The Househunter: Room by Room

7th September 2018
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And we’re back with some more houses to poke around. After a summer off I have quite missed wandering round other people’s houses so are you ready to come and see this one in Suffolk, which feels like it has the perfect autumnal colour palette and might even have an element of the controversial Spiced Honey shades from yesterday’s post on the Dulux Colour of the Year.

It’s on the market for £750,000 with Durrants and is located about 20 minutes from Lowestoft. It dates back to the 1650s and is thought to have been sold only one in the last 200 years which is amazing and, one assumes, is quite an emotional sale for the vendor.

It has eight bedrooms and is Grade II listed, which means that while you may not need planning permission for internal alterations you may have to seek listed building consent. Now I did have a look at the floorplan, because the main issue with houses of this age is the lack of bathrooms, but there appear to be about four upstairs.

I couldn’t see one downstairs but it was a small plan and my computer didn’t seem to want to make it bigger and it was making my eyes all squinty to peer at it so if you are thinking of putting in an offer you’ll have to check that bit out yourself.

For now we shall content ourselves with having a look round. The practicalities are for later. Although it’s a gorgeous house, I might need to check them out if only to satisfy my inner fantasist. But that sitting room is gorgeous isn’t it. I mean I’ve obviously got an issue with the size of the rug but that window, those honey-coloured boards and that pale blue grey colour scheme. Perfect.

Moving into the dining room and I can appreciate that not everyone will want that soft red colour but let’s pause to investigate. Firstly of all red is a classic colour for dining rooms but here it has been inverted so that the walls remain pale and the wooden trims – doors and skirting boards have been painted in a strong colour. And it works really well so I wanted to include this to show anyone who might be thinking of doing the same thing. Imagine, instead, a deep, dark green or navy blue.

And, given that it’s a dining room that, in many cases, doesn’t get used every day or even – come to that – during the day – you could paint the ceiling to match the doors and add another layer of colour and drama that way.

The kitchen is classic farmhouse but the door frame and skirting have been painted in green to match the AGA. Again you could take that idea further since it would cost a small fortune to recolour or replace it. Next door appears to be a proper scullery which has been painted in a loft soft blue.

I dream of a room like that with space for laundry and store cupboard items and an old flagstone floor.

Time for a look upstairs and this colour is perfect for the time of year – warm, rich and autumnal. The navy blue accents also stop it feeling too overwhelming as they sort of punch through the terracotta – like adding a squeeze of lemon to a rich dish.

Now this isn’t really Spiced Honey but it’s a warm yellow, which is what I think we might see first. Remember these trends often take about three years to filter through and yellow is definitely on its way. Joa Studholme, of Farrow & Ball, flagged this to me early last year and I wasn’t convinced but I should have known she would be right.

Pantone talks about a bright  Gen Z yellow and says it will take over from Millennial Pink. But since I am neither Gen Z or a Millennial, I am going to say that I love both those colours but in their dustier, softer form and they look great together. Pale blush is now a classic neutral as it’s also good with dark greens and navys as well as pale greys, but it is also going to morph into a warmer terracotta shade over the coming months.

Now seeing as this has to last all weekend I thought we’d have a good old look round this amazing house in Hammersmith, west London. It’s on with Savills for, ahem, £5.7m but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a look even if we can’t touch.

Now I will admit that this is probably a little too colourful for me personally but, having said that I like nearly all the shades that have been used and, more to the point, what I really like is that a decision has been made about every single surface and piece of furniture.

Nothing here was just left white, or painted white because it was traditional to do so. From the soft yellow ceiling (there it is again) to the green skirting boards and window frames it has all been thought about.

Which is not to say that you shouldn’t use white – I have lots of it in my house – but simply that if you use white it is because you decided that was the best colour for the space rather than just using it because you didn’t want to make a decision about anything else. So if yellow isn’t your colour (yet) you might paint the ceiling in a very pale, barely there pink, for example.

Now that that’s off my chest let’s just pause to take a look at this sunken seating area for watching television. If I had the space I totally would. And I love that the cushions are a riot of maximalist pattern rather than being all sleek and modern, which is what you often see with this sort of seating arrangement.

