Inspirational Homes: the most popular interiors of the year
Our ‘My Modern House’ series takes us into inspirational homes across the country to talk to homeowners about their space, life and work. We like to think of the series as a celebration of how good design takes many forms, from beautifully-conceived period conversions to bold examples of contemporary architecture. Here, we share the most-viewed home interiors on our Journal in 2018.
1. Chris Sanderson and Martin Raymond’s seaside retreat in Suffolk
In April this year we made a trip up to Shingle Street in Suffolk to meet Chris Sanderson and Martin Raymond at their coastal bolthole, which occupies a 1950s MoD-built house, converted by Casswell Bank Architects.
The pair drew reference from work by Italian designer Gio Ponti and American modernist Horace Gifford to overhaul and extend the house with a light-handed approach, in which the far-reaching views take priority.
Interior furnishings are conducive to whiling away hours gawping at the sea, with sofas laden with cushions, mid-century chairs for basking in the sun and a well-stocked vintage drinks trolley.
2. Food editor and writer Mina Holland’s first home in south London
Early summer proved the perfect time for us to visit food editor and writer Mina Holland’s house – the sun was out, the patio doors were open and Mina’s dog, Arnie, was roaming around.
Mina’s light-handed refurbishment to the purpose-built Victorian flat is characterised by raw and exposed plaster walls, plywood units and a soft-hued colour scheme. We loved how small details like the encaustic tiles in the kitchen add concentrated bursts of colour in the otherwise neutral space.
3. Photographer Steph Wilson’s plant-filled interiors in Brixton
We found a veritable urban jungle at photographer Steph Wilson’s house, with more plants than we could hope to keep alive dominating almost every room.
Steph set out to create a calming sanctuary that nourishes her, but that she also looks after in return. The ‘living’ space is enlivened by her Pomeranian, Ham, blue parrotlet, Tomato, 12 canaries and four Gouldian finches.
4. Dominic and Rebecca Gaunt’s contemporary family home in Winchester
The Gaunts’ home in Winchester is a considered, functional and beautiful execution of a contemporary family house.
We were taken by the connection their self-designed space establishes to the garden, with a light, airy and open-plan living area looking out across the lawn to an outhouse, home to a whimsical climbing wall.
5. Holly Swayne’s small-space apartment in Stoke Newington
We always love revisiting people who have bought their homes via The Modern House. In February, we stopped by fashion editor Holly Swayne’s first home in Stoke Newington, which we sold to her in 2017.
Holly built upon the renovations that the previous owners, who run Emil Eve Architects, had made to the small-space flat, adding plants, graphic artworks, a Berber rug and Ercol dining chairs for a simple yet characterful feel.
6. Designer Małgorzata Bany’s creative live/work space in north London
A DIY spirit gave rise to designer Małgorzata Bany and her partner, artist Tycjan Knut’s, elegantly minimalist space in north London.
The couple moved into the warehouse space, which Małgorzata described as “really grey and damp”, and worked relentlessly to redecorate with a gentle colour palette, Japanese screen room divider, Donald Judd-inspired daybed and, of course, their beautiful paintings, ceramics and sculptures.
7. Fergus and Margot Henderson’s upsized Lambeth home
It was high summer when we visited two of our culinary heroes, Fergus and Margot Henderson, at their home in Lambeth, with Margot’s verdant garden in full bloom.
Inside, a studied functionality is evident through Vitsœ shelving, Aalto stools, Ercol chairs and kitchenware hung from simple wire racks. But, while their restaurants are lessons in white-walled simplicity, Margot told us that “Home living is more personal”, with artwork, books, photographs and personal memorabilia filling the space.
8. Natalie Jones’ live/work family home in Bruton, Somerset
Natalie Jones, owner of design and lifestyle shop Caro, showed us around her house, a converted 18th-century bakery, at the start of the year.
Natalie refurbished what was a “pretty run down” interior, to introduce a dramatic yet homely feel with darkly-painted walls, statement wallpaper and sisal carpet.
9. Fiona Naylor’s converted industrial buildings in Dungeness
An overcast, somewhat foggy day proved the perfect time to visit the atmospheric shingle beach of Dungeness, where old railway carriages are loomed over by a nuclear power station.
Industrial and coastal buildings are strewn across the headland, some of which have been masterfully converted by architect Fiona Naylor. Responding to the often-extreme weather conditions, Fiona said that she “wanted to create cosy envelopes with warm colour palettes and wood-burning stoves.”
We were particularly fond of Pump Station for its vaulted concrete ceilings, central fireplace and counterbalancing of hard stone with the soft, natural hues of wood.
10. Katy Davison’s refurbished family home in Islington
Architect Simon Astridge’s extension and refurbishment of scientist Katy Davison’s Islington home rejigged the layout of a period house to provide a light-filled, open-plan kitchen area that serves a “constant stream of children coming through”.
The project was given the name ‘Terrazzo House’ for the use of the material for the floors and worktops in the kitchen, and we liked how the grey of the stone is complemented by a soft pink colour scheme, wood cabinets and a statement cheese plant.