I’m only showing you this one because the Mad Husband has actually vetoed us buying it and moving there and so if I can’t have it then one of you must…. It was a totally irrational thing – as falling in love often is. I have never before wanted this style of house but something about it has called me and I want to bring it back to live. And I want to sit on that terrace too. Want to come for a look around?
It was built in 1938 by the German architect Rudolph Frankel and is a Grade II listed four bedroom Modernist house in Stanmore, north London, which is on the market with The Modern House for £1,500,000. It’s not at all what I would normally go for but there is something about the setting and those wonderful corner windows that I have totally fallen for.
It has many of the hallmark of classic Bauhaus style and indeed Frankel, a German Jew from Berlin who had his own studio, was invited to join the school by Walter Groppius but declined saying he was too busy. When the Nazis seized power he fled to Bucharest where he stayed for several years before joining his brother in Stanmore in 1937.
He built two houses here for himself and his sister as well as a number of factories before, having been interned for a short time as an enemy alien in 1939, he emigrated to the US to teach in Ohio. He died in 1974.
The house is designed as two cubes – the second of which was a garage but has since been converted into a library and and office, which leads out to the large, and landscaped gardens. Downstairs there is a large reception hall – the entrance, a kitchen, with separate dining room, and a large sitting room which also leads out to the garden.
Yes it needs redoing, but look at the view from the kitchen sink. And all those wonderful corner aspect windows which would really flood the place with light. When I persuade the Mad Husband to move here, I might also ask for some of the furniture – those two chairs in the room below are fabulous aren’t they?
The key with a project like this is to keep the character and the original thinking behind it but to update it for the new century. Sometimes the key details get lost in an effort to modernise but equally you don’t want to turn it into a pastiche of modernism.
Now, this is a clever idea and I saw something similar in a client’s house a few months ago but wasn’t sure how to describe it. So if you have a large master bedroom – one that is wide rather than long – this can work really well for storage.
Yesterday, I showed you how I created a wardrobe at the end of my long and narrower bedroom but this is good for a square. Basically you build a wardrobe all along the wall that you come in by. This creates a slight tunnel/lobby as you come into the room but gives you masses of storage that, if you had push close handleless doors would look like a wall.
This room is marked as 16ft by 14ft but it doesn’t say if that’s to the back of the wardrobe or the front. Now I have seen rooms that are 10ft square that work as doubles – and remember you don’t need anything else storage-wise if you do this plan (assuming the door is in the right place to make it work) so if your room was anything over 12ft this would work.
The house I saw it in had also taken some space out of the room behind so that behind one set of double doors was a small shower room that you didn’t even know was there until you opened the door. So it’s always good to have a look at the floorplan of a property for an aerial view of the space.
In this house there is one bedroom that runs the full width of the house at 28ft long by 13 wide so you could build a false wall across like mine but create a really generous dressing room behind. Or a bathroom.
It’s slightly hard to tell which room is which from the way the furniture is being used but since the house is around 3,000 sq ft you won’t be short of space. Or do I mean me….
This, I think, is the long thin upstairs bedroom so you could leave this part with the windows as the bedroom and create a dressing room or bathroom behind it that wouldn’t have a window but there would be some natural light coming from the sleeping area. I think we need to go and have a real look… Last year Open House London organised a walking tour of Stanmore and its modernist and art deco homes and the next tour is in September 2019 so I might keep an eye out for that.
And in the meantime does anyone want to lend me one-and-a-half-million quid. Actually make that two – I’ll need to renovate as well. What do you think? Does anyone else see the potential of this place?