Exclusive: Pictures of Duffy’s flat before the fire

One of London’s most expensive penthouse apartments went up in smoke last night after a serious fire gutted the property, which earlier this year was up for sale at £8.75 million.

The apartment, which features a swimming pool, huge fish tank, private parking, four bedrooms, a cinema and two roof terraces, had been rented out to the ‘Rain on my parade’ singer Duffy while she records her new album in London. The Welsh warbler had, last night, been about to vacate the penthouse on the 10th floor of Abbot House off Kensington High Street when the blaze broke out.

Up in smoke: the gorgeous and celebrated interior of Duffy’s penthouse apartment before the blaze.

Duffy, along with around 20 other residents, had to evacuate the building late in the night as some sixty fire fighters tackled the blaze, which ripped through most of the penthouse before being doused in the early hours of the morning.

Two songs of Duffy’s point prophetically to the fire (well sort of) including ‘Smoke without fire’ and ‘Big flame’ but what many will lament are the penthouse’s now lost interiors, created by artist and architect Francis Machin who modelled many of London’s landmarks including Ransomes Dock on Battersea Embankment. His father, a designer, created the current Queen’s heads featured on UK postage stamps.

Lucky escape: singer Duffy had to flee her rented luxury apartment in Kensington, London as a fire ripped through the property.

While the blaze is a blow for design, luckily the apartment’s interiors were preserved within the property history section of Zoopla and after a bit of digging we found these. We can only hope they can be stored to such a wonderfully former glory (pictured above and below).

October 4, 2012 at 3:52 PM 2 comments

Yo! Is this the home of the future?

“For sale – an eighty sq m apartment with a drop-down master bedroom suite, wall mounted desk-cum-spare bed, sunken sitting room, pop-down cinema, dining room hidden in the floor, a kitchen-in-a-cupboard and a wine cellar in the floor. Must be seen to be believed.”

That’s how the latest launch by Yo! Sushi founder Simon Woodroffe (pictured, below) might be described on Zoopla in coming decades if the hotel and restaurant millionaire can get his tardis-like housing idea off the ground.

Launched last week at interiors show 100% Design in London, Woodroffe has drawn on Japan’s tradition of flexible living spaces  to create a two-bed 320 sq metre house within the footprint of a small one-bedroom flat using space saving technology taken from yachts, cars and stage scenery.

To prove his point an apartment featuring all of his ideas, which he’s called Yo! Home, was built at the show and seen by 100% Design’s 25,000 visitors.

So how does it work? The bedroom suite drops down to hide a sunken lounge (so beware leaving your cat or partner asleep on the sofa when turning in for the night), a dining suite which rises out of the floor, a kitchen within a cupboard and a spare bed that doubles as a desk.

But, while few ideas like this make it into bricks and mortar, Woodroffe has a track record of turning his brainwaves into multi-million pound businesses including his Yo! Shushi restaurants and Yotel chain – so perhaps that estate agent description isn’t so far off as we might think. No concrete plans, ahem, have been revealed for when the first Yo! Home properties will be available, but it’s likely to be apartments built within an existing development, rather than Woodroffe building a block of his own Yo! Homes.

The kitchen within the Yo! Home – now you see it…

…now you don’t as it disappears behind a wall of cupboards.

The Yo! Home featured at 100% Design included a wine cellar that pops up from the floor.

October 4, 2012 at 1:26 PM Leave a comment

PICS REVEALED: One Direction’s Harry Styles’ new £3m bachelor pad

Harry Styles, who makes up one-fifth of teen boy band One Direction, has decided to invest £3m of his multi-million fortune into a rather stunning stucco fronted house in North London.

Whilst we can’t reveal the external shots, we can reveal several internal shots and the garden below.

The house has gated parking for up to 4 cars with a double car lift, is set behind a wall giving him the privacy he requires and has been refurbished through out. Total size is 2,300 sq ft/ 213 sq m and the property is made up of 4-bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 3 reception rooms and kitchen.

Harry paid just short of £3m for the property and a quick look at the sold price data on Zoopla we can see that the previous owners bought it in for £1,575,000 on 28th Apr 2006 amassing a whopping £1,425, 000 in six years.

