The Househunter


Friday! At last. I have been struck down by the most vicious of vicious lurgies and while December is usually a quite month for househunters – I say that I have twice moved house on 10th December – I found this gorgeous one and thought that it was perfect for a virtual wander with a lemsip on one hand and the computer mouse in the other.


I love these navy blue walls. Although I’m going to come right out and say that when I buy this house (or if you buy if that that matter – it’s only £1.5m with The Modern House!) I’m going to leave the walls as they are but I’m going to paint the skirting board to match and the picture rail. That will turn it from something lovely to something amazing.


You just have to trust me on that one. Skirting boards must always be painted to match the walls. I don’t know why they are traditionally white – I have tried, and failed, to find that out. The question for information goes on, but in the meantime do it. And while we’re on the subject paint the blood radiators too. These white ones look like a beacon of ugliness in these gorgeous rooms.


Right rant over. What do you think of this kitchen with it’s raw plaster walls? I rather love it and have always wanted to do it but not sure I could face everyone asking every time they came round when you were going to finish. I might be tempted to go for a plaster coloured paint and – you got it – do the skirtings as well…


The house, which is in east London, has eight bedrooms by the way and belongs to an artist and a fashion designer. I could pretty much move in straight away although, even given my delusions of grandeur, I’d struggle to use eight bedrooms.


I also love this panelled bathroom although I would paint the floor white but maybe I’m boring like that. These colours are coming for us people. First navy then green. I think we can assume that the owners of this house are probably rather ahead of our curve so let’s just look at it, get used to it and park it for a little while till we feel ready for green floors.

What do you think? I’m happy to spend my fantasy money on this one this week what about you?

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. Yes! Paint the radiators the same colour as the walls. They then dissappear rather than stand out like a sore thumb. Looks so much better. I get a lot of resistance to this though.

  2. I adore that green! The kitchen with all the different tones of wood looks lush to me. And I love the way the green room looks when peeking through the doorway set in the plaster wall, and the pop of aqua when looking out the other doorway.

  3. Kate, get well soon. I have to point this out – as I had to go back to your own house pics to see what you did! Your skirtings and picture rails are screaming white and walls are dark grey?? :-))

    1. I know! The horror! We did this room ages ago – nearly six years – and it’s on the list to do them but we just haven’t got round to it yet. I can tell you that we have just done the bathroom and bedroom and we have practised what I preached in there….. bear with me I will get the time to do this room!

  4. Firstly Kate, hope you feel bettter soon. Horrid to feel unwell at the weekend.
    And, now to the house … I totally agree with you, the skirting-boards need to be ‘grounded’ and painting them the same colour as the walls, or the floor if that has been painted a darker tone, will do that. As will painting the radiators the wall colour too. I agree too that the picture rail is an issue. Yes, painting it the colour of the wall works in that it makes it less of a feature, or, alternatively, and I’ve done this in my house where the walls and ceilings are the same colour, make a feature of the picture rail to ‘tie’ the room together and paint the picture rail silver, gilver or a dull gold which is actually less ‘look at me’ than it sounds. But what doesn’t get talked about in style magazines is that using different kinds of wood in a room doesn’t always work. Wood is not homogenous and different varieties and colours of wood can make the room look fussy – too many ‘brown/shades of grey’ colours. The kitchen is a case in point. But hey, one person’s perfection is another person’s nightmare, and whomsoever buys this house will be able to put their own stamp on it, and isn’t that what will really make it feel like home.

  5. I love green! Our living room is painted Ball Green by F and B with cream carpet and grey sofas and it looks great. I must admit my skirting boards are cream…. This house does look gorgeous!

  6. Poor you – get well soon. I, too, have a lemsip in one hand so I commiserate. Love the navy walls too, but I just could not live with green ANYWHERE in the house, unless it is a living plant!

  7. Love this home, I’ll take two of the bedrooms, and you may have the others! Wall skirting. Just built my third home, and what a difference design makes painting the wall and skirting the same. Never any other way!
    Look forward to your beautiful blog daily! Thank you!

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