Something about this house immediately caught my eye and I can’t decide if it was the shape or the colour or perhaps the garden. Whatever the case it deserved a closer look. I think it’s partly that it’s end of terrace and the dramatic blue grey colour of the brickwork makes it appear detached and emphasises the dramatic pitch of the roof.
It’s on the market with The Modern House for £995,000 and one of the key selling points is the garden, which has been designed to change with the seasons and attract a wide variety of wildlife throughout the year. It’s located in Barnett and the work was done by the architects Storp Weber. Coming in?
This was the second image that caught my eye. The blue grey of the outside brickwork has been brought inside to highlight that beautiful bay window and then taken over to that enormous wall light. That, by the way, is the Lampe De Marseille by Le Corbusier and while it normally seems to retail for around £800 I found it here for £472 (true at the time of posting). It was such a huge discount I got every excited and threw it in my basket until The Mad Husband reminded me it’s still nearly £500 for a light. But what a light. I mean we could do without a chair if we had that light surely?
Coming out into the kitchen and you notice immediately the yellow staircase – the colour of which has been picked up in the chairs by the bay window in the room above. I have those Lego flowers too – a lockdown treat that brings me joy every day. And this is one of the key points of this house – decorate in colours that bring you joy – that may be acid yellow (it’s not for me) or it may be a delicate shade of mud found only in a north western corner of Seattle (more me) but whatever it is the stairs are the first you see when you come in from out so it’s vital that they give your heart a lift when you see them. Try painting the inside of the front door to match so it’s the first thing you see when you come downstairs too.
Zipping about a bit in this house but upstairs you can see how the yellow is a decorative feature in its own right when the door is open – never underestimate the power of a door to be decoration – especially if you have flat featureless doors that can look like coloured panels. When the door is closed however the yellow remains in the form of the artwork and, neat this, the back of the chair. Again, when you have furniture that sits with its back to the room – office chairs for example – it’s worth considering their back view. The boring black bit that you sit on is mostly obscured as it faces the desk (or your bottom) but that zinging back brings another considered element to the room. The green chair stops it all sliding into coordinated matchiness.
More yellow in this room – a slightly more ochre version here and, paired with the grey, brings a proper mid-century vibe to the space. I adore the way the colours of the striped painting have been repeated in stripes around the room. You can come badly unstuck when matching painting to decor but this works rather well.
In this bedroom the yellow is less but the chair takes us back to the painting with its yellow background. And this is how you create a red thread. Clearly yellow is one of the threads that binds this decor together but this is a really good example of how it is used throughout but in different ways. To recap: we start with the stairs, we had the chairs in the sitting room, the walls and doors upstairs take us to a soft bedspread and a painting over a fireplace. So there is lots of yellows but it is used in different shapes, forms and materials throughout the house. That means it’s never boring and it provides the linking thread rather than a sea of matching yellow walls that makes every room look the same.
There was also a grey and yellow bathroom but I’ll let you discover that for yourselves as we are coming back down into the sitting room where, from this angle, we can see the green throw which also links to other rooms. And remember plants count as green.
Now to look at the downstairs more carefully as there is another element that is repeated throughout this house. Can you see the arch that leads into the dining area? It’s an interesting way of adding a feature to what was perhaps a long dark area at the back of the house. It’s slightly echoed in the round table that sits in front and even brings your eye back to the tap at the front although that wasn’t perhaps at the foremost of their minds when decorating. However…
Pull back to the sitting room and you see there is another arch leading from there into the kitchen. Now, I don’t know this at all but I wonder – you see that cutout that acts as a shelf on the side? That whole white part looks like a panel that has been attached to the wall. It’s hard to tell if if it’s a design feature or was deliberate but, it occurs to me, if you wanted to bring in more curves, or to change the shape of your doorways withouth needing structural engineers to calculate new lintels and so on you could do it this way. Add a panel. Paint it any colour you like and just make sure there’s a bit extra – like that cut-out shelf to give it a purpose and not make it look like you were trying to hide anything.
This might seem like a strange idea but writing as someone who has inherited a random gothic arch into the kitchen making it impossible to fix a door without some fairly serious building work – and the lack of door means the smoke alarm in the hall goes off every time you make toast – I’m looking at this idea with interest.
One final arch for you here and this is another clever one. The door hasn’t change shape but the glazing recreates the shape from downstairs and provides another visual link to the rest of the house. It’s details like this – along with handles and switches as I mentioned earlier in the week – that make all the difference to how well designed your house looks. Fabulous furniture is great and lasts well and looks good but don’t underestimate the power of the building to really nail a design.
So, anyone moving to north London this week?