Meet the Team: five best rooms, by Charlie Russell
We’ve asked our team to pick their five favourite rooms from The Modern House’s sales roster, including homes currently on the market and those from our 12-year-old archive. Here, we’re talking to Charlie Russell, our Principal Appraisals Specialist.
Charlie worked in talent management and television after graduating from Exeter University with a BA in Spanish. His interest in mid-century design runs deep: he ran his own business selling 20th-century furniture and ceramics with a focus on Modernism, Bauhaus and Streamline before joining The Modern House.
Here are his top five favourite rooms:
Lewes, East Sussex
“I think what’s impressive about this space is that it proves that if you can cleverly frame a view, it can be even more dramatic than if you were to just stand outside looking at it.
“I’m also a real sucker for moving water, which you can see the whole length of the house. It almost has a boat-like quality, like it’s overhanging above the water.
“And then you get these solitary portraits of people walking their dogs on the other side of the canal, and there are poppy meadows, too. The colours change and shift; it’s really interactive.”
North Several, London SE3
“Again, this is a building that is designed to work with its landscape. I think architecture in London quite often denies the landscape, mostly because the opportunities aren’t frequently there.
“So what I really like about this is that because it’s partly sunken down, you get this really nice sense of the grass being just outside your window. It’s rare to find a fairly modest house this perfectly positioned in London.
“And from an internal perspective, the proportions are delicate and the lines are nice and fine. There’s a levity to it, which is what I like about mid-century furniture too.”
The Lubetkin Penthouse, Highpoint II, North Hill, London N6
“I’m really going for the panoramic views! I just love their sense of optimism, I guess. That’s what good architecture can do and, as with North Several, such a thing is rare in London.
“I like being transported in some way. When I’m running or cycling around town, I always want to be distracted by something, so I’m constantly looking.
“In this room, it would be the same. You could forget that you were eating the same old Weetabix every day and be transported by the view. It’s a beautiful, original space.”
“I’m drawn to big spaces, and specifically big walls because it means you can bring in interesting things to fill them. I like when structures aren’t too dominant and don’t dictate, so you can fill them with your own stuff.
“Proportionally, I really like the low, long, slender form; I think simple lines are very characterful because they tell you what they are in an honest, up-front way.
“I can really imagine myself strolling around in this one.”
John’s Mews, London WC1
“I can extract this photo from the experience I had of going here.
“It was owned by a very interesting Danish woman, whose style is very well articulated here. The level of craftsmanship, combined with details most people wouldn’t consider, and the fact that it’s done simply with quite crude materials is very special.
“There’s a book that I always bang on about by Leslie Williamson called ‘Modern Originals’, for which she went to designers’ houses, like Alvar Aalto and Bruno Mathsson.
“The people I found most interesting have a crossover in disciplines: they design architecture, but also furniture and buildings. It’s much more of a representation of an individual style, which is the case here. It’s amazing to see a really clear expression of someone’s individual style.”