Putting contemporary architecture aside for a moment, if I had to choose one period of architecture that I’m most drawn to it would be Georgian. Having lived in Edinburgh for just over twenty years, this is probably no surprise – I’m surrounded by Georgian architecture every day. The simplicity, the balance, the quiet elegance – this is an aesthetic that I could never tire of. I love historic buildings, but there’s just something about Georgian houses that draws me to them time and time again. Think timber panelling, simple fireplaces, delicate cornicing, flagstone floors… it doesn’t get better.
Which brings me to The New Road Residence. This has to be one of the most beautiful and restrained and sympathetically designed Georgian houses that I’ve come across, and it’s available to let with The Modern House.
Located within east London’s Myrdle Street conservation area – Brick Lane is just a ten minute walk away – this wisteria-clad Georgian townhouse dates from 1797 and is described by The Modern House as ‘arguably one of the finest historically-preserved houses in east London’. The house has been refurbished by the duo behind the Hostem design boutique and the interior contains a carefully selected edit of the boutique’s finest art, furniture, books, textiles and objects.
Some of my favourite Georgian properties over the years have featured a combination of contemporary art, furniture and lighting alongside midcentury and antique pieces, and this blend of periods works so well against the simplicity of a Georgian backdrop.
And this approach is particularly striking here where midcentury designs, including writing desks, chairs and card tables by Pierre Jeanneret, are offset by signature pieces by the likes of Faye Toogood such as the Roly Poly dining chairs and table in the photo above. The colour palette alone is a dream.
Stuart Shave/Modern Art have curated a selection of contemporary artworks, including pieces by Torey Thornton, Mark Flood, Richard Tuttle and Paul Lee. Bearing in mind that this house is available to let, every detail has been considered here. Guests have a selection of botanical skincare from Haeckels and there’s French-made Crane cookware and Skye Corewijn’s Lazy Eye ceramic crockery (a new discovery for me and very beautiful) along with Blackcreek Mercantile wooden tableware (again, gorgeously tactile) and homewares by Labour and Wait.
The kitchen has to be one my favourite spots in this house, from the flagstone floor and rustic roof beams to the crafted quality of the cabinetry and, again, the colour palette. The kitchen and dining space sits on the lower ground level, with the main living space on the ground floor, and the master bedroom with en-suite and dressing room on the first floor. There are two large bedrooms on the top floor served by a shower room.
And before going any further in this house tour, let’s consider the master en-suite… Note the timber-lined shower area – this wasn’t the house for a sleek glass enclosure – and this bath.
Notably perhaps, there’s no TV. Is that notable? To many people, probably not at all, but to someone whose default mode when I get up every morning is to flick on the news, and who likes nothing better than to settle down of an evening with a box set to stream, well, I like a TV. But here, in this house – and in this location – that doesn’t feel relevant. This is London – there’s plenty to be seeing and doing. And this house, this interior, feels like a retreat from the world outside.
You’ll also find a wide selection of both recent and classical literature chosen by King’s College philosopher Clayton Littlejohn for your perusal. And, for those like me who can’t stay away from Instagram and Steller for longer than a few hours (at a push), there’s wi-fi, so there’s no need to embrace a technology detox.
This is a house to simply enjoy – to enjoy the spaces and the mood. It’s a space designed to be quiet and reflective in and also a space to be social; to cook dinner in that wonderful kitchen and eat here, in this glass-roofed garden room that opens onto a private west-facing garden. There are open fireplaces on every floor, creating a cosy ambience throughout. The city may be bustling outside, but once inside you could forget that and simply experience this rare and special house.
And, also notably, The New Road Residence can be rented in its entirety (for up to 6 guests) with no minimum stay. Although, looking at these photos, it would be hard to stay only for a night or two. This house demands some time to appreciate the period details and the contemporary elements that have been so thoughtfully incorporated here.
For details on booking The New Road Residence, see the listing on The Modern House.
Photography from The Modern House.