INTERNATIONAL FRIDAYS: MINIMAL IN STOCKHOLM

Another Friday, another super-minimal apartment in Stockholm - and another example of Fantastic Frank's cool styling. This space will either leave you swooning thanks to its sleek lines or you'll be running for some soft furnishings - or, indeed, colour. But I'd argue that in terms of styling a property for sale, the simplicity works here, even though I couldn't imagine actually living in a space this bare. This loft apartment is all about volume and light, with a dramatic double-height and open plan living, dining and kitchen area (with a ceiling height of 4.5 metres) and a mezzanine level sleeping zone.

Things to love: the height of those dramatic arched windows, and the gorgeously pale wide plank oak flooring - Kährs Oak Nouveau Snow, which has a distinctive white hue that accentuates the light.

Read more

SHERRIFF ROAD, WEST HAMPSTEAD, LONDON

When you’re a property writer looking for a hook to a story, it doesn’t get much better than realizing that the house you’re writing about was once owned by Stephen Fry. I mean, The Stephen Fry. As hooks go, that’s a pretty good one.

But, to be honest, I was sold on this incredible looking house on Sherriff Road in London’s West Hampstead as soon as I clapped eyes on the first photo on the property’s listing with The Modern House – without even getting to the information about its previous owner. And the rest of the photos didn’t disappoint either. What a striking and completely unique home. It looks like a warehouse conversion – indeed, if you were only shown interior photos of this building, you’d put money on this being an industrial conversion of some type, be it a factory or warehouse, thanks to the combination of exposed brick walls and timber rafters, not to mention the sheer volume of the living space. Talking of which, there’s a tree growing up the middle of the house. Yes, a tree. Inside. And this building is tall enough to accommodate it.

Read more

THE FILES ON IG

There’s nothing quite like a blog redesign to make you rethink the blog itself, and when I revamped the Files in March with a new theme from Style Hatch and a new logo by designer David Gray, it also felt like a good time to introduce Instagram to the site. You can find the Files on IG here at ‘thepropertyfiles’. I post photos from houses featured on the blog, including images that aren’t used in the original posts, and revisit posts from the blog’s first year under the #rewind tag, and I’m also rewinding some of my favourite posts from my other blog Copperline.

I also #regram photos - interiors, styling and architecture - that catch my eye on some of my favourite IG feeds, and there are a few personal photos in there as well. It’s a mix in other words, with lots of great interiors and architecture. Do pop over and have a look.

Fiona

INTERNATIONAL FRIDAYS: SANTA YNEZ

Some houses just stop you in your tracks, right? This hilltop property in Santa Ynez in California is one of those houses. I spotted this architectural gem by chance while browsing through WSJ online for inspiration, and this house is too special not to be shared. Designed by the Los-Angeles based architect Frederick Fisher of Frederick Fisher and Partners for the previous owner, the house sits in around 20 acres of land with mountain views, and includes around 2,300 sq/ft of outdoor patio space from which to soak in those vistas.

The house was designed to offer three zones for living, sleeping, and working that are organized around a central courtyard, and this design extends the living space outdoors while large sliding glazed panels enhance this flow. The current owners reconfigured the house after purchasing it in 2009 to better suit their lifestyle, which included turning an art studio into an office and creating a combined media and living room where they can watch the sun setting. The main bedroom opens onto a 70-foot-long lap pool, while the master en-suite features a Japanese soaking tub. There’s even a yoga studio. The living space extends to a pretty staggering 7,000 sq/ft.

Read more

DESIGN FILES: THE SOCIAL HEART OF A HOME? DEFINITELY…

Last week, I mentioned that it felt as if this blog was morphing into The Kitchen Files. What can I say – there’s been a run of great looking kitchens around. And I always seem to be drawn to kitchens. After all this can be the ‘make or break’ room in a property - the space that either sells a flat or house, or the space that leaves you with a headache while working out how much it’s going to cost to replace the existing kitchen.

