THE KILN STUDIOS

I’ve said it before (possibly too many times) and I’ll doubtless say it again, but nothing appeals to me more than a compact house or flat that’s been cleverly designed. If you live in the city centre as I do, then making the most of a tight floor-plan is often the norm. And, too often, smaller properties just have wasted space, whether that’s poorly thought out storage or dead circulation space. So whenever I find a house or flat that answers this well - and this quirky conversion in Edinburgh is a prime example - well, I sit up and take notice.

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LOFT LIVING IN STOCKHOLM

So what does 20 million SEK (that’s around £1,750,000) buy you in the heart of Stockholm? Well, it buys you this: a super-styled and high spec two bedroom loft space in Södermalm, located between Maria Square and Mosebacke Square. To describe this property as generous would be an understatement: think flowing open plan living spaces bathed in natural light thanks to the skylights that punctuate the different zones.

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ST PAULS MEWS

Every so often I spot a property that, even though it’s under offer or, as in this case, has already sold, is so great looking that I need to feature it as a Design Files post. Because for everyone’s that’s looking at property with the aim of buying a new house or flat, there are even more people looking purely for design inspiration.

And this contemporary townhouse on the cobbled St Pauls Mews in London’s NW1 is absolutely packed with inspiration. This terrace of classically inspired townhouses was built in the late 1980s to a design by the renowned architects CZWG, although this property has since been completely refurbished by the current owner working with architect Tony Michael.

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HOME FOR A MAD MAN

We’ve all seen it: an A list actor or celebrity who has splurged out on a gargantuan mansion, hired an interior designer, and ‘blinged it up’ by several notches. Whenever I see the headline ‘Celebrity Home for Sale’, I’ll admit there’s a part of me that wants to check it out for nosiness sake - let’s face it, most of us are fascinated by how the ‘other half’ live - but the other part of me shies away from being reminded that money really doesn’t buy taste. Not even close.

Which is why I loved this house the moment I laid eyes on it, when it was featured in Dwell last year with these gorgeous photos by Joe Pugliese. And it’s why this compact, super-styled home marks the return of International Fridays this week as the property is now for sale.

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MEADOWBANK COTTAGE, DALGUISE, PERTHSHIRE

I’ve been thinking about starting a new series of posts called Exterior Goodness, which might be something I run on the Files Facebook page rather than the blog, and this idea came to mind because of this property. Over the years I’ve interviewed people who’ve explained how they’ve turned up to view a house and been sold from the driveway, or when standing outside the front door. What the interior looked like was almost secondary. 

This cottage in the Perthshire hamlet of Dalguise certainly fits the bill - although it helps that Meadowbank Cottage looks just as good inside as it does from its charming exterior. ‘Charming’ is an overused term in property-speak, but just look at this place. Dare I say that this is a very pretty cottage? Because it is.

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NEWLYN, CORNWALL

Every so often I sit down to write about a property and realise I don’t know where to start. It’s not that I’m lacking things to say - quite the opposite, usually. It’s more a case of connecting so strongly with a house or apartment that I really need to do it justice and… I don’t know where to start.

And this warehouse conversion in the Cornish fishing village of Newlyn is one of those properties. So I’ll keep it simple: I love this house. Just file this one under ‘Fiona’s ideal home’. There’s the old/new mix as this 19th century warehouse has been combined with a contemporary interior that includes dramatic triple-height areas. There’s the natural palette of materials, from the exposed granite walls of the original warehouse - what a fabulous backdrop - to the slate and oak internal finishes.

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PORTLAND ROAD, HOLLAND PARK, LONDON

Glamour. That’s the first word that comes to mind when considering the very gorgeous interior of this house on Portland Road in London’s Holland Park. This is one super-styled living space, and everything about this interior, from the materials and finishes used - just look at the bathroom above - to the choice of furnishings - cue the over-scaled button-back headboard in the bedroom - suggests a confident aesthetic with an eye for luxe details.

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RAEBURN PLACE, EDINBURGH

Goodness knows how many times I’ve walked past the ornate door at number 30 Raeburn Place in the heart of Stockbridge in Edinburgh. I’ve lived in this area – not in Stockbridge, but within walking distance – for almost twenty years, so I must have made a good few hundred trips along Raeburn Place while heading to or from Inverleith Park or the Royal Botanic Garden. Raeburn Place is a thriving hub of independent shops and cafés and bars, so you tend to forget that there are residential properties set above or in this case above and behind the shops. Never once did I expect to find a townhouse here. A flat, yes. But a Georgian townhouse arranged over four floors? Definitely not.

Which makes 30/2 Raeburn Place something of a revelation.

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THE WATER TOWER, CHEVELEY, CAMBRIDGESHIRE

I’ve featured a few live/work spaces so far on the Files with properties such as The Workshop and Slip House – both highly individual family homes designed by their architect owners to accommodate a studio space for their respective practices. Ten years ago, would live/work spaces have been quite so prevalent? I doubt it. Technological advances have transformed our ability to work from home after all, so more people are in turn looking for homes that offer an integrated studio or office space.

The Water Tower incorporates not one but two studio spaces. The first is found on the first floor of the building and is currently used as an artist’s studio, while the second sits within the tower itself – an open plan studio/bedroom with a lofty timber-beamed ceiling and large windows soaking in the views over the surrounding countryside. As live/work spaces go, this is frankly incredible.

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