The Househunter: Room by Room

I’m sucker for a black clad building and while I sense this one might divide opinion it’s so different from what, I assume, most of us live in that I wanted to take a tour to see what we all think. It’s in Broadstairs, Kent, and is on the market with The Modern House for £1,250,000.

The four bedroom house sits on the cliffs with access to a residents only beach and also has its own private outside space with an outside shower and double garage. Despite its black clad exterior (and you can just make out the matching dark bricks to the side elevation) the owners have chosen a sunny buttercup yellow as their red thread as you can see from the door frame below.

Painting doors and window frames in yellow is a recognised way of adding a bit of cheer to a dark space as it will naturally create the impression of sunshine flooding into the room. Yellow isn’t (as I have said before) one of my colours but I could totally be on board for this as a concept. If you live in a very urban space or perhaps a flat with no garden you could try the same trick with green.

Moving inside to the main open plan living space (there is a more formal living room as well as a downstairs bedroom, with an en suite) and you can see how the yellow filters into this room as well with the view out to to the hall, the chairs and the tiling under the table.

After that it slightly peters out in such an obvious form but the other element that is consistent through the property is the use of plywood, seen here in the kitchen but also forming part of various cupboards and the main staircase.

Now I’m not sure about concrete floors any more it looks cold although I’m sure there’s underfloor heating and concrete is a brilliant conductor of heat so I imagine it’s extremely well insulated and warm. I might be tempted to turn the sofa to face the woodburning stove and create a cosy seating area around it. Then encourage people to walk behind the sofa if they wanted to get to the other end of the room rather than creating what looks like, from this angle anyway, a passage.

This is the downstairs bedroom which has been cleverly kitted out with a fold down bed and a study area that disappears behind the pull out sliding doors. It’s a great idea if you have a clever carpenter as if you closed it all up again you are left with a square room that could be used as a sitting room or even a dining room or perhaps a playroom during the day.

Finally, we keep saying it but so far there’s not much real life evidence…. coloured bathroom suites are coming back. You know it. And seriously this green with brass accessories and off white tiles is a winner. Who’s tempted?

I really could be. In either pale pink or green I could definitely behind this as an idea. Anyone else?

Tags : black cladbroadstairsModern home for salethe househunterThe Modern House
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. me too, absolutely love the green bathroom suite and it would totally work in my small, plant-filled bathroom. It’s the ‘right’ green.

  2. I love the boldness of the black but the green bathroom suite, not so much. My friend’s parents got a lilac bathroom suite when I was a teenager – a mere 30 odd years ago – and I still think of it fondly. Also, my grandmother had a pink one so I would love to think that one will feature in my own life – sooner rather than later.

  3. Externally I love this house. Internally it’s just too uninspiring and definitely not my taste – I find the excess of blonde wood and lack of colour (even black) somewhat soul-less.

  4. Quite like this one Kate! I love the “red thread” being Yellow…. nice lift. Love the Rug under the table and yes…. I would swizz that Sofa to face the fire, and it would also afford a peek to the outside area.

  5. I think the coloured bathroom suites are a very welcome in any designers world. Sure, with the wrong design and finishes in the rest of the bathroom they could look awful—but in a period home it could be spectacular. Imagine chinoiserie wallpaper, coloured tiles, brass fittings, and rather than plonking a boring white toilet and basin (as we are often forced to do), you have a colour that blends perfectly with the rest of the interior decoration. I think we are often forced to go with a white or white-ish interior because of the white bathroom sets. It’s wonderful to have more choice.

  6. Coloured bathroom suites are a great idea and I think they should come back. I myself have fallen for a lovely buttercup yellow sink and as soon as I find that elusive winning ticket, I will have it!

  7. Someone will love it but that someone is not me. Two current styles it features – the plywood look kitchen and the green bathroom are two things I hope never to live with!

  8. sorry but that green is reminiscent of the “avocado” coloured bathroom suites that were around in the 70s/80s and that, along with the pink, pale blue and pale yellow bathroom furniture should stay firmly in that era for me. However I do remember a chocolate coloured basin, bath and loo at a friend’s house which I would gladly have now. With the warmer metal taps etc and choice of tiles it could look stunning.

    1. My family home had a brown bathroom suite when I was growing up in the late 70s and throughout the 80s. It was teamed with white tiles with pink veining. I remember my mum constantly complaining about what a nightmare it was to keep clean!

  9. I saw this property earlier in the week on the Modern House Instagram post and wondered if you’d feature it.. I agree with you about the wood burner and seating arrangement, looks a bit odd like it is.
    Husband hated the property (“More like a nightmare than a dream”) – I love it (much to my own surprise)!

  10. Thank you, this is a great post. Love the simple styling throughout, Wood and yellow and black accents with gorgeous tiles.
    Do you know Kate, from your travels, where the kitchen and bathroom tiles might be from?
    Thank you 😊

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