Well I couldn’t resist this week’s property as it’s called Warehouse K, or as I have renamed it Warehouse Chair, for reasons which will become clear.
It’s on the market with The Modern House, which is about to launch a spin-off site for period properties called Inigo, which I imagine will have us all in raptures as much as the modern version. Back to this though – a Grade II listed former tobacco warehouse built in 1850 just north of the Royal Docks in east London which is on the market for £765,000. And while it has only two bedrooms it’s almost as big as my last four bedroom Victorian terrace, which was spread over three floors so don’t be put off by that.
It also has a small courtyard opposite the entrance hall which is a rare treat in a building like this, particularly one on the second floor.
As you can see the living space is large and, if you want to see the floorplan, square. The pillar works to slightly zone the space as it matches the navy blue cabinetry and, if budget permits, it’s always a fabulous touch to wrap the island from worktop to floor which makes a real focal point.
This island is also a luxury as the rest of the kitchen is large enough to house both sink and hob meaning that this becomes a breakfast or cocktail bar, or even a place to do a spot of work if you fancy a change of scene.
You can see the chair issue here. I always wonder about small houses with lots of chairs. How often do the inhabitants of a two bedroom flat have six people for dinner? Or three people at the breakfast bar? And where’s the sofa? All these questions. That said, having all these different spaces to sit is a boon and worth considering in your own spaces, even if they are smaller.
The vast floorplan is brought together by having the same flooring throughout and you could then add rugs to zone the different areas as they have done with the sitting room part. That said big rugs are big prices and if that it is the decorative straw that will break the camel’s back then consider buying a large piece of carpet and having the edges hemmed. This can cost you half as much as a rug would and these days there are lots of fabulous patterned carpets around which seem alarming when considered wall to wall but fun when you can see floorboards round the edge.
Moving out into the hall and I know this is going to upset at least two of you – the one who hates green and the one who hates half-painted walls having grown up in a communist country – for you I suggest feasting your eyes on the luxurious bathroom below. We won’t linger here except to say note the half-painted door too which will keep the view consistent from a distance. Alternatively you could paint it all green rather than the more traditional all white.
There are two bathrooms, one large above and one a smaller shower room below. I’m also baffled by the slightly sunken bath and can only assume there were pipes that needed hiding. I once consulted on a flat which had two enormous – overly large, window seats and was told it was to hide pipes that ran throughout the whole building. But they were nearly a metre wide and quite high so it was quite a job to turn them into viable seating areas and we added shelves at the ends as well to bring them in a bit. The point being that warehouses were built for storage not living and sometimes you have to work with stuff you can’t do anything about.
However, I do like the critall style mirror which echoes the windows elsewhere in the building and is perfect in here. Dodgy step aside, this is a bathroom I would happily revel in. The shower is behind the door btw.
And this is the second, smaller bathroom which, although not en suite, is basically for the second bedroom and guests (what are they? Sound of hollow laughter). One other point to note is the restricted colour palette which keeps it feeling light and airy – navy and green with all that natural wood and stone and exposed brick.
I have to admit that I harbour secret loft fantasies. I put them aside when the boys were small as I don’t think children and open plan living mix (I’m a fan of a wall and a personal space) but now they are older I wonder if I may ponder it again… for when it’s mostly just me and The Mad Husband. We could work at opposite ends of the space and meet for lunch and dinner.
Where do you stand on open plan living?