I have featured a couple of these this year, but I think this 1960s Fry, Drew & Partners modern house in Kemsing, Kent is my favourite.
I think this one appeals as it offers a minimalist look that I will never ever achieve in my life. The idea of a clean floor, plain walls and very little clutter is something I aspire to every year. But it never happened when I lived on my own and later as a couple, so it certainly isn’t going to happen with children.
But that stripped-down approach is a great look, not least because it really does show off the house for what it is, as well as highlighting the merits of the architecture and the period features still in place.
Modern or midcentury modern? You can take your pick on that. What is for certain is that this is one of a groupie of houses designed and built in 1964 by noted architects Fry, Drew & Partners.
You will find it (and the others) in Kemsing. I haven’t been, but the agent describes it as an ‘attractive village’ in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty close to the town of Sevenoaks, which is just twenty miles from central London and with a train service to the capital that will get you there in less than half an hour. Delays permitting.
As for this particular house, it offers 1,572 sq. ft. of living space across two storeys and thanks to that minimalist approach, a particular bright and open environment to live in.
I mentioned the original details as they are there in all corners of the house. No, this isn’t a time capsule. But someone has made an effort to renovate the house without ripping out the character of the place.
Some examples of that include the exposed brickwork, clerestory windows, the timber-clad ceilings, the beams (a common feature in all of these houses), an original fireplace, the original open-tread staircase and what looks like original storage. Elsewhere, both updates and a freshening up of the place over the years. But it’s the original fixtures and details that really stand out here.
In terms of the layout, walk across the private driveway and you get to the main entrance, which in turn takes you to the ‘light-filled’ hallway and through to the kitchen opposite, which has access to the garden.
To the right of the hall is the living room with oak beams, a wall of exposed brickwork including that original fireplace and views beyond. A study (or fifth bedroom) and a ground-floor cloakroom are further along.
The original open-tread staircase takes you to the first floor, where you will find four bedrooms. The master bedroom has a sloping pitched roof and plenty of built-in storage that looks original, but I can’t be 100 per cent sure. Either way, it fits in well with the layout.
The three additional bedrooms run the length of the first floor, alongside a family bathroom.
The outside space is a selling point too. The people behind the development worked with the existing landscape and the greenery around these houses is something worth talking about.
According to the agent, the rear garden has a ‘wonderfully rich’ collection of specimen trees throughout, which adds privacy to the outdoor area. There’s also a paved patio for outside dining, mature plants and a garden store. The fact that the garden is substantial adds to the appeal too.
If the space inside and out appeals, this one has just been reduced to £750,000.
Images and details courtesy of The Modern House. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.