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During the early 19th Century, Brighton was transformed from a quiet fishing village into one of the most fashionable and wealthy towns in the country. From the early 1820s, these beautiful townhouses rose up along the seafront from Kemp Town to Hove, with their exquisite architectural features echoing those within the capital. These elegant properties have put Brighton on the map as one of the most sought-after places to live outside London – with the fresh sea air and the wonderfully diverse and artistic culture surrounding them, a welcome bonus.
Uniquely this property has remained one dwelling, and since being built in 1825, its curved façade has been adorned with an ornately beautiful canopied balcony from which you can see the sea at the bottom of the hill. It sits set back from the road behind a sweet front garden and newly tiled steps lead up to the front door. Once inside, the true scale and beauty of the house become apparent.
It is the attention to detail which grabs you when you first explore this incredible home. It is clear the current owners have a refined eye for colour, interior styling, and a respect for period property, as every surface, light fitting and wall paper has been considered with the authentic character of the building in mind.
Kitchen and dining room:
From the entrance hall, the original wide floorboards have been expertly renovated and stripped back to their pale honeyed tones, while below them, the floor has been sound-proofed and insulated to ensure the lower ground floor apartment remains peaceful. Once two rooms, the ground floor receptions have been opened to create one bright and sociable space with the kitchen to the rear and a formal dining space to the front. Between the two, the pilastered arch has the original timber bi-folding doors which have been restored and painted white to complement the built-in cabinetry within the alcoves. These have been designed to hold the glassware and silverware for easy access when entertaining, and between the two is an open fire to add warmth and atmosphere to wintery suppers. Two gracious sash windows look out over the front garden, bringing in a beautiful morning light, while a tall sash window and a glazed door to the garden on the westerly wall receive natural light during the afternoon.
Taking a more modern approach, the kitchen has been well designed with a generous amount of storage in buttermilk Shaker cabinets housing a deep larder and an integrated dishwasher. Space has been left for an American fridge freezer and a Rangemaster which can stay, and the utilities are cleverly concealed within the bathroom on the second floor.
Garden room and garden:
Along the hall you pass the stairs to the lower level and a deep storage cupboard for household items, before coming to the garden room. Perfectly tranquil, this room is ideal as a snug, a reading room, a bedroom or an office, as the views of the garden are a joy. You can access the garden from here too, so the ground floor flows beautifully during the summer months; particularly when entertaining. With the doors and windows open, you can sit in the gentle summer breeze listening to birdsong.
Outside, the city garden is tiled in slate with the original flint and brick walls surrounding raised flower beds. Facing west, yet open to the south, it is a real suntrap during high season, and for a city centre space it is surrounded by greenery. The walls are ideal for floral and scented climbers and there is ample room for dining alfresco in the last of the summer sunshine.
First floor bedroom:
The original 19th Century craftmanship within this building shines through when you take the stairs to the upper floors. The mahogany banisters have been renovated back to their former glory and while the anaglypta wallpaper below the dado rail is new, it is now cohesive throughout all five floors of the house.
Bedroom five has a peaceful position to the rear of the building and is a lovely double room with direct garden views to the south and west. There is a shower room with WC nearby and an archway with a heavy curtain to divide these rooms from the rest of the house making them ideal as a guest suite.
Mirroring the kitchen and dining room below, the drawing room has pride of place on the first floor – as was always intended for these stately homes, so the ceilings are even higher and the windows full height with restored sashes opening to the full width balcony. There is space for a table and chairs out here where you can look down the hill towards the sea or watch the world trundle by along Western Road.
Inspired by interior designer Nancy Lancaster’s ‘buttah yellah’ drawing room at 39 Brook Street, London, the walls are painted in Paint & Paper Library’s Chinese Emperor, so when the sun beams in from east to west throughout the day, the room becomes a magical space bathed in golden light. With space to sit and reflect; to relax with family and friends, or for working in peace and tranquillity, these rooms feel both luxurious and homely. During the warmer seasons, the windows can be left open, while in winter, there are two fires, one gas and one open to warm the room beautifully. The open fire is fitted with a unique Art Nouveau stove which may be negotiable with the sale.
Second floor principal bedroom and bathroom:
Carpeted stairs rise up to the second floor, where another tall pilastered sash window brings natural light right down through the stairwell. Continuing in the same elegant style, the second-floor bedrooms are also generously proportioned and abundant with period detail. Spanning the front of the house, the principal bedroom feels bright and airy due to high ceilings and a sunny easterly aspect. The front windows have been adorned with bespoke velvet curtains which will be staying, and even with a king size bed and several pieces of freestanding bedroom furniture, the floor space is not compromised. A wall of streamlined, and beautifully designed wardrobes offer further clothes storage for two, while a shoe storage cupboard sits on the landing beside the main bathroom.
Adjoining the principal bedroom, the bathroom feels en suite and has timeless appeal with marbled cabinetry housing the utilities and linen storage. A traditional style hand basin, high-cistern WC and a rainfall shower sit in keeping with the age of the house and a vintage style heated rail warms you and your towels perfectly.
Third floor bedroom:
Peacefully tucked away from the hubbub of family life, the top floor bedroom sits within the loft space with dormer windows looking out over the chimney stacks of the historic local landscape, down to the sea below big, open skies. It is currently in use as a home office, but it is a lovely double room with a restful décor and a vast amount of further storage in the eaves.
Lower ground floor apartment:
Completely self-contained and with its own street entrance, the lower ground floor apartment is currently used as a guest suite as it remains connected to the house via an internal staircase. For anyone looking to raise an extra income through holiday letting, it is possible to lock the internal door, and likewise, it would be perfect for an au pair or a relative staying long term looking to live independently but with the security of family nearby.
To the front, the living room is homely and feels private from the street with windows looking up to the front garden. A wood burning stove warms the room, although there is gas central heating too, and there is ample space for relaxed seating and a dining table and chairs. The kitchenette with an integrated fan oven, two-ring hob and sink sits within an adjoining alcove, while the bedroom and bathroom are tucked away to the rear with natural light streaming in via a new skylight looking up to the rear garden. The bathroom enjoys a wet-room style alongside a contemporary basin, WC and plumbing and space for a washing machine.