The Househunter: Room by Room

8th June 2018

I thought I’d found the perfect houses last week but this week I think I prefer these. First up is this converted shoe factory on Shoreditch High Street which has been converted into a three bedroom live work space by the husband and wife team Chan and Eayrs.

This is on with The Modern House for £3,650,000 and I’ll take it. I love that it has all been painted in this gorgeous pale green. I’m not sure I would have the courage but it looks amazing doesn’t it? There is a viewing day tomorrow (9 June 2018) and then it may disappear from view as it may be sold.

The original Crittall windows are still there and the soft green walls echo the treetops outside – there are views on all four sides of the apartment. I’m so completely in love with the green and grey colour combination at the moment and this is just perfect.

And from there we are travelling to Cornwall to this detached house with three self-contained cottages in the five acre grounds of Crowan (about an hour from Newquay). This is on at £1,750,000 which means we need a big lottery win this week – we can get them both for a shade under five-and-a-half-mill – say it fast sounds less –  and we can rent the cottages out for squillions to earn some of it back again, Plan? Come and have a look…

A former vicarage estate, the property dates back to around 1880 and has been fully restored by the award-winning architect Amin Taha. It’s made up of four parts that are clustered together at the top of a slope – the main house, coach house, woodman’s cottage and the gardener’s cottage.

The main house is around 5000 sq ft, which is MASSIVE – well over twice the size of mine and with the loft conversion I have five bedrooms. Here there are six, two with en suites, and there’s a galleried area looking over the space below. The former apple store (and yes I read that with a capital A as well but it’s not tech it’s fruit) could become another bedroom if required.

The architects have worked to restore and keep anything salvageable, while keeping the interior design minimal so the original features stand out.

The dining hall is double height and there are two reception rooms, as well as a study, library and scullery. The only modern part is the kitchen, made from timber and with a view of a secluded part of the garden.

The cottages have been created from the former outbuildings and deliberately kept very simple lined with birch ply, fitted with underfloor heating and wired for electricity and data. The two smaller ones are single space living while the third is arranged over two floors and has two bedrooms.

I love this minimal style of neutral colours and old furniture. They have added character by painting the doors and skirtings which can make rooms look smaller by drawing attention to the edges but they aren’t short of space here and, to me at least, it all feels rather restful as the colours are so calming.

This bathroom is fun although I can imagine you’d have to learn where that beam was so you didn’t bang your head every time. I’m now off to hunt black basins although I think in London that might be a nightmare with the limescale.

So what do you think? I thought I’d found two good ones last week but such is my fickle nature when it comes to property that I like these two now. Town or Country? And do follow the links to the Cornish one there are loads more pictures if you can’t make up your mind.

Have a lovely weekend everyone. As you read this I shall be heading off to catch a plane to LA for the weekend. I know  – how ridiculous is that. But I have been invited to check out a new concept in small urban living and I shall report back.


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  • Sue 14th June 2018 at 11:20 am

    It looks like the entire apartment was painted in the same colour with the same wood which I find a bit monotonous. I imagine you might forget which room you were in eventually….
    I also found the second home looking cold and without atmosphere which all sounds a bit negative I know, so sorry about that maybe it just needs some furry cushions and rugs to cheer it up!

  • Christine Mason 8th June 2018 at 10:49 pm

    Do you have time for a drink while you’re here? 🙂

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 12th June 2018 at 3:04 pm

      Oh I never saw this message. It was a bit of a whistlestop tour to be honest.

  • Ellen 8th June 2018 at 7:53 pm

    I am sorry, please help me find the link for the vicarage. I have looked and looked….I am missing it.

  • Noreen 8th June 2018 at 12:55 pm

    The second house is heaven to me.

  • Rob 8th June 2018 at 11:58 am

    Agree that green in the first house is stunning. Anyone have any idea what paint it might be as it’s exactly the shade I wanted for our bathroom? We chose for F&B Pale Powder in the end but I do think it’s slightly too pale and I’ve never been entirely happy with it.

    Second house looks absolutely freezing and rather like something from a horror film. I can almost hear the crows cawing in the trees outside and the strange howling sounds in the night.

  • Stevie 8th June 2018 at 10:53 am

    LOVE the first house – that green is gorgeous! I was really drawn to that colour. Then, when I saw the first picture of the Vicarage, I thought ‘oh goodie’, but then when I scrolled down… that first room is just looks oppressive to me with all that exposed stone and the rest of the rooms with their bare walls…..but I always love looking, thanks Kate.

  • Jane 8th June 2018 at 9:50 am

    What is this obsession with exposed brick and stone in the two potentially grubbiest rooms in the house? I like the juxtaposition of raw with smooth myself – aesthetically, and I put a bare stone wall into a room I built, but rough, porous surfaces in a kitchen where they can soak up grease or a bathroom where they can soak up damp seems very odd to me. And my stone wall, although not greasy or damp, and constructed with nice smooth river rocks, was always dusty in the crevices – and there were a lot of crevices. Our ancestors, as soon as they had the money, covered up their bricks and stones with a nice smooth layer of plaster. Leaving them exposed is as impractical as having a damn great beam in the middle of that bathroom.

  • Sue Huxtable 8th June 2018 at 8:38 am

    Love the London property. My husband chose a slightly paler green for his study walls, I was not keen, but with the pale wooden units it turned out to be a very good choice.

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