The Househunter: room by room

26th October 2018

Two rooms with a view this week. Different views, different prices but both worth a look around. The first is in Crouch End, north London and is a two bedroom flat on the top two floors of this large Victorian house which has been redesigned and is on the market with Brickworks for £775,000.

Seeing as the weather has been so springlike this week let’s look at this balcony first shall we? The flat, which is on the top floor of a house on top of a hill has views across to Alexandra Palace but is only a ten minute walk from the shops.

I could definitely imagine a lazy morning here – even in winter wrapped up in a coat and scarf – because you’d also get a great view of the annual firework display at Ally Pally from up here. Indeed the vendors said in the particulars that they would miss the panoramic views from the flat and added that even on a grey day they don’t have to turn the lights on upstairs.

To make the most of the views, the vendors moved the rooms around and installed this wall of crittal in the upstairs sitting room and living space. The bedrooms are on the floor below and there are also two bathrooms.

I talked yesterday about zoning an open plan space and this flat is a perfect example. Rather than putting the furniture round the edges of the room to maximise the space you have to put it in the middle. Or make individual pieces stand with their backs to each other so it’s not one huge room but a series of smaller areas that you don’t see all at once.I’m also not necessarily one for painted wooden furniture but the deep blue of this chest of drawers against the minimal monochrome colour palette of this flat could lead me to rethink that. Or maybe it’s just that shade of blue – what do you think?

Now moving on to something completely different. This is in the wonderfully named Clink Street in the City. It’s on with The Modern House and it costs £4,000,000 but if you want to feel like you were living in the middle of it all then this is the place to be. Rather than the leafy treetops towards Ally Pally, this is the glass and steel of the Square Mile. And it’s round too.

Down on the ground level it’s a dark and narrow street which used to house the notorious Clink Street Prison – hence the name in the clink. It was burned down in riots in 1780 but there is now a museum on the site. All of which is a far cry from this three bedroom penthouse, which has views of the River Thames and is set on the sixth and seventh floors of Victor Wharf.

The building was designed by architetect CZWG and consists of two four storey brick cubes with two shorter glass towers.

You arrive at the penthouse via a “leather-lined lift” which gives private access to the apartment. Once inside there are two bedrooms with built-in wardrobes, en suite bathrooms and access to the wraparound terrace. Further down the corridor is the master bedroom with its slate sink and glass brick wall.

Then you go upstairs to the seventh floor where you arrive in this huge curved living space with bespoke curved sofas by George Smith of Chelsea. And a word on curved sofas. I featured one from Graham & Green a few months ago. I think it’s a look that’s going to grow in popularity. It won’t work for everyone but if you don’t want the boxiness of a modular sofa and have a large knock through reception or even a wide square one it can be a great way of dividing the space in a subtle way rather than cutting it off with a rectangle or L-shaped sofa. Keep an eye out for them, prices vary enormously and it’s one to consider if you’re thinking of a refurb or need a new one.

The kitchen and dining space are at the back of the building so they benefit from straight walls which is easier for both using and storing stuff.

So what do you think? I feel certain that many of you will prefer the first flat but there is something rather wonderful about this one don’t you think? I love the historic location of this – apparently the original building was the kitchen of the Bishop of Winchester’s London residence which stood for nearly 600 years before being destroyed by fire in 1814.

So, given elastic fantasy funds which is it to be this week? Modern or Period? Or weekdays in one and weekends in another?








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  • Ursula in Cádiz 29th October 2018 at 4:03 pm

    Why would you pay that price for that view and then park everyone on sofas specifically designed so that they all have their back to it!?! ( I didn’t go to the site to see other photos so maybe there are other living spaces, but even so, what a waste.)

  • Susan 29th October 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I have an aversion to curved rooms and curved furniture, so clink is not for me.

  • Nicola 27th October 2018 at 3:15 am

    Clink street for the location and history but I think I’d be more suited to the Crouch End flat, to be honest.

    Prices in London are eye watering aren’t they? I wonder how anyone could afford £4 million for two bedrooms.

  • Aidy G.. 27th October 2018 at 1:35 am

    Both look good to me… Having a room where your eyes can see the horizon is an instant form of escapism… Turn that round sofa around and float along the rooftops…

  • Eve 26th October 2018 at 9:27 am

    I won’t be very original: I’ll go for the first one. Like yourself, I totally imagine having a cup of tea enjoying the view…

  • Bridget Whelan 26th October 2018 at 8:40 am

    I want to be in the Clink. Crouch End is a great neighbourhood but if you’re going to be in London -and have the money to to make extravagant choices – be in the heart of it with a view.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 26th October 2018 at 12:47 pm

      I’m so glad someone chose the Clink – I feared no-one would!

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