The Househunter

Two city properties for you this week but both of them are really connected to their outside space. Come with me and see what you think.


In that much-loved sitcom The Good Life, Margot was aghast at Tom and Barbara’s attempts to live self-sufficiently, mainly because she worried they would lower the tone on The Avenue. This house is also on The Avenue, although the one in Queen’s Park, north London rather than Surbiton.

It’s on the market with Knight Frank for £3,150,000 and has an enormous garden which has plenty of space for Geraldine the goat and her mates Pinky and Perky and a few chickens. It remains to be seen what the neighbours (and I know one of them) would say.

Recently refurbished  – and that always fascinates me why people sell when they have just done the place up – there are five bedrooms, three bathrooms and an enormous, huge, massive open plan living, kitchen, dining space downstairs.


It might be too open plan for me but I like this sitting room at the front of the house with its black painted windows which frame the view so well. A perfect place to sit and wait for Margot to come stalking past. Meanwhile, in Surbiton, well we had to go and look over there after this didn’t we?

I can tell you that there are a lot of pelmets and swags in Surbiton and I didn’t, on my brief (virtual) visit find anything I thought you would like. Not that there aren’t lots of fabulous houses there just that I couldn’t find one for sale yesterday. Instead, I thought we’d have a look at this.


Starting outside with this fabulous outdoor kitchen attached to this two bedroom maisonette in Islington which is on the market with Fyfe Mcdade for £1,100,000. Imagine having enough in the budget to add a brass seat outside – I’d kill for one of those in the kitchen frankly.


They have also done that trick of carrying a row of kitchen units outside in a seamless line. I think it was the minimalist John Pawson who did this first and it’s a great idea if you can make it work.


Inside the palette is monochrome with splashes of brass and gold to lift it. Take note of the dark ceiling and how the spotlights almost look like stars. It definitely creates a more intimate cosy feel at that end of the room which is, I imagine, where you would spend the evenings.


So what do we think this week? Two City properties, both quite monochrome. WWMD  – no, not Madonna, Margot…


Or perhaps – what would you do?

Kate Watson-Smyth

The author Kate Watson-Smyth

I’m a journalist who writes about interiors mainly for The Financial Times but I have also written regularly for The Independent and The Daily Mail. My house has been in Living Etc, HeartHome and featured in The Wall Street Journal & Corriere della Sera. I also run an interior styling consultancy Mad About Your House. Welcome to my Mad House.


  1. Hello Kate,
    Just on a slightly different note you featured the lovely Norr11 rough table. As a result I’m seriously thinking of getting one. The site says they only deliver to kerbside and warns it’s very heavy. Please could you tell me how you got it into the house and the number of burly chaps you needed so I can plan? Luckily my kitchen is on the ground floor.
    Best wishes

  2. I like the Queens Park house but the house seems to go on and on and on. Maybe it’s because we are planning to downsize but the smaller Islington apartment has won my heart. Stylish, with some touches of the unexpected plus outside space and location are perfect too.

  3. ‘Day Beds’ perhaps? Seem a little out of kilter. I am yearning for a fabulous table, with a big cafetiere of coffee to be placed there instead. Or if after 5pm a very good bottle of red.

  4. Question: Are those beds in the kitchen, in the first house? Breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed, maybe?

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