The first househunter of the year is here and it’s a beauty, well I think it is. This four bedroom detached house has a courtyard garden and direct access to 12 acres of private landscaped gardens with lawns, tennis courts and a lake. Coming to see?
It’s in Twickenham, London and was built on the site of a former coach house to complement the existing architecture of the St Margaret’s Estate Conservation Area. It is arranged over three levels and was built to high standards, with a MVHR (Mechanical Ventilation and Heat Recovery) system to ensure optimum internal conditions and air quality, as well as an Air Source Heat pump. The current owners used ecological and natural materials where possible, including VOC-free paint. The design emulates the original exterior form of the original coach house, while the inside is modern. It is on the market with The Modern House for £2,000,000.
You come in, via a small lobby area, to this large open plan kitchen which is a rich shade of green (what did I tell you about the green) with lots of walnut wood (also dark wood, especially walnut, is the shade du jour) and black metal accents – beams and crittall doors. The floor is poured concrete and if I bought this I would be throwing down a lot of vintage rugs.
It’s worth pointing out that the higher image of the dining room and kitchen shows the front of the house, which is behind those large wooden gates. The entrance is behind that black cupboard on the left which is a half wall that hides the front door from the rest of the room. You can see above how it leads down to the family room on the lower ground floor.
This is the reception area at the back of the kitchen with its cosy navy walls and orange velvet sofa. There is a small step down to it from the kitchen which stops it feeling like it’s all part of the same room. It’s also a really good illustration of using contrast in interiors. The vintage pictures on the wall and mid-century style of furniture work with the modernity of the concrete floor and exposed brick and painted wall.
This is the family room in the basement which leads to two rooms – a fourth bedroom and a study. The glass walls allow light to come from both those rooms into this large underground space which would otherwise be dark and windowless. Once again vintage style portraits and a floral rug contrast with the modern structure and make the whole warmer and cosier than it might otherwise be.
Upstairs there are three bedrooms and two bathrooms – this one below is en suite – and you can see the wall of storage with a space between which, presumably functions as a dressing table albeit one you stand at rather than sit. That would work for me – does anyone actually sit at a dressing table any more? I’d love to know. I I have mentioned before that I have done my make-up standing for so many years that last time I sat at a dressing table (in a hotel somewhere) I found I was too far away to see without my glasses and stabbed myself in the eye with the mascara wand.
Lastly I wanted to show you this built-in desk from one of the bedrooms up in the eaves. I’m always wary of beds under sloping ceilings as I worry you would hit your head as soon as you stood up but a desk can slot under there quite well as you should have enough height to be able to sit and can push back the chair to find the standing room. This arrangement also has a generous amount of storage to the side which is easily accessible and would work well for files and paperwork.
So what do you think? I rather like this one I must say. I should add – we have just bought two reclaimed laboratory worktops for the 17yo who is taking over my office and will have desk in each alcove – which will look very similar to this (without the sloping ceiing). It’s a great way to bring in some vintage wood and character in a room and, since the desk tops come from old schools you know they are tough.
That said The Mad Husband went to collect them and having looked vaguely at about 20 picked out two of similar colour and character. It wasn’t until we came to install them we realised that one has some graffiti scratched on with a compass. And it wasn’t until we blew the dust off that we realised it said: “Callum is a gay w***er.”
The 17yo was called into to consult. He said, quite reasonably, that he had no issue with the word w::ker but was concerned at the general homophobic tone of the graffiti. So the sander came out. It remains to be seen if we can hang onto to the characterful patina that has taken years to build up.