industrial past.

Talking of which, this was a Spratts dog biscuit factory until it was converted by artists in the 1960s and sold as shells to painters and sculptors, many of whom still live in the building today. There is a foundry opposite that casts the work of artists such as Anish Kapoor, Tracey Emin and Anthony Gormley. This means you end up with a permanent, if accidental, display of works that are being restored or cast which is a pretty cool view to have from your window.

Time for one more? As it’s the weekend shall we have a quick shufti round this one in Sevenoaks, Kent? It’s on with Savills for £1,550,000 and is an open plan family home with a ground floor master suite and nursery/study with the living space and three more bedrooms on the first floor.

Note again the navy or blue/black kitchen with the orange stools to add colour this time. And note also the dark painted windows. Do you agree with me that they frame the view better?

It’s definitely a great space but I can see we’re going to have to talk about rugs again. Big rugs good, huge ones better. Particularly in a large open plan space like this. Use them to zone the area. So above – a large one under the table and extending to at least a metre either side. That means you can pull the chairs back comfortably without snagging them.

Below? Get a massive one to cover the whole sitting area. Failing that make sure the front legs of the furniture are on it. No rug islands please. Failing the funds for a rug buy a large piece of carpet and have the edges bound/whipped/hemmed to make your own rug. Choose a contrasting colour to make it more rug-like and less like you couldn’t afford a giant rug and had to buy a large piece of cheap carpet. Even if that is exactly what you have done. I have done this so I know how it goes.

Right here endeth the rug lesson. It’s Friday. It’s the first weekend of the year. I have worked an enormous four day week.Well, actually it might only have been three. I’m going for a lie-down. I hope you have enjoyed this week’s posts. I’ll see you back here on Monday. Have a great weekend everyone. Oh and do tell us all which house you like best.








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  • Fiona 8th January 2018 at 1:08 pm

    Spratt’s please! Sure the feline familia (BatCat, Princess Ruby and Little Taff) would not mind it’s former use. Agree on the painting of the windows but apart from that we’re good to go!

  • Lizzie 7th January 2018 at 7:36 am

    Second one please! All of it. Happy New Year!

  • Jane 5th January 2018 at 4:51 pm

    I also like the second one. Reminds me of my roots, dunnit? And it has the advantage of having room for improvement in the decor. For me it’s the first one that’s a yawn. The decor is so predictably ‘on trend’ (jeez), but with no added personality, and the outside is embarrassingly carbuncular. You’d be known in the neighbourhood as the new people who live in that horrible modern house that sticks out a mile. Modern architecture can be wonderful, but there’s a time and a place.

  • Anna 5th January 2018 at 4:39 pm

    COVERING A BANQUET. May I recommend a “Tweed Fabric”. Check out ebay. If you can afford 100% wool so much the better. It wipes well and if not light coloured it is stain and childproof.

  • Caroline @ The Hyphenated Home 5th January 2018 at 2:03 pm

    I love the industrial conversion. So much character! I am very much not a fan of exposed brick generally, because I think it can be a challenge to decorate around, but I think I might like it here. Maybe because it seems so appropriate to the other finishings they did in the space. If I lived in London, I would think about moving!

  • Christina 5th January 2018 at 1:49 pm

    My great aunt Florence worked at the Spratt’s factory in the 30’s

  • Jade 5th January 2018 at 10:11 am

    Number 2 is beautiful, I love it. I even like the exposed brick – it looks warm and not too industrial with the furniture. Those kitchen cupboards are amazing. I am partial to a banquette – we’re building one in our new kitchen this year. I keep imagining it in midnight velvet, but that won’t be happening. What material do you suggest? I have a 10 year old and 2 year old. I know that some sort of wipe clean material would be practical but
    1) I don’t want my kitchen to look like a pretend diner, and
    2) wipe clean fabrics seem to only come in awful twee patterns
    Is there an option that looks nice but is also practical?

  • Anne Brown 5th January 2018 at 10:00 am

    Ah, Kate, you have set the bar high and it’s only week one!
    However, with my fairy godmother’s help it’s the Spratt house with its history and artistic community for me. My paintings, furniture, books and everything else that goes to make a house a home would fit in effortlessly. I’m looking forward to discovering my inner Patience Gray …

  • Jill 5th January 2018 at 9:44 am

    A quick PS – it must be traumatic to go through the hard work of getting your house ready to put on the market, find out that you are featured on the Mad About The House blog and THEN find out that people think your house is boring and you have student furniture 🙁

  • Jill 5th January 2018 at 9:34 am

    Can I have a mixture of No. 1 and No. 2? It is Fantasy Friday after all. Would love to incorporate an old sideboard with a marble top into the kitchen, the cupboard on the wall is lovely too.

  • Nicola 5th January 2018 at 9:22 am

    No.2 – the others really are quite boring ( although I will let you off the hook Kate as it would be thin pickings at this time of year 😉)

    I like the kitchen and don’t mind the exposed brickwork and boards but I would improve on the furniture in the living room which looks like what I had as a student.

    • Liz 6th January 2018 at 9:41 am

      Ooh, miaow about the student furnishing! I think number 2 looks really lovely – looks like a genuine mix of furniture that has been bought over the years and beautifully put together. You need some style to be able to do that. I much prefer that to a completely finished look.

  • Leslie 5th January 2018 at 8:56 am

    House #1: Like the kitchen, including the banquette (for which I am also a sucker).
    House #2: Love the exposed brick, especially with the eclectic furnishings, as well as 5he mood of the kitchen.
    House #3: YAWN.

  • Sally 5th January 2018 at 8:13 am

    Def the first house! Mainly because:1) the kitchen looks like it has green cupboards( and we now have studio green on our cupboards) 2) the upholstered bench(because we have an upholstered bench at our table) and 3) I love the round ‘strap’ mirror in the bathroom and the chunky shelving under the basin( I don’t have either in my bathroom but would like to- actually, I do have a round mirror- to match the round window by the shower- but it’s not hanging by a trendy strap!) that’s where the similarities end- my house def doesn’t have the same price tag….but I love it. Great Househunter start to the year! It’s cheered me up whilst looking after a coughing husband and granddaughter(aren’t other people’s coughs irritating beyond belief??!but am trying to be sympathetic…I’ll need the sympathy myself when I catch their bugs!)

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