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Posts Tagged ‘property for sale’

A love for interior design and the activity of fantasy house-hunting tend to go hand-in-hand, so when Cate emailed me over a link to this divine property in London, my eyes lit up with excitement. Tucked away in the East End is a house that teleports you back through time and into a land of mystery and magic!


The exterior, although bold in size, is a little misleading as it fails to prepare you for the strikingly curated and fabulously spooky interiors. After over a century of being uninhabited the building was bought by director of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Tim Knox and landscape gardener Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, who masterfully filled the property with their budding collection of objet d’art and obscure artefacts assembled over the years from markets and auctions.

The house was originally built in 1741, and later restored in 1997 but preserved in all its historic detail and glory. It’s the kind of home that is so unlike anything else we tend to see on a day-to-day basis that there is an intriguingly creepy edge to it, like something out of a period drama, perfectly fitting for telling a ghost story or two. Knox and Longstaffe-Gowan have gloriously filled the house with the perfect balance of wackiness and wonderments. You can see how the years of curating museums has influenced the decorative of this house, and perhaps vice versa.


Each room is effortlessly complied of trinkets and treasures, integrated with the period features, it’s the optimum example of a ‘house with character’ that is so often a necessity among buyers, however I have a sneaking suspicion that this might be just a little too avant-garde for the average taste. The house has everything, drama, romance, madness, it makes you a little nervous, filling your stomach with butterflies.
A stairwell has been decorating with an over-flowing collection of mounted animal heads, probably causing you to duck and weave your way around like an obstacle-course. I’d imagine that this home isn’t an easy-living situation, but more like living-art, each room with its quirks and adventures. The contrast between the taxidermy heads and the Virgin Mary statue casually place in the corner of the landing creates a rather eclectic look. It seems like almost a super-stylish haunted house that you’d find at fairs and adventure parks, although instead of being scary it’s just ultimately alluring.


The main bathroom in Malplaquet House has to be my favourite room, the walls are littered with a collection of crucifixes that invokes a wild, fanatic response. The largest crucifix looms over the roll-top bath, giving off a sacrificial atmosphere, or as if a séance or exorcism is about to take place. Its finishing touches like this one that create the visually dramatic and flamboyant ambience of the home.

The house holds itself in a rare fashion, it makes no apologies for its appearance or personality, there is no attempt to ‘fit-in’, but there is also no sense of overkill or a try-hard attitude present either. The interiors are filled with an authentic disposition that comes from a collection of bizarre and bewildering artefacts that have been accumulated in a natural process.
Whoever takes on the challenge of being the building’s next occupants is perhaps not just buying a home, but is becoming the invited guest of a house that stands the test of time, and exudes character and brilliance.

The Malplaquet House is available to buy from Fyfe McDade

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One of the beautiful things about living in Cambridge is that in most parts of the city, there is always a stunning property or building that catches your eye. Or sometimes a whole street can do this, especially if you take stroll down Storey’s Way. I tend to move at somewhat of a snail’s pace when I’m driving through the road, deciding which lovely property is today’s favourite. With a love of interiors, exteriors and a general urge for snooping I always like to have a little look on Rightmove every now and then, which is where I came across this stunning house on Storey’s Way which was already know here at Angel + Blume, and trust us it’s even more beautiful in person. It’s such a lovely property that I just had to write a little blog about it.

The house was built during the Arts and Crafts period and follows a Sussex style, Mock-Tudor design. Interestingly the exterior from the front entrance looks cottage-like with small windows and sloping roof, which were made from lime washed pebbledash-rendered brick, a material that has aged gracefully, whereas the back view of the house looks more regal, following a typical Arts and Crafts motif.

The famous, and well respected architect Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott designed the house in 1912-13 for Herbert Ainslie Roberts, who was the Secretary of the University Appointments Board. In 1991 the house was completely restored, which allowed for modern living, but still kept the integrity of the original designs. Here you can see the plaster frieze ceiling work, which was done by J.C. Pocock.

It has some absolutely gorgeous original features, many of which can be seen in the photo above; from the lovely wood panelling, to the decorative ceiling to the stunning framework on the windows.

Often with period properties there’s a constant battle between the old and the new. Whether to keep the running period theme throughout the house, or to contrast the heritage structure with modern interiors. I think that the elegance of the exterior and the architectural details of this house, smoothly transcends into the décor inside. A simple and fresh design that lets the character of the house do all the talking.