Related One Direction property stories on the Zoopla Blog:

Is this One Direction’s Zayn Malik’s new multi-million pound pad?

Former One Direction bachelor pad back on market for £5k per month

September 28, 2012 at 10:40 AM 2 comments

Property auction: the home comforts of Jo and Ronnie Wood

If you’ve ever pictured yourself living the rock-and-roll lifestyle in an opulently-decorated mansion, ideally with a Rolls Royce parked in the swimming pool, then it’s time to stop dreaming and start buying.

Jo and Ronnie Wood, who split in 2008 after he walked out to be with Russian exotic club waitress Ekaterina Ivanova, are set to sell almost every item their 23 year marriage accumulated via an auction in Los Angeles later this month.

Several thousand items including their retro (as well as more antique) furniture, paintings, statues and myriad other rock star baubles including dozens of rare memorabilia, are to be sold in 668 lots on October 27th by US gavel basher Julien’s Auctions.

The catalogue makes for a fascinating read both visually and – because Jo has added comments to some lots – literally.

All the items once adorned their former marital home – Holmwood, on Kingston Hill on the fringes of London’s Richmond Park – a gothic-style seven bedroom house with separate lodge which Jo sold for £11.2 million in 2011 (pictured, above).

Their tastes, to put it mildly, are varied. The auction includes paintings and prints from 1920s car posters to old masters; furniture from a red leather throne chair to a harp; rock memorabilia such as Ronnie’s old credit and AA membership cards. But the more predictable but nevertheless personal items are also there including pictures of the guitarist with various celebrity chums including Demi Moore, Sean Penn and Rod Stewart as well as Ronnie’s silk shirt and guitar collections.

There are also some fairly fruity paintings by Ronnie of his estranged wife, but one of the most revealing  is Lot 217, a tavern scene by painter David Teniers (1610-1690) which is pictured (above) with half the canvass obscured by a white fog. A note at the bottom by Jo Wood explains why: “Ronnie accidentally left this painting in the sauna”, which is arguably more refined than throwing TVs out the window.

September 26, 2012 at 3:02 PM 1 comment

Ooh mother, George Formby’s home is for sale

The former home of George Formby, one of Britain’s most famous post war comedians, has come on the market in Fairhaven, Lytham St Annes for £895,000.

The comedian, singer and ukulele player lived in the seafront house for eight years from 1953 until his death in 1961 – and in a nice historical twist bought it off Irish tenor Joseph Locke for £6,000.

George Formby and Beryl board a flight to the US in 1949.

Originally named Cintra and built in 1932 from red Accrington brick, Formby renamed it Beryldene after his formidable wife (and business manager) Beryl. He described his time with her as ‘hell’ but despite this their tenure at the property was recognised in August this year by the George Formby Society, which unveiled a blue plaque on one of the entrance pillars (pictured, below).

The detached house, at 199 Inner Promenade just outside the centre of Lytham St Annes, is not the only property to have been given the Beryldene moniker by the couple. The first was a house they bought outside Blackpool in 1937; the second a farmhouse near Garstang in 1945; the third in Knutsford, Cheshire in 1947; then a house in Fylde in 1948 before the couple settled in their final home, the property currently for sale, in 1953.

Formby also bought a holiday home in the Norfolk Broads in the early 1950s and for a short time owned a large house in Ireland.

Since he died the last Beryldene has been extended into the attic, had a conservatory added at the back and has been refurbished by the vendors, a retired judge and his wife, who bought the house in 1988. They have preserved its art deco stained glass within the UPV windows and much of its interior remains Formby-era too including a walnut panelled hallway.

The property became a celebrity in itself in 1961 after Formby’s death. His executors held a three day auction of all Formby’s belongings – including most famously his underpants – under canvass in the property’s back garden and some 1,000 items were sold including his Bentley, musical instruments and even – if this picture (above) is to believed – dog. The house was also auctioned and fetched £9,000.

For more details, contact County Estate Agents.

September 19, 2012 at 12:47 PM 1 comment

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