The Househunter: Room by Room

5th October 2018

Friday again already and I’ve got two slightly unusual properties for you this week. Well, they’re not groundbreaking, but one is a modern build and one is above a shop. Both of which are often bottom of people’s lists when they are house-hunting but I wanted to show you as they are good examples of the genre (as it were) and might encourage us all to widen our search.

First up is this new build in Muswell Hill, north London, which is on with Brickworks for £1,250,000 (remember it’s fantasy househunting and inspiration we’re after here rather than actual signing on the dotted line purchasing. Although let me know if you ever do – it would be like Cilla Black when there was a wedding on Blind Date. She bought a hat, I’d have to come round for tea).

Back to the house, which is one of four that was completed in 2009. The roof terrace has views of Alexandra Palace while the shops and bars are within walking distance.

Just look at that green outside the window. That’s already a bonus isn’t it. And note the proper picture windows. You can see throughout this build how the dark frames really do, er, frame the view and turn it into a picture. I imagine this would be equally pretty in a few weeks time when the leaves have fully turned.

And that’s the other great thing about modern houses. They are built for modern families so the rooms flow into each other, there’s a utility room and lots of bathrooms, a downstairs loo and four double bedrooms. Those VIctorian houses which we all hanker after for the period features and character (and I’m as guilty as the next person) do have to be knocked into shape – literally – to fit our modern requirements.

Here the architects have thought about the flow of light and added windows accordingly to make the most of that. It’s light and bright and you could add stronger colours if you so wished.

I lived in a modern flat in Birmingham many years ago and I will never forget the feeling of utter amazement that I could put the heating on and it would actually warm the room, that there were no draughts whistling through the closed windows. It was a revelation at the time.

Next up staying in London but this time to a flat above a shop. Although it’s rather more spectacular than you might at first imagine. Coming?

This two bedroom apartment is on the upper floors of a former canal warehouse which backs onto Regent’s Canal. It used to be the administration house for the canal and served many of the surrounding factories.

It has been fully renovated by the current owners and forms part of a group of canal-side apartments and live-work spaces arranged around a communal deck. It’s on the market with The Modern House for £1,250,000, which seems to be the magic figure this week.

But never mind that just look at those windows. I’m sold already. This is the showstopper room which is all open plan for the kitchen, dining and living area. And while we’re on the subject I was asked recently how to zone an open plan space.

This room contains some of the tricks and although it’s big you can do similar things in smaller spaces. So separate the living area by changing the floor. In this case a large rug demarcates the zone and creates a softer more relaxing feel.

Then, if possible put furniture with its back to other parts of the room so you can “escape” from other areas by turning your back on them. Then note how the bar stools, which are a totally different colour face in another direction and have their back to the dining table which is placed at right angles to the kitchen.

Finally, look at all the different lighting arrangements. Now in this case there are a lot of pendant lights hanging down but with that ceiling they didn’t really have a choice – in a different space you could mix downlights and pendants to create interest and zoning.

Moving to the bathroom, of which there is one next to the bedroom on the first floor, while there are two bedrooms upstairs – over the flat part of the room which you can see on the top image.

This is one of the bedrooms which is pretty and quaint but how many times would you fall over that beam on your way to the look in the middle of the night before you fell right out of love with the charm? Which brings me back to the joy of the modern flat which has been constructed for you to live in not fight with.

Beams not withstanding which one will you buy with your fantasy lottery money this week? I’m quite torn but I suspect the lure of the canal view will reel me into this one and one of the children can have this bedroom.

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  • Thomas 12th October 2018 at 10:32 am

    I like the bedroom! Even if the beam can be an inconvenience, I think the bedroom is very cozy.

  • Catherine Kimberly 11th October 2018 at 7:42 am

    Nice blog and i also like the images. This is really good information about. I will use this for decor.

  • Blim & Blum 8th October 2018 at 3:00 am

    Kate really like the loft space on the last property very unusual and quirky with the beam just right there

  • Lisa 5th October 2018 at 6:51 pm

    I too love this slot, the house boat last week being my favourite this year. Zoning spaces is tricky for me but rugs seem to help. Love your book by the way and looking forward to the next x

  • Ursula in Cádiz 5th October 2018 at 1:10 pm

    I agree that those windows in the second option are gawwwjus, darling. But, having already lived on the canal – literally, I’ll have the modern option, please.

  • Jill Ashton 5th October 2018 at 11:03 am

    Hello Kate. I love this Friday slot… I’d vote for the second one every time despite beams and giraffes at the windows. It’s just beautiful. Do you give advice on how to get the £1,250,000?

  • Maudie 5th October 2018 at 7:21 am

    Hi Kate, where do you think fhe grey sofa is from in the second flat? I’m looking for similar.

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