The Househunter: Room by Room

Back to west London to have a look at this earbleedingly expensive but very lovely house that was on the market back in March. 

Right we’re throwing the cheque book out of the window this week – only fantasy lottery money will do today – as we head over to west London to look at this wonderful four bedroom second floor flat which is on the market with Knight Frank for £3.95m.

It’s packed with original features – not necessarily original to this house but you get the gist – and has the wonderfully ramshackle put together look that is at once comfortable and looks haphazard but has clearly taken a lot of time and money to assemble. It’s the old no make-up make up look again.

It’s full of vintage furniture and has large rooms, high ceilings and huge windows. The owners (or perhaps their designers) sourced the bathroom floor from an old BBC building while the basin – so cleverly mounted on a trestle table below  – was from a prison.

How clever is that for an idea? There’s so much space to the side that you could store all manner of lotions and potions although yes that is a small mirror perched on the end. But if you were to come across an old basin it might give you ideas for how you could repurpose it to your own ends.

Here’s another bathroom, which, again, just has the classic floor to ceiling metro tiles – which are about the most affordable tile you can buy by the way – with a showstopping orange floor. You could add more of this colour if you painted the side of the bath too, or you could do it in a different colour. Installing a bath like this – if you have the space – means it’s relatively easy to update as often as you wish as you can just keep painting it.

Alternatively stopping the tiles half, or three quarters, of the way up the wall would allow you to add paint above which is also easily changed.

Finally, a kid’s bedroom. I wouldn’t normally choose grey but actually this has worked rather well as the pictures add colour and, once again, you could change the rug or paint the coving (or ceiling) in a contrasting, or warmer, colour if you wanted to ring the changes.

grey kids bedroom via knight frank

Fancy another? Let’s go to the historic town of Saffron Walden, in Essex, to look at this converted Georgian house which has recently been redeveloped into flats with prices starting at £335,000 via Cheffins. The house belonged to George Stacey Gibson, a Quaker and philanthropist whose family did so much for the town that he was later known as Mr Saffron Walden.

Hill House is on the High Street of this medieval market town and has been divided into one and two bedroom flats. Gibson, a banker who  brought the railway to Saffron Walden, was an ardent botanist who donated many of his specimens to the Museum which he helped reorganise.

The developers have referenced this interest in the decor of this ground floor flat below, with the artwork on the walls and the green accents which work so well with the natural wood and leather against the black and white background. Again, a scheme that would be easy to change with minimal effort.

The large mirror also echoes the shape of the arched windows, nice idea if you have those windows. Which most of us don’t but just in case….

So there you have it – city or town, pricey or affordable which one will you choose this week?

Tags : high ceilingsLondon apartmentLondon flatthe househuntervintage furniture
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.


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