OMG, I Want This House: Cambridge, UK
The Daily Beast presents a look at one of the most insane houses in the world.
There’s something extra special about the homes that celebrated architects build for themselves. They tend to both encapsulate the philosophies of their makers and be comfy, livable spaces. Hills Avenue built in 1979 by architect Syd Furness in Cambridge is no exception. These four bedrooms on a private patch in the city will run you $1.7 million, but what’s a few commas when you have the opportunity to live in this idyllic retreat that Furness originally built for his own family.
Furness used a simple timber-frame construction to build the house, the result of which is enough exposed wooden posts and beams to make you think you’re living in a forest, though the chicest forest around. Here, most of the wood above floor-level is painted a handsome glossy black.
Embracing the most British of fairytales, the home is approached by way of a long “picturesque footpath.” The upside is a very private retreat near a main street, but far enough away to be difficult to access by car. The downside is you may have to do your best impression of Cameron Diaz in The Holiday when schlepping luggage or groceries around.
The living space and office are clustered on one side of the house with easy access to the garden for those days when you need a little natural inspiration.
As any old-fashioned family knows, the dining room and kitchen are the heart of the operation, which Furness has physically represented by making them the center of the house. On those precious nights when the British weather is flawless, the entire wall can open to bring the garden into the dining room.
All those MTV Cribs’ hosts got it wrong…this is where the magic happens. Get ready to perfect all the delicacies you’ve been drooling over on The Great British Bake Off.
This is a house that calls for a serious knick-knack collection.
The living areas are on one side of the dining room, while the four bedrooms fill the wing on the other. But don’t you worry: the garden can be seen from them all. And if that’s not enough nature for you, the house is within walking distance to both a river and a meadow.
Finally, a bathroom that has plenty of windows to let the light in, but puts those windows at an elevation where potential peepers are a non-issue.
You read our minds: why reserve all of the bedrooms for your countless relatives or roving friends when you could turn one of them into your new art studio. Get your paintbrushes in position!
As listing agent The Modern House points out, this home is simple, yet timeless. It also holds a special place in the life and oeuvre of the architect as “it is this house for which he is perhaps best known.”
Furness took the idea of ordinary old skylights and raised the stakes. Not only did he fill many walls with glass, but he also used it in the ceilings to allow the light to flood in. Even on those notoriously gloomy British winter days, the ambient light in this home will create a cozy atmosphere.
As any fan of The Secret Garden knows, secluded homes require at least one hedged-in space of gorgeous green. Here, you not only have the private backyard garden (complete with a border made of the aforementioned hedges), but there is also a terrace to enjoy on all those gorgeous summer eves.