Meet the Team: James Klonaris' favourite well-designed family homes in London
In our ‘Meet the Team’ series, we’re getting to know The Modern House’s team. Here, we’re talking to Senior Appraisals Specialist James Klonaris about his favourite well-designed family homes in London.
After receiving a BA in History from the University of Newcastle, James had successful careers in financial services and art consultancy, before joining The Modern House in 2016. Coming from an artistic background – his father was a renowned portrait painter – James is a keen artist whose illustrative work in oil, ink and acrylic has been privately commissioned and exhibited.
Recently married and with a new-born child, James here selects his favourite homes that have a bit more breathing room for a growing family.
Gorst Road, London SW11
“This is a well-considered house, and I like to think that if I were to raise children here, they would turn out to be considerate and considered people.
“It exhibits an impeccable use of materials, such as the wonderful pairings of different types of wood. In fact, joinery is a theme that runs throughout the house; a wonderful showcase of craftsmanship.
“And, of course, having a utility room in a family house is the ultimate luxury.”
Maresfield Gardens, London NW3
“I think this would be a magical place to grow up, not least because it would foster an appreciation of great architecture.
“It’s just one of the most special houses in London, and if you were looking to raise a family in one of the city’s classic Modernist houses, there really would be little better than Maresfield Gardens.
“It’s so versatile in its layout, because of the open-plan design and the fact that it was an early adopter of sliding and bi-fold doors, and Modernism in general.
“I love that it provides scale and intimacy, as well as an incredible garden while still being in the middle of town. A true rarity.”
Goldhurst Terrace, London NW6
“I think there are merits to having a small family, and this apartment would be ideal for that.
“It’s inside/outside living at its best, with a wonderful use of materials too. Details like the terrazzo-tiled floor are beautiful, but also hardy and easy to care for, which I think is important.
“It’s also a wonderful example of how modern and period elements can coexist harmoniously. I love how they’ve kept the internal courtyard, which many architects would have removed.
“Historically, family houses have been about having a large number of rooms. But I think it’s better to reduce the number of rooms to increase their scale and to create zones. Being one of five boys, I know that it forces you to be considerate and get along together!”
Park Road, London NW10
“This is just the quintessential London family home. It’s robust and employs wonderful period volumes, high ceilings and an honest palette of materials, which includes bare plaster and tough wooden floors.
“It’s another example of that open-plan mantra that I think is so conducive to good family living. And there’s a sense of fun, which is always welcomed in a family home.”
Kings Hall Road, London BR3
“I’m a big fan of south-east London with its greenery, access to playing fields and a general semi-bucolic feel, so this house would be ideal.
“It’s a house that is difficult to convey in photographs, especially the scale of each room. There is a wonderful interconnectivity between each space, without confinement or boundaries. It makes for a very communal, family feel, while also having the scale for one to find their own privacy.
“The garden is laid out in a similar way. It’s not all immediately visible, which leaves for a bit of enchantment; you can disappear into it.”