The Househunter: Room by Room

Now I suspect this one might be quite polarising but I like the story behind it and the way it has been decorated and, actually, the architecture, so leave your instant reactions (and shoes) at the door and come on in to this three bedroom house in the Kirkstall area of Leeds which is on the market with The Modern House for £425,000.

It’s one of a set of 10 houses (this is the largest and one of the few detached)  that were commissioned in the 1970s by a group of executives from Yorkshire Television who all moved to the area from London. They were self-build projects with each house designed to suit the needs of the family who were living there.

According to The Modern House website: “In the late 1960s Yorkshire Television was established in Leeds and a group of new employees, needing somewhere to live decided to form a Housing Association with a view to finding a suitable site on which to build some new homes.

“After some time the site occupied by No. 45 Vesper Road was spotted. Although well treed, sloping and rocky it was thought large enough for around ten dwellings. Brooks Thorpe Partners took up the challenge to design ten individual houses and shoehorn these onto a tricky site.

“They designed modern houses which have been described as ‘inside out’ and ‘upside down’ houses amongst other things. This was due to the use of concrete blocks externally, concrete bricks internally and with some having bedrooms downstairs making use of the steeply sloping site.”

Inside the downstairs is mostly open plan with clever use of half walls and dividing walls that don’t completely block the space but create different zones as you can see from the image above but do have a look at the floorplan for more details.

I love the way the bricks from outside have been brought into the house and even the geometric use of tiles in the kitchen below keeps the rooms linked to the outside as well as each other. And, as you go round the rooms you can see how the bricks have been painted in different colours in different rooms but all within a very classic mid-century modern palette.

The kitchen has been zoned with a different floor in navy blue and look how the colour is picked up in the door handles on the cupboards. That’s a great idea and one to add to the inspiration lists for sure. Once you notice that you see how the blue accessories on the worktop also stand out and the rectangle drawer shapes link to the yellow bricks in the living area.


Upstairs, in the master bedroom, seen below reflected in a mirror, the bricks have been painted in a rich shade of blue while the slatted wooden bedhead echoes the beams on the ceiling and through into the en suite where the green, brick shaped tiles, link to the view of the trees outside.

Green painted brick walls and, for a contrast to all the straight lines a pair of round mirrors over the basins. Imagine that view when the trees are full of leaves too. There is a walk-shower in this bathroom and the current owners have restored existing features and cabinetry wherever possible.


There are two other bedrooms and I particularly love this one with its black window frames and brick walls in soft pink. The orange bedspread is the perfect contrast and even the legs of the desk chair have been factored into the design of the space.

Below is the family bathroom – black bricks this time, another round mirror and a wooden clad vanity to keep the red thread going.

This is an unusual house for sure but it’s also a master class in interior design. All the tiny details have been thought through so that even if it isn’t your usual style there is much to take from how it has been put together. I love it. Anyone moving to Leeds?

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. Thank you! You are right, it is polarizing. But, I am appreciative of how well the designers have updated this home. It is not my choice of design, but honestly, it feels rather comfortable. Thank you again!

  2. Love it 😍, could do with a few tweaks , but for me the simplicity sings , the light is fantastic too Xx

  3. I love it too. But I’d be moving to Leeds solo as my husband absolutely hates this style!

  4. I’m shocked at how much I love it! Reminds me of my childhood home which was built in the 70s and modern for it’s time. It had painted cavity blocks as the interior walls (bloody freezing though!). I’d say it would be so cosy at night with well placed lighting.

  5. Ugh, I’m surprised by how much I hate it since I usually have a real fondness for 60s/70s design. I felt miserable just looking at the photos. I couldn’t imagine living there, it felt almost institutional – cold, dingy and cramped. I do like the pink of the bedroom but the brick walls aren’t doing it for me. I think I like older brick walls with variation in colour and texture because they look much more organic and soft. This brickwork looks so regimented and uniform. I like the way the sofa is lower with the steps up though, always loved the idea of that.

  6. 100% in! I love the colour palette from this era, so confident and with a focus the right tone throughout the house. Brilliant.

  7. this is the worst from the 70s and 60s. Speaking of polarisation. It could be turned into something modern and tasteful though. All that terrible yellowish pinewood, put in diagonally, in parts, doesn’t help.

  8. Absolutely love this home. Perfectly thought through in every way. Would love to see inside the other 9 now.

  9. I love the look of this house – but I wonder what the sound of it is like – all those tiled walls …..

  10. Also love it, it’s beautifully done with a strong sense of freedom and light (maybe it’s three weeks inside a Victorian flat making the free flow seem so appealing!)

  11. Love love love! What a beautifully designed home. So different to my current ‘rough around the edges’ Victorian flat. Maybe I’m just craving something different! Thank you for showing us this lovely home x

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