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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.