Mad About . . .

The Househunter: Back to the sea, the sea

26th February 2021
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Right we’re all going to need a collective rummage down the back of the sofa for this one because it’s expensive but it’s lovely – at least I think it is although I’m aware that we don’t always agree on these matters. Remember it’s Fantasy Friday and for the eleventy billionth week of lockdown I make no apologies for going back to the sea and for picking a house that, on a sunny day with a squint, could be in Greece or Southern Italy.

So let’s get the nitty gritty out of the way first. It’s in Shoreham by Sea in West Sussex (between Brighton and Worthing so that’s the English Channel not the Med. It’s an hour from London and it’s on the market with The Modern House for £2,850,000 for which you get five bedrooms, sea views and nearly 4,00sqft (which is a lot of space.) There’s another 400sq ft of garage too.

Now that we’ve picked ourselves up off our (much smaller) floors who’s coming in to take a look around? I have to say I was drawn in not least by the warm golden light at the time it was photographed (always a winner that) but also by all the bleached linen sofas.

I’m about to try and re-cover my sofa bed which is essentially two large rectangles – how hard can it be – and am thinking of washed-out linen on a faded Persian rug so I can pretend, when I go up to the loft, that apart from the exercise bike in the middle of the room, that I am indeed in the aforementioned Italy….

Anyway back down to earth. Or West Sussex…. this is quite a rabbit warren of spaces but you would, probably, spend most of your time in this large, sea-facing kitchen, dining, sitting room. At least I would. The kitchen part below sits behind the sofa above with the table in the window and this faded, natural palette is always what I think I will have until I come to actually buying the paint at which point I end up with something more colourful. It’s my unrealistic fantasy decor as well as my unrealistic fantasy house.

But it’s a good look for a coastal house isn’t it – all natural textiles, concrete and wood. Even the crockery on its open shelves looks perfectly styled. And if you want a comfy wooden bar stool try this from Cox & Cox or this from Devol.

Apart from that large space there are also two sitting rooms, two small bedrooms and two bathrooms that lead off from the door by the sofas so if you were to buy it and want lots of people to stay they could conceivably be relatively self-contained if you needed them to be. Or you could park a bunch of teenagers in that part and see them for mealtimes only.

But it’s upstairs bedrooms where you want to be. Here there are three bedrooms (two front facing) two bathrooms, a study, dressing room and large “relax” area which leads out onto a large verandah. Pour me a cocktail I’m coming up…

The neutral palette of bare plaster, linen and wood continues up here too and while the bathrooms aren’t technically en suite, there is one bedroom and bathroom on either side of the central seating area so it would feel quite private.

And I know you’re going to ask about the view from the bath and, well, this room is on the side of the house where there may be neighbours. But who needs to lie in a bath and look at the view when you can step outside and literally bathe in the view?

So what do we think? Holiday dreams or holiday nightmares? I’m  n- if I could just find another £2,849,998 under the mattress.



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  • Marie 27th February 2021 at 1:21 pm

    Love this Kate but it would have to be somewhere on the Amalfi Coast 😂

  • Mandy 27th February 2021 at 10:33 am

    This is sooo beautiful … and like you, Kate, I always think I want this neutral palette until I go to buy the paint !
    But the main drawback of this stunning property —— the British weather —- we are emigrating to the Algarve in a year or two (really) to retire to this sort of dream but with the “proper” weather to go with it !

  • Bonnie Foster Abel 26th February 2021 at 3:07 pm

    I love the light, the natural use of materials and the overall pared back look of this house. A bonus to be by the sea!
    You mentioned there is more than one bathroom so perhaps a shower or wet room has been installed elsewhere with a full or half wall partition. In my fantasy, I could, however, change it up. I have bleached linen upholstered sofas in my home. I think you will love the new look and the texture of your sofa.

  • Pia 26th February 2021 at 3:03 pm

    The kitchen is the letdown for me in this house. The views and colors and outside wood paneling and fireplace and that black lamp by the fire! all lovely. And then the kitchen. Two different floors? Island with the sink and the stove behind it (That is not allowed due to regulations in Sweden. We do love our rules….) and for this size of house to not have any pantry or more/bigger cabinets? Or is that hiding behind those glass doors? That would be a real treat. But go in there every time I need the milk for my coffee? It does not feel right to me. Perhaps the persons who built this house didn’t like food? Anyway. Don’t like the kitchen. And as someone else wrote for that type of money it should be perfect 🙂

  • Anna 26th February 2021 at 1:37 pm

    I fell in love with the Camber Sands house featured on Extraordinary Escapes Channel 4 so this house would definitely be a second choice!
    Dream on Friday…so uplifting. Thanks Kate!

  • Lou 26th February 2021 at 12:11 pm

    Love it. Could be here in Australia (minus the slight chill in the air)

  • longdenlife 26th February 2021 at 11:16 am

    Its a yes from me too. However, I would need to add colour with artwork etc

  • Nicola 26th February 2021 at 10:45 am

    I’m not sure I would want to live in it all the time but I would definitely like it as a beach house ( this is a fantasy after all). I spotted my fantasy townhouse on the market in Notting Hill for 13 million yesterday so I just need £16 million (and the borders to open) and I’m all set…

  • Barbara-J 26th February 2021 at 8:36 am

    I’m in Jodie! Move over grey…..I’m loving the natural colours

  • Lesley E 26th February 2021 at 8:35 am

    I love it! I would love to live by the sea and this house would be perfect. Every room bathed in light. Heavenly! I’m rummaging down the sofa and the armchairs and eyeing the grandchildren’s piggy banks, too!

  • Jodie 26th February 2021 at 8:21 am

    I absolutely love everything about it. No ‘ifs’, no ‘buts’ it’s perfect! Collective Mad about the house time share anyone?!

  • Mairi 26th February 2021 at 7:55 am

    I live by the sea – closer than this house – and have an issue with ‘seaside’ decor, it always makes a house feel like a holiday let to me. I want the place
    to feel like a home with a sea view, as opposed to a sea view with an incidental house attached. I think this one treads the line on just the right side but I would need colour. The wee window in the bathroom is odd – for £3m I’d want everything to be perfect!

  • Rachael Hare 26th February 2021 at 7:17 am

    Smart move by the agent photographing the exterior at golden hour, I’d consider buying it based on that pic alone. I say that as if I have a spare £3m knocking around, oh how I make myself laugh!

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