Selling design-led properties across the UK, The Modern House is the unique estate agency redefining property porn,

Founded in 2005, The Modern House is the brainchild of two dynamic design journalists, Matt Gibberd and Albert Hill, who saw a clear crossover between architecture and commerce.

They say: ‘The Modern House is an estate agency that helps people live in more thoughtful and beautiful ways. We believe in design as a powerful force for good – from personal factors such as wealth and wellbeing to more macro themes including community, place-making and architectural preservation.’

The Modern House’s offering is typified by beautiful photography, intelligent description – which emphasizes a property’s historical significance where possible – and thoroughly good taste.

As well as selling properties, The Modern House produces a lovely online journal, an excellent new podcast and boasts 200k followers on Instagram. In Gibberd’s words, they also ‘host events and workshops in our studio, a converted 1930s church hall in Southwark, with Crittall windows and a tangle of plants cascading from the ceiling’.

Industry insiders and the press rave about The Modern House. But so do its clients.
One such, called Derek, says: ‘Frankly, it never occurred to me that I might chance upon a house agent whose good opinion I valued so much. So far as I am concerned, my relationship with The Modern House has been an enormous bonus in itself.’

Another, Nikki, says: ‘The Modern House set the standard for estate agents across the UK. They have established their position as market leaders in the sale of… generally exceptional properties. While they know their market and, admirably, have high standards in precisely what they will sell, their core estate agency skills offer a masterclass for any other estate agent operating today.’

An energizing vibe runs throughout the beautiful site, which is a pleasure to peruse at all times. Here, we pick out seven of the best properties on their books today.

Dry Leys, Frilford, Oxford

Fans of period detail will go wild for Dry Leys. Built in the late 1930s, this generous family home is rich with stone fireplaces, lovingly restored paneling, sprung wooden floors and Crittall doors. From the wisteria-clad windows that overlook seven acres of gardens to the retro kitchen, a sense of Agatha Christie pervades. Conveniently located close to Oxford, Didcot and several brilliant schools, don’t let this one slip through your fingers.

Munnion Road, Ardingly, West Sussex

An unusual, 1960s property in a charming West Sussex village, this is the only residential house ever to have been designed by the celebrated architect Will Alsop. He and the vendors created its unique, barrel-vaulted extension as part of the Channel 4 series Ugly House to Lovely House. Masses of light, Alsop’s signature portholes and three bedrooms make it a happy little home at a very modest price.

Granville Square, London, WC1

The Modern House’s own description of this split-level apartment in Bloomsbury is that its details ‘sympathetically fuse Mid-Century elegance with restrained Georgian grandeur’. Could there be a more alluring summary of a property? Situated in a Grade II-listed garden square, near some of London’s finest restaurants and cultural attractions, the refined two-bedroom home just oozes class.

Burnham Road, Leigh-On-Sea, Essex

The quiet residential area of Leigh-on-Sea in Essex is enjoying a major moment, not least because it is under an hour from London by train. Equidistant from the charming old town and the seafront, this exceptional, four-bedroom, family house makes the most of the coastal light and of the industrial materials used in its recent remodelling. Considering a move out of town – or just dreaming of one? Feast your eyes on this option immediately.

The Saltings, Hayling Island, Hampshire

In his guide to Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the celebrated architectural historian Nikolaus Pevsner wrote that Hayling Island is ‘a place to which people come in the hope of carefree holidays’. Little has changed. From every level of this spectacular 1930s property are panoramic views of Langstone Harbour. Designed by the architects Connell, Ward & Lucas, this holiday home is light, comfortable and very special.

Edith Grove, London, SW10

Looking at the façade of this Victorian terraced house in Chelsea, near the King’s Road and the river, you think you know what you are going to find inside. You are quite wrong. The lower-ground floor, two-bedroom apartment has been recently reconfigured in an unusual, light-filled linear formation. With its glazed courtyard, raised deck and elegant Moroccan influences, it is quite unlike anything in the area.

Staverton Road, Summertown, Oxford

Charles Darwin’s great-granddaughter once lived in this huge Edwardian house. She planted many of the trees that still rule over its back garden. Today, the front of the house is the welcoming Edwardian vision she would recognize, but the back has become an unmistakably modern extension stretching over three stories. The combination makes for an interesting and generous family space.

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By Becky Ladenburg
February 2020

Becky Ladenburg

Features Editor

As the GWG's features editor, Becky has her discerning finger on the cultural pulse. She's also our go-to expert on the property market.