Years ago, when I first started blogging in the days before Copperline, I had a property blog called The Property Files. I used to write about property every week for two newspapers, and when work stopped with one (budgets, budgets) and was reduced by over a half with the other (yes, also budgets) I found myself itching to still be sharing properties. So I started a blog about Scottish properties, and every week I’d feature something national, and then on Fridays, something international. I called this slot International Fridays as it always felt like a nice way to end the week, virtually strolling through a lovely house or apartment somewhere.
How do you build a house on an unspoilt natural site without destroying the very nature that makes that site so special? This was the question faced by the owners of Villa Åkerman when they came to this plot in Värmdö, which sits in the middle of the Stockholm Archipelago, back in 2013. Albert and Amanda Åkerman wanted to create a family home that would embrace the nature surrounding it while also respecting the site. As Albert says in an interview published in Swedish Elle Decoration in June 2016, even if the house isn’t here in 100 years, the couple wanted the rock that it sits upon to be intact.
You probably know me well enough by now to realise that I can’t resist interiors that have been designed around textures. Exposed brick, combinations of timber, metal finishes, concrete… throw texture into the mix and I’m sold. This warehouse conversion on Warley Close in London’s E10 is on the market with The Modern House and offers a striking example of how to use textures – both existing and new – as the foundation for an interior. This former industrial space has been redesigned and adapted for the current owners – a photographer/filmmaker and a musician – to create a flexible home that combines live and work spaces. Arranged over three levels, the scale alone is striking as there’s over 2,200 sq/ft of space here.
When I look at this house, just as a set of photos without any of the accompanying details, I’d never guess that it was located in London. From the choice of materials to the quiet restraint of the design, to details such as the pebbled courtyard garden, I visualise this house in a much less urban setting; a peaceful place away from the hustle of the city.
Yet this house sits on Tiverton Road, between Kensal Rise and Queens Park in London’s NW10, and this ‘quiet’ design offers a respite from the urban environment that extends out beyond it. Currently on the market with The Modern House, this property is described as a ‘monastic oasis’, and I can’t think of a better description for a design as pared back and beautifully simple and thoughtful as this.
It’s been ages since I last posted, and it’s good to be back. A lot has happened in the last few months months, from shoulder-healing yoga (still a work in progress) to moving and swapping our top floor flat in Edinburgh for ground floor living just outside the city. This has been such a long process, and emotional – even more so than I expected. I’d been in our last flat for 13 years and living in the area for 23 years, so it really was a wrench to go. But hopefully the new place will start to feel like home in time too. Even though I’ve been a city person for most of my life, maybe life will be better without the background buzz that comes with city living. And, yes, there’s a project to do! Watch this space…
And after this break, there’s so much to blog about, so I’m going to dive right in with a house I spotted on Fantastic Frank.
It’s been way too long since I’ve shared a gorgeous Swedish home, and while I have a list of spaces I need to share – look out for a fantastic Edinburgh Airbnb coming up – I just wanted to start with this super-styled Stockholm apartment. Why? Well, because Edinburgh is really feeling like winter now. It’s cold and it’s grey and I’m missing daylight. And this light-filled apartment is reminding me that winter won’t last forever. Anyone else need cheering up today?