The Househunter Room by Room

Off to west London first this week to this pretty Edwardian house which has three bedrooms and two bathrooms although that doesn’t really give a sense of the space downstairs. It’s on the market with Philip Wooller for £1,450,00 and belongs to an interior designer, which is why it’s lovely.

That grey floor might look a little cold and industrial but the vintage Persian rug under the table ( a trick which you will know from my own house) not only warms it up but provides a touch of the unexpected which is always good.

Then there’s the painted ceiling in the sitting room. That is definitely something we’re going to be seeing more of this year so you can absorb a few pictures and mull it over and I guarantee that by the end of the year some of you will have gone for it.

Note too the black kitchen cupboards. Another huge look for the moment and one that I actually think is timeless rather than trendy. We’ve got used to the white kitchen being the classic choice but black is just as classic but because it feels a bit newer used this way, lots of people are hesitant that it might be a passing fad. I don’t think it will. I think green might be. In that if you love it use it, but I feel that black be more of a long term colour.

Upstairs the master bedroom is neutral and restful and, if you inherit a fitted wardrobe with hideous doors -which seems to be a given, I can think of at least two friends, one of whom is living with a wall of purple laminate and one with a wall of unflattering mirror – then why not simply remove the doors and hang either some soft flowing muslin or the material of your choice. Even as an interim measure it’s better than looking at something you hate.

And what about that for a bathroom? What an amazing colour with the black tiles for drama. That’s another trend which is bubbling up this year and spins off the current love for crittall – adding black lines for definition.

So west London? Anyone fancy it? Now what about this then? It’s called The Slim House for reasons that are immediately apparent and it’s on for £1,000,000 with Savills. It’s in Wandsworth by the way so not far from the first – less west and more south basically.

And while I realise we’re not going out on a limb in terms of price or location variation, this might, at least, provide those of you who live in small or narrow spaces with some inspiration. My last house was 15 foot wide, my current is 17ft and while still a tall, thin London house, those two feet make a massive difference.

This one is 7ft and 7ins wide. I’m going pause there for a moment while you lie down on the floor widthways in house and imagine where the walls would be. In fact, when I first looked at the floor plans I was wondering why it appeared to be different widths all the way up – from 13ft to 10ft and then realised that that was the length of the room not the width, which was clearly marked but just didn’t seem quite believable.

Unsurprisingly the estate agents have chosen to focus on the overall square footage – 1058sq ft and the fact that it has been featured on both Grand Designs and George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. And it is true that the architects have worked to maximise the available space.

So take notes as you wander around. Slim radiators, a long thin table, lots of big art to distract the eye, a fairly monochrome colour palette that is the same throughout the blur the edges. Open storage so the walls aren’t brought in even further with a wall of doors.

Technically it is four double bedrooms. I think you’d be happier if you filled ’em with small children or home office things rather than two adult sharing but it’s in a great location and there’s a lot more storage in the loft. So what say you?

It’s sort of west London or west London this week but tall and thin or short and fat? Which one will you choose?



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. We’ve just moved into a new house. A 90+ year old lived here before and kindly left us her curtains. They only go so far as the window ledge, as you would expect for a house not to have been decorated in years. I showed my husband the curtains I was going to replace them with, lovely floor length ones like in the first house. He said “absolutely not! We have radiators under the windows, all the heat would go straight behind the curtains!” So now I’m completely lost on what to do, except move the radiators?! Any ideas anyone? It’s so common to have radiators under windows, but I can’t see a solution no matter how much I Pinterest it…

    1. Blinds + curtains. But not plastic blinds, and although the curtains would be drawn most of the time but they will still dress your window very nicely

  2. Love both. But, is that sofa in front of a fireplace in the Slim House? Something is recessed there…..seems criminal to waste precious inches – but it is beautifully done.

  3. The second house gives me claustrophobia just to look at the photos!! How on earth could you live in a space that narrow?! (and for a million quid… unbelievable!!!)

  4. Kate,
    Once again you have made my Friday morning memorable. Always interesting, and made me very grateful for my comparatively wide home.
    Thank you!

  5. I wonder why they didn’t install underfloor heating in the thin house. And why would you want the sofa to face a radiator? I have a similar kitchen, but thankfully slightly squarer lounge and bedroom area. It does help though to have the underfloor heating and the open shelving. As for the Edwardian house, at that price one would think they could put some new doors on the wardrobes. Have a good weekend Kate.

    1. With a few exceptions, I loathe wardobe doors in a long row, if they are within the bedroom. It just becomes a huge, oppressive block and foreshortens the room considerably. A soft muslin curtain is as good at protecting the clothes from dust etc but keeps the room feeling airy and open. In real ilfe, the muslin is not as transparent so you can’t see through it as is suggested by the pic. I wouldn’t put a row of solid wardrobes in this room irrespective of budget.

  6. LOL, I did exactly what you said! I stretched out to figure where the walls would be in the slim house….

  7. Short and fat for me – helps that it looks gorgeous too😄 I can’t imagine living in a house that narrow – it would be like living in a corridor – how do you have a conversation all lined up in a row?!

  8. I wouldn’t say no to either of them! The narrow house could be challenging but it is so pretty and it is London. In other parts of the world that would seem big! As for black kitchens, in our first house in France over ten years ago we renovated and put in a slick black modern kitchen amongst the old stone walls. We spent days worrying about the black,maws it too much, would it work, not many people had black kitchens then, I guess we were ahead of our time, but we loved it. Have a great weekend.

  9. I absolutely love the first one. The owner can leave everything except the fiddle leaf plant which I would certainly kill within weeks.

    The second one is so well decorated but I don’t think I could live in a house that narrow.

  10. I lived in a tiny cottage in Penzance…6’9″ wide. One bedroom. It worked even without the ‘London’ make-over! Having researched my home in the nearby Morrab Gardens library, I found out that a family of ten had lived in that house. Fisher folk all.

Comments are closed.