A NOD TO CASE STUDY LIVING IN BERKSHIRE

The Case Study houses that were built in California between 1945 and 1966 are some of the most admired and easily recognized houses of the 20th century, and include iconic buildings such as CSH#8, the Eames House, designed by Charles and Ray Eames, and CSH#22, the equally famous Stahl House designed by Pierre Koenig. The Case Study House program was conceived by Arts & Architecture magazine as low cost, experimental modern housing, and leading architects of the time including Richard Neutra and Craig Ellwood were invited to take part.

Little wonder that the resulting houses - including some designs that were never built - proved to be inspirational far outside California and indeed the States. This house in the village of Holyport in Berkshire is one of three that were designed in the late 1960s by the architects Peter Foggo and David Thomas, and the use of steel frame, glass and wood construction echoes the style of the Case Study houses.

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OFF LORDSHIP LANE

Having worked from home for 16 years, I understand the challenges of finding or creating the ideal live/work space, and was reminded of this recently when friends returned to Edinburgh and began searching for a home that would also offer a showroom for their incredible collection of mid-century furniture and design objects. They couldn’t find a rental property that was suitable, and ended renting up a flat and (at last count) three storage units for their furniture. It wasn’t ideal.

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LANGHAM HOUSE CLOSE

For all the times that I come across a great looking house, I must admit, as a city dweller, I’m always interested when I see a cleverly designed flat. I live in a flat; most people I know do the same. It’s just part of city living.

Which brings me to this apartment on Ham Common in London. As regular readers will be aware, I have a soft spot for internal brickwork. Give me a property with exposed brick walls, be it a loft or a mews, and I’m sold. So my interest was piqued from that very first image above. Throw in the mid-century classics and, well, this is my kind of interior.

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ST LUKE’S MEWS

It will come as no surprise to those who have followed the Files for some time for me to acknowledge that I have a ‘thing’ about mews living. When I re-launched the Files back in March with a new design and feel, I chose to do so with a strikingly redesigned mews property, which remains one of my favourite houses of 2014. That wasn’t happenchance - I wanted to nail my colours to the mast, if you like. As someone who lives in the city centre, I’m always inspired by clever compact design, and by houses that punch above their weight in terms of what the owners or architects have achieved with a tight floor plan.

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SWEDISH ESCAPE

Do you ever randomly come across a house online, and even when it isn’t strictly your taste or what you’re looking for - perhaps it’s too contemporary, or perhaps the opposite and too traditional - you can imagine yourself living there in some alternative life? That’s how I felt when I saw this property located in Lidingö, which is an island in the inner Stockholm archipelago, northeast of Stockholm. I’m always drawn to contemporary design, and you’d imagine that if house-hunting in this area there would be some great contemporary offerings to choose from, but I’m also a sucker for fine period detail and a house that offers a gentle aesthetic.

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HAWTHORN VILLA

Kirsten Dunlop initially spotted Hawthorn Villa by chance while viewing a neighbouring house. “When I saw this place, I said, ‘I really like that property,’” she recalls. Hawthorn Villa is located off Ferry Road in Edinburgh’s Trinity area, but while Ferry Road is a busy thoroughfare, this property is actually tucked along a private lane, and is set well way back from the road itself.  “When you’re out in the back garden, you really could be in the country, and the rooms at the front of the house look out onto trees,” Kirsten says. “It’s really calm.”

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THE TREE HOUSE

Certain things are guaranteed to catch my eye in an interior, and the Claude sofa from Pinch is one of them. I may not be a ‘floral person’, but I’ve adored this sofa since I laid eyes on it, first in a magazine, and then in the flesh in an amazing Georgian property in Edinburgh. And the piece looks just an fantastic here, standing by the floor-to-ceiling window in this vast open plan living, dining and kitchen space, with the backdrop of the garden behind. It’s the perfect piece in a space where the outside has most definitely been brought in.

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THE NEUK

I don’t always post exterior images of the properties featured here as often, when I look at a post, it just flows better with a selection of great looking interiors. But some houses really can’t be explained by interiors alone. The Neuk is one of them. And that’s why I started this post with the exterior photos, showing this property from the street, where it looks cottagey and quaint, and then from the reverse, where the dramatic extension transforms a quaint cottage into a striking home.

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NOMADS

I haven’t been to Berlin for years. Indeed, I’m ashamed to acknowledge this as it’s a city I’ve long wanted to return to and explore properly. And looking at these photographs of this incredible interior is pretty much pushing me over the edge. This three bedroom apartment is situated in the heart of Berlin and is available to let on a day or weekly basis, with a minimum stay of two nights and a maximum stay of one month.

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