While we’re on the subject, maximalism is another trend word that is going to coming at you over the next few months. It’s not for everyone so don’t panic – you don’t have to follow these trends. But if you are interested there are ways of doing it.

For example, I am probably much more maximalist than minimalist – I like stuff but I’m not good with lots of colour. So my house is full of stuff but in quite a restricted colour palette – rarely more than three in one one and the third one might be quite small.

Other people may prefer to have less stuff but use brighter colours. It’s all about how you want to interpret it.

Now this next room is quite maximalist in that there’s a lot of stuff  – plants, rugs, bold lights etc – but not many colours so that it’s a full room but, to my mind, it’s interesting and there’s lots to look at.

Also, if you’re redoing your kitchen and happen to have a chimney breast – doesn’t it look great covered in tiles like that.

It’s the same thing with this view. It’s all still shades of green (and the new green colour card from Little Greene is out any minute if you want inspiration)  but that bold window frame adds a really unexpected touch that brings the whole thing together.

And even if that green is too much for you (and I probably woudn’t choose that shade myself) I think you have to admit that it looks so much more interesting and fun than a classic white window frame. Do you agree?

Now remember this house is nearly six million quid so there are a lot of rooms and that means the owners have the space to change the mood, which is also why they were able to be really dramatic in other places – they don’t have to spend all the time in one reception room so they can afford to be bolder.

But this room – with it’s soft yellow sofa (just putting that out there) is much more restful and calm with the trees outside providing much of the colour that the green window frames do in the other room. If any of you buy this can we all come round in December and see what it looks like when the leaves have gone?

Last this room, which is in the study. That olive green sofa is a gorgeous colour and works beautifully with the painting over the fireplace. Pink and green is definitely the theme of this house and it’s been a popular combination for a while now.

So there you have it. Two houses – town and country – both in rich, warm colours for Autumn. What do we think? I’ll take both this week.

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  • marion mccarthy 7th September 2018 at 8:30 pm

    yay! i missed this

  • Harriet 7th September 2018 at 11:29 am

    Welcome back, Kate-the-househunter! We’ve missed your great properties too. I just love the Suffolk pad: obviously it would need bigger rugs and a spot of painting; I have my suspicions about the material used on the hall floor, too, and the wallpaper would be gone and and and … but I love the colour of the aga AND it’s got a walled garden – one of my fantasies. Not enough bathrooms? Well I don’t need eight bedrooms so I think a bit of changing around would do the trick (and being Grade 2 listed that’s permissible). Brilliant!

  • TJ 7th September 2018 at 9:34 am

    Hey, talking about rooms I have come across this amazing 80s flat in this video
    I have done a lot of research to find where it comes from, but found nothing 🙁

  • Jane 7th September 2018 at 9:25 am

    I love both these. I love the soft red of the Suffolk one, I think it’s a colour that fits with the age of the building, and although that green in the Hammersmith house would have me running to the paint cans to mix up a softer version, I would defend to the death their right to use it because, as you say, it is a considered choice – and certainly not following a trend! (Probably not leading one, either.)

  • Limelight 7th September 2018 at 9:22 am

    Thank you for sharing beautiful information with us

  • Anna 7th September 2018 at 9:19 am

    £725,000 Here it is

    I expect that if you needed to commute it would be difficult but Ideal if you wanted a change of life style and run a B&B for example?

  • Anne Brown 7th September 2018 at 8:49 am

    Ooooo, the scullery in the No 1 house is wonderful. It’s just crying out to be ‘Bramley- hedged’!

  • Our French Oasis 7th September 2018 at 7:36 am

    Now I would love the country house for the laundry room alone, mind you with a space like that I doubt the clean clothes would make it upstairs and it would turn into some sort of giant communal dressing room!!

  • Jenny 7th September 2018 at 7:34 am

    I can’t find a price for the Suffolk pad on the site at all. I don’t think £750k can be right! It’s lovely though, what a garden. I don’t like the Hammersmith one much which is a shame or obviously I’d have bought it with the spare £5m I have hanging about.

  • Linda 7th September 2018 at 7:23 am

    Are you sure that’s the right price for the country pad? It’s cheaper than Devon!

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