Review: Sommer’s “House Curious”

2016-05-30_0005Whilst down at Clerkenwell Design Week, my inbox pinged with an intriguing invite, especially for a girl planning events and pop ups at the soon to be finished Moregeous Mansions. Meeting like minded people is a super positive way of keeping focused and keeping your renovation weary spirits up. It sounded to me like Sommer Pyne and her House Curious team were just the tonic!

The press launch was to include a tour of Summer’s recently finished home & location venue in Wandsworth  Common, South London, drinks in the garden and a cookery class hosted by Anna Barnett. How could I resist?! I was late, of course, after schlepping across that daft city at rush hour, but wow, was it worth it! Arriving slightly pink, myself and another guest found ourselves walking across a still to be paved front driveway, realising with delight that we really were getting a sneak peek – the paint was barely dry.

A handsome barman Sommer’s hubbie made us feel very welcome, largely by escorting us straight to the bar. Now here’s the thing. If you’re hot on trends, which I presume you will be because you’re reading an interiors and property blog, then you’ll know that the home bar is back in vogue. For most people this will involve buying a cool looking drinks trolley and stocking it to the brim with craft beers and toffee vodka (*so* 2016). Not at House Curious. Here the bar involved digging out a basement to 3m deep and dedicating a whole subterranean room to alcofrolic pleasures. Amazing!

2016-05-30_0020The subway tiles are highly appropriate in this underground fun palace, which still feels light and airy because of the super high ceiling. A cool brass bar top, backlit shelving and lush greenery will ensure any crew hiring this space need not go very far for the wrap party 😉2016-05-30_0021A flight of concrete stairs from this room leads to the beautifully designed and executed garden, packed with white alliums, rich greens and its own outdoor kitchen at the far end. We sat and chatted around the large steel fire pit, to allow all guests to arrive. For a new garden it’s spectacular, with lots of mature planting and an elegant feel. I love my image of the girls parading across the perfect grass like models!2016-05-30_00012016-05-30_0006Contemporary pergola in timber in outside kitchen2016-05-30_00082016-05-30_0005With everyone here, Sommer told us a little about their project, a two year renovation during which time the family had moved out of the house to let the builders get cracking. They had literally only just finished and the previous week had been a manic dash to prep for the launch – not that you’d know from their glamorous demeanour 🙂2016-05-30_0002Steel yourselves because you’re about to see a home to die for, as if the bar and the garden weren’t enough! Luxury finishes, stylish touches and the sort of space which most property lovers dream of. Let’s start with the kitchen shall we, the heart of Sommer’s home and the central area where events will be hosted. It is stunning, I’d look this happy if my kitchen turns out anything like as wonderful as this….2016-05-30_00122016-05-30_0011Marble surfaces, chic brass taps and island front, exposed bulbs, cool industrial style wall cabinets and the most deliciously tactile textured cabinet doors all ensure this kitchen is bang up to date. 2016-05-30_0015Luxe industrial kitchenBuster & Punch brass kitchen handlesIt’s expansive enough to be impressive but gives off great vibes and is a brilliant room for entertaining. The oven is something else, an absolute beast, in fact a Wolf! Enough to give anyone oven envy. Check out what we got up to with fab chef Anna, who showed all us girls how to make Filo Cups with Zested Pea Puree, Slow Roasted Lamb with Black Rice Salad & Green Harissa and Lemon & Thyme Tart with Savoury Pesto. Anna is just lovely, patient and clear, but bundles of fun too – highly recommended and she has been known to cook for them there famous folk so if it’s good enough for them, etc!

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Filo pastry with peas and creme fraicheI’d highly recommend trying the filo cups, I adored mine and am actually cooking them for Mr M tonight with a hunk of lamb to reward ourselves for our Bank Holiday pergola making DIY 🙂

Anyhow, you’re not here for the food are you, let’s chill out in the reception rooms and see what’s hot. Deep grey walls in Railings, marble fireplace, Jimmy Martin chair, too cool for school book shelf and yep, more drinks action (I sense a party couple….). Circles and brass were all over Clerkenwell Design Week and House Curious has this nailed with a superb contemporary chandelier from a large central ceiling rose – a nice mix of Victorian and retro.2016-05-30_00182016-05-30_00192016-05-30_0016The front reception room feels less funky and more grown up, with herringbone oak flooring, the telly box and a shuttertastic window treatment.2016-05-30_0017Shoes off (well, wouldn’t you insist in this house?!) and upstairs. There were literally squeals at this point. Squeals, then gasps, then sighs, a collective feminine propergasm as the wondrous first floor master bedroom suite. Yes, a whole floor dedicated to the growed ups. Luxury or what. Filled with light, quite the most decadent bathroom ever and Carrie Bradshaw move over girlfriend, Sommer has stolen your dressing room crown. 2016-05-30_00302016-05-30_00282016-05-30_00272016-05-30_0029Superb detailing with the brass bedside lights, marble basin and Buster & Punch dimmers – thumbs up from design savvy me.2016-05-30_0026It was quite hard peeling the girls out of the bed and unhooking their fingers from the free standing bath but the lure of a barn door, cinema room and more cocktails did the trick. We headed back down to the basement, where there are even more bedrooms. And a gym. Honestly, this house is a dream. Netflix in that home cinema? On that huge sofa? You’d be ten eps in before you knew it!2016-05-30_00232016-05-30_0022Loved the floor tiling in the smallest room too and the dark sumptuousness of the walls.2016-05-30_0024#Ihavethisthingwithfloors 😉2016-05-30_0025What a fabulous tour, and evening of food, company and laughter. Honestly, if Moregeous Mansions looks half as good as this venue, I’ll be a very happy renovator and host. I wish Sommer and team very success with this brilliant business and if you’re London based, check out the courses available in the near future.

I came away feeling fresh, inspired and revitalised, which is the whole point of getting together with creative people and just ‘doing stuff’. But next time, I’ll make sure I don’t have to leave so early for a train and miss the pudding – that was seriously bad planning, especially with Anna’s cooking!

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