Personally, I spend as much time in my kitchen as I do in my living room, if not more. (And if this conjures up the vision of a super-cook, oh-if-only… Mr Property Files takes all the credit for the cooking in this household.) But these days the dining-kitchen just feels like the space to hang out. It’s where everyone congregates, instinctively. In the sitting room, chances are you’re kicking back watching TV, but in the kitchen, you’re more likely to be having a conversation, whether food is involved or not. It’s a cliché to refer to the kitchen as being the heart of the modern home, but it is.

Read more

INTERNATIONAL FRIDAYS: TEGNÉRLUNDEN, STOCKHOLM

This is another one of those moments when I sense that a picture does indeed speak a thousand words - as this apartment at Tegnérlunden in Stockholm needs little explanation when you consider these photos. I’ll confess, I was smitten by this space the moment I laid eyes on it, and although the property is now sold (having been marketed by Per Jansson) the interior is so special it was begging to be shared.

Located in a converted factory building dating from 1900, the apartment is arranged over two floors and includes a stunning open plan living, dining and kitchen area. Would you realise that this industrial-style loft was in Sweden purely from the interior styling? I reckon you’d guess its Scandinavian origins: from the classic Arne Jacobsen dining chairs and Eero Saarinen dining table to Jacobsen’s Egg chair and the Panthella floor lamp by Verner Panton, there are enough Danish and Finnish influences here – even in the overall styling: just look at the coffee table – to suggest the wider location.

Read more

2 ALBERT TERRACE, MUSSELBURGH

Over the last few weeks The Property Files has felt as if it’s morphing into The Kitchen Files as there have been so many properties with really striking kitchens. We were tripping over great looking kitchens on the Files last week, from this super-crisp white and stainless steel design in Edinburgh to the painted Shaker-style kitchen in this London home. On Friday, there was a compact but very cool kitchen in a Parisian apartment, then earlier this week it was back to Edinburgh and a gorgeous open plan kitchen and garden room.

And today, yes, we’re back with an open plan dining-kitchen-family space, only this time with a very vibrant burst of colour. Years ago I recall visiting Craighead & Woolf’s Edinburgh showroom (a recommended destination for kitchen lust) and finding a display kitchen in a wonderful shade of orange. It looked fantastic. The fact that I can remember this all these years and kitchens later says a lot: orange creates an impact anywhere in an interior, but perhaps especially in a place where you might not expect to find it, like a kitchen. Would I be brave enough to try out this palette? I’m not sure I would (regular readers will know that I’m hooked on grey) but there’s no denying that this hue demands attention.

Which explains why the fabulous dining-kitchen-family space in this Victorian terraced house at 2 Albert Terrace in Musselburgh caught my eye.

Read more

COATES GARDENS, EDINBURGH

When you’ve been writing about property for a few years, chances are you’ll see houses or flats coming back onto the market that you’ve already featured, and it’s always interesting to see how different owners have interpreted a space in their own way. Sometimes they’ve made dramatic changes, and sometimes, as with this ground and garden level property at 43 Coates Gardens in Edinburgh’s West End, the original space was so striking and beautifully designed that there was no need to change a thing.

It isn’t hard to appreciate why this property caught my eye when it came onto the market with Knight Frank: just look at the fantastic open plan kitchen and garden room located to the rear of the lower level, where concertina doors open the space onto a decked terrace and into the garden beyond.

Read more

INTERNATIONAL FRIDAYS: RIGHT BANK, PARIS

So the first of today’s two International Fridays posts was, I acknowledged, a little large (and expensive) to work as a Parisian pied-à-terre, which got me thinking: let’s find a Parisian pied-à-terre. And here it is, though at a listed price of €580,000 (around £480,000) this is still way outside my price range. But then blogging about property and interiors is akin to dreaming about property and interiors: it’s rarely about reality, but it is about inspiration.

And I think I’ve found a little gem here. Situated near the Bastille on the city’s Right Bank, this one bedroom apartment is located on the fourth floor of this handsome building, with views out over the Parisian rooftops. Why this apartment?

Read more