A Frank Lloyd Wright influence in this 1950s D. Rosslyn Harper midcentury modern house in Solihull, West Midlands.
Not without reason. This is a grade II-listed house, the work of D. Rosslyn Harper of Yorke, Harper and Harvey, who house designed for himself and his family back in the late 1950s.
When listing, Historic England noted that it had ‘Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie house inspired style’ with a design around a central hearth and a ‘clear relationship’ to the garden, along with a ‘well-detailed’ brick, timber and glass construction.
Its appeal is down to the fact that structurally, this house hasn’t changed a great deal. Not that I am inferring this is any kind of time capsule. It really isn’t.
Many of the fixtures and furnishings are more on the contemporary side, while the kitchen and bathroom look to have been recently updated too. I’m not sure if the kitchen was open to the living room originally either.
Saying that, the kitchen layout isn’t a recent change. This house has been up for sale twice during the life of the WowHaus site and the last time, the kitchen was much the same.
I’m not sure about the 2012 listing as few images were available. That showed a house a little more faithful to the original 1950s finishes and mentioned a ‘galley-style’ kitchen, but I’ve no idea if it was open or not.
Note that it also showed some lovely wood stairs, which I presume are still under the carpeting now seen. Perhaps a large bedroom upstairs has been split too, as there seems to be one more than the original listing. But by and large, this is still pretty faithful to the architect’s original design.
A house largely constructed from oak, cedar and Shropshire clay brick, it’s still quite a design statement, especially if you love the work of Frank Lloyd Wright. Not a style you see a lot of in the UK.
Inside, it’s all about the glazing, the exposed brick and all of that lovely wood and its equally eye-catching grain, with plenty of built-in units still in place.
As I said, a number of modern-day furnishings, but if you wanted to go down the midcentury modern route, there’s nothing to stop you doing that. Also, you can get reproductions of Frank Lloyd Wright fittings, so if you invested in something from the Frank Lloyd Wright store (they are also available at other retailers too) then things light the lighting would fit right in here.
In terms of the layout, enter in and you will find the hallway and a first glimpse of that lovely feature staircase.
To the left of the entrance is the ‘generous’ open-plan living room with the original brick hearth and bespoke built-in furniture, as well as wraparound windows allowing light to flood through the house.
Beyond that is the gallery kitchen with breakfast area, as well as a separate utility. Interestingly, the master bedroom is also located directly off the hallway, along with its mirrored dressing room and en-suite, which doubles as the ground floor WC.
On the first floor there are three further bedrooms (originally there were two, hence why I think the huge ones split in the past), along with the family bathroom and shower room. More lovely details on that floor too.
As for the outside space, there are front, side and rear gardens, covering something like a third of an acre. Lots of driveway parking too, plus a double garage.
The agent points out that there is also a further plot of land available by separate negotiation and planning permission in place to extend the house. You can see that if you give the agent a call.
Or if you want it as it stands, the house is up with a guide price of £1,200,000.
Images and details courtesy of The Agents. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.