This bathroom is the perfect mix between contemporary and traditional styling. The modern design of the shower, sink and bath as well as the sophisticated slate work contrasted with the traditional window, original fireplace and the traditional chair creates a wonderfully unique blend. The free standing cylindrical shower is a particularly great inclusion in this fusion-style bathroom.

The gardens, which were also designed by Baillie Scott follow the same ideas and approach to design as the house. It appears that Baillie Scott’s vision was to create a design the flowed from the inside to the outside with ease, creating a unity between the two.

There is an overwhelming loveliness that surrounds this property, it manages to keep the essence of the era in which it was built while still being a practical place to live in the modern world. There is the perfect balance between the original features and contemporary decoration that brings out the best of both worlds.

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A guilt pleasure of mine is to play a game of make believe on real estate websites in America, hit the ‘price: high to low’ setting and scroll through some amazing properties, pretending I can afford them. This is exactly how I found this masterpiece of a house in Los Angeles, currently for sale via themls.com.

The house was built in 1913 by Frederick E. Engstrum and designed by Frank A. Brown, following an Arts and Crafts style design, and has been dubbed the one of the finest and largest Craftsmen houses in America. The exterior is absolutely mesmerising as the house is almost lost in the surrounding overgrown woodland. With so many small and unusual features this house would have you exploring for days on end.

The house was named ‘Artemesia’ and is still full of its original features including tiles, stained glass, panelling and light fixtures. It’s truly a house of character, with a story to tell.

It easy to see that a lot of the permanent interior details have been kept in tact, which is quite a feat considering Los Angeles has modern, contemporary homes by the bucket load. The interiors of the Artemesia home are almost frozen in time and there’s something really magical and graceful about this.

The design of the house takes influence from the Tudor-revival architectural movement that surfaced in America in the late 1800s to the early 1900s, as well as the American take on the Arts and Crafts movement. Here you can see the beautiful detail of an original fireplace that is in keeping with the Arts and Crafts motif of the house.

There is a sense of grandeur and magnificence in the interiors that has been sewn into the house, at its very core. The large ballroom with its beautifully wide columns indicates a rich history the house may have had, tales of old Hollywood-esque parties thrown and the company kept, the house exudes a vibrant, well-lived, old Hollywood atmosphere, even in the bathrooms…

The shower is beautifully hidden away with steps leading down to it from the bathroom.

It even features a historic pipe organ, built by Murray Harris, a world renowned organ builder, and it’s on of his largest remaining creations. Having a residential pipe organ during the late 19th and early 20th century would have been considered a rather fashionable addition to a home and played by a hired professional, the organ would have been the source of entertainment and music during a social gathering at the house.

Console details of the Pipe Organ

Sound Screen feature of the Pipe Organ

A feature like this is in a home is almost unheard of nowadays, making the house seem even more out of this world and extraordinary.

There is a true romantic, fairy-tale like nature to this house; from the woodland areas surrounding the property, to the deliciously outlandish pipe organ, to the intricate, well-preserved detailing of the interiors. In a place like Los Angeles which is so full of splendour and outrageousness especially in terms of property, it seems upsettingly easy for charming homes such as this one to get somehow lost between mansions. But there is something so pure and special about this house and the way it’s been transported from another era without appearing dated or fairly useless in a modern world, that there is a magical sense about it and a hope that it will be an everlasting triumph in the world of design.

For more information: www.artemesia.us

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You might remember that we were rather taken with the interior backdrops shown in the fab film The Kings Speech (Film Friday blog 25 February 2011) – well look what is on the market! 33 Portland Place is a beautiful neo-classical building, designed by the Adam brothers, with a rich history of royalty, celebrity and controversy. It looks like it has bucket loads of potential, but I rather like the way it is now. It is on the market with Knight Frank. 

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This really caught my eye on the property pages of the Saturday Telegraph – a wonderful Charles Rennie Mackintosh house outside Glasgow.  According to the article, Mackintosh was commissioned to build the house in 1900 and he and his wife designed not only the structure of the house but all the interior details as well including fireplaces, panelling, stained glass and light fittings. The house is on the market with London Rea.

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One of my guilty pleasures is browsing through the property for sale pages and when I came across the exquisite Burnham Westgate Hall in one of my favourite areas of the country, North Norfolk, I couldn’t help but share it. The property was redesigned by Sir John Soane in the 1780s but the beautiful interiors (which is what really caught my eye) have been done much more recently – not that you would know it as they seem to blend so harmoniously with the glorious architecture of the house. Burnham Westgate Hall is for sale through Knight Frank.  

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