The phrase ‘time capsule’ is thrown around a lot, but it’s probably the only one to describe this 1950s Brian Lambert house in Stafford, Staffordshire.
This is a bold design from the tail end of the 1950s. Midcentury modern in a rather British style and untouched, pretty much, since it was constructed for the architect and his family.
The architect was known locally both as an architect and later a town planner for Stafford Borough Council. His skills in the former are on show here, creating a house that looks quite traditional from the outside but has so much appeal once inside for fans of the era.
This is a picture-perfect midcentury modern design, with an interior you hope is largely preserved by the next owner. Yes, there will undoubtedly be areas in need of an upgrade, both in terms of necessity and practicality, like all houses of an age. But this is also a house packed with details and finishes you will struggle to replicate in a contemporary build.
Not that there’s anything wrong with the exterior. It is still an eye-catching design but just a little more traditional than ‘modern’ houses of this era tend to come. Clean lines, sweeping roofs, sand-lime facing bricks, and timber cladding. Like the interior, little looks to have changed. And it’s a joy to behold.
A lovely setting, too, with the house sitting on a private road, shared with the adjacent neighbouring houses and hidden away somewhat. Even more so because it sits on something like 0.72 acres of grounds, but both the banks of the River Sow and Stafford town centre are just a short walk away. Best of both worlds.
As for that interior, I honestly don’t know where to start. There’s so much to talk about. But the parquet flooring is probably the place to kick things off. It’s absolutely beautiful.
Elsewhere, the beams, the wood cladding, the exposed brick, the gallery, the fireplace, the built-in units, and the ladder-like staircases scream the 1950s. But there’s more than that.
While the architecture and structure might not have changed, you would have expected some change in the fixtures and fittings. If there is any, it probably changed in the first decade or so. This is a treasure trove of design from the era. And again, hard to replicate, even in an era of reproduction midcentury modern furniture. There’s just something about the originals that stands apart.
Sideboards and storage, light fittings, coffee tables, the dining table, the curtains, the wall art, seating, internal doors, and even the kitchen. Although the kettle looks like a recent addition, to be fair.
Even the office space has a retro charm to it, as does the bedroom storage and the bathroom. Whether there’s enough charm to keep them in place is likely dependent on the next owner’s love of that authenticity – and whether the non-permanent fittings are staying.
As it stands, it looks like the perfect set for a film or TV show from that era. It wouldn’t take much to turn this into a completely authentic space from the mid-20th century. But that’s not why you are buying it. You are likely considering it as a family home, and this has lots of potential on that front, too, in terms of space, location and character.
A driveway with parking for several cars leads to the entrance porch, which opens into the primary living spaces.
Plenty of glazing means plenty of natural light, and there’s a ‘warmth’ about the place, thanks to the original parquet flooring underfoot, the exposed structural brickwork and the timber elements. Light and space are enhanced by the double-height plan, too, as well as the walls of glazing.
Some interesting design at play too. The rectangular layout of the principal dining and living spaces can be re-configured in three ways by repositioning the decorative plywood screen. So open if you want the space to flow or privacy if you don’t. Or you want to seal off some space on colder days. But when the sun is out, you can always access the patio space via this area, too.
Adjacent to it is the kitchen, with bench seating and a built-in table, plus original pine cabinetry. A separate utility space and ‘hobby room’ are on the northwest side and open directly to the covered yard.
There is a total of three bedrooms, which are at the far end of the house. All have garden views, and each has original built-in wardrobes. A 1950s bathroom, too, complete with a chequerboard of black and white tiles plus original fixtures and fittings.
What’s up the ladder staircase? Let me tell you. Head up, and you will find a mezzanine gallery with some lovely timber struts. Pretty versatile I would say, with a nice oversized bay window to bring in more of that natural light. There’s a social space, a large studio/workroom, and a further family bathroom within the current configuration.
Plenty of selling points there, but there is another, which is the outside space for this one.
To the front, hedging borders the driveway, with mature broad-leafed trees set behind. At the rear, it’s all about the lawns. My kids would dream of having a potential football area like this. But others might want to maintain it a little better than they would.
Beyond that, there’s a sheltered patio opening directly from the living room, more mature trees and a woodland area at the end of the garden. There is also a garage, a covered carport, garden storage/WC and, as I mentioned earlier, space for several cars in front of the house.
I think that’s it. There might well be renovation costs, but £420,000 seems reasonable for what’s on offer here. If I were looking to move to this part of the world, I would certainly be interested.
Images and details courtesy of The Modern House. For more details and to make an enquiry, please visit the website.