Browse these ultra-cool design-focused properties for sale, whether to buy or just for style inspiration.

Prospective buyers tend to fall into one of two camps: those who want to do all the work themselves and those who prefer to buy the dream ready-made. If you fall into the latter camp and your persuasion tends towards the contemporary, there is no agent better placed to deliver that fantasy than The Modern House, whose site is akin to flicking through the pages of a glossy interiors magazine. So, whether you’re in the market to buy in earnest or simply looking for inspiration for your own place, why not take a moment to feast your eyes on these design-led dream homes.

The Glass Barn

Wadhurst, East Sussex

Who said that living in the country need necessitate inhabiting a rustic rural idyll? If your predilection is towards clean lines and industrial sensibilities, there’s no need to ditch your taste just because of the setting, as demonstrated perfectly by this John Bullock-designed barn, situated in Wadhurst. Overlooking the Weald in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the design places an onus on framing spectacular vistas across the astonishing landscape to perfection. Interested? Find more details here.

Reed House

Aldeburgh, Suffolk

We adore the cosily diminutive proportions of converted fishermen’s houses as much as the next person who dreams of life by the sea. But a move coastward to be awoken by the sound of lapping waves doesn’t necessarily mean snug cottages all round. Designed by Studio Pond, Reed House in the lovely town of Aldeburgh roundly demonstrates quite how striking a contemporary seaside home can be – all while riffing on ‘the vertical reedbeds and fishermen’s huts of the coastal vernacular, with glass walls inviting a superlative quality of light in and framing views onto the private gardens and open landscape beyond.’ There is a studio, a shingle terrace, a wildlife pond – and space to swing several fish-guzzling cats. Find more details here.

Mall Chambers

Kensington, London

Achingly cool apartment buildings don’t tend to be the preserve of Kensington and Chelsea, The Royal Borough being more closely associated with gleaming stucco-fronted houses or plush Edwardian mansion blocks. Nor is it typically synonymous with price tags of under a million. And yet Mall Chambers challenges both pre-conceptions, its current owner having taken the Victorian apartment and renovated with restrained yet unmistakably design-led flair. OK, it’s not huge. But for the right owner, it would be a dream; just move in with minimal possessions, and simply stroll to get anything you many need from Kensington or Portobello. Find more details here.

New King’s Road

Parson’s Green, London

You will need pockets so deep that their bottoms remain something of a murky blur for this one. But if you happen to have a cool almost £7m lurking and a desire to live in one of London’s loveliest pockets, this could be a contender. Situated between Fulham and Parson’s Green on Eel Brook Common, this 5,000sqft apartment is housed within an BLDA Architects-renovated 1930s cruise ship-reminiscent Art Deco building, and its interior would be a heaven for anyone who enjoys large industrial spaces. Think Crittall windows and doors, polished concrete floors and ‘Jenga-inspired oak doors which form display surfaces throughout the 21-metre open space and can even be used to create temporary rooms for overflow guests or occasional living spaces when needed.’ Interested? Find more details here.

Limehouse Cut

Limehouse, London

Former factories tend to be ripe for design-led overhaul and this, a one-time warehouse which manufactured Spratt’s dog biscuits, is no exception. Brilliantly, rather than having been overhauled by an army of savvy developers, its conversion began as one of the earliest East End examples in back the 1980s when a consortium of artists decided to renovate, divide it up and sell the flats as shells to like-minded artists and sculptors. This particular slice of that bohemian dream is right on the top floor, meaning that there are wonderful views of the London skyline. We love the double-height roof, the terrace (there is also a communal roof garden, co-used by many of the original inhabitants of the conversion) and a ceramics studio. Find more details here.

Fitzroy Park

Highgate, London

Originally built in the 1830s, this house was once the lodge of Fitzroy Park. As such, it has unbelievable views across Hampstead’s ponds, as well as over the wider and beautifully bucolic Heath. Inside, meanwhile, its two architectural interventions have included the addition of a spiral staircase and a second floor and balcony, all executed by Oliver Barsoum of Syte Architects. We particularly like the framing of the original pitch roof as clever design feature. Find more details here.

Hedge House

Knowle, Warwickshire

Whether from period homes or former factories, most of our design-focused houses shown here are the result of the renovation of existing properties. Not so this behemoth, situated in Knowle, Warwickshire. The architect of the five-bedroomed new-build is David Sheppard, who says of it, ‘We aspired to make Hedge House both exceptional and innovative in terms of the material choice and how it is made; a holistic approach using only two materials, wood and brick. [It is] a sensual, almost sacred atmosphere is created by the purity of line, geometry and simplicity of space.’ Made of larch and brick, its 7,500sqft were nominated for RIBA House of the Year in 2019. Crying out to be inhabited by someone who will be as reverential towards the spaces as the architect by keeping extraneous stuff to a minimum, it could be yours should you click here for further details.

By Nancy Alsop
August 2021

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Nancy Alsop


Nancy is a magpie for the best in design and culture.