A Designer Couple Restore a British Modern Masterpiece

Two designers take on the restoration of a British masterpiece.

The couple purchased the living room’s H.W. Klein chairs with the house. Another existing piece was the mezzanine’s daybed, designed by Peter Hvidt and Orlando Mølgaard Nielsen. An original floating staircase leads to the mezzanine and then up to the second floor. The open, straight-forward spaces speak to one of Christian’s guiding principles:

“It has lots of names: the wood house, the glass house, the James Bond house,” says Christian Harvey of Farnley Hey, one of Britain’s most notable midcentury modern homes, which Harvey and his partner, Victoria Davies, now own. “When it was built, it was like a spaceship had landed.”

The Farnley Hey house in West Yorkshire has undergone many changes since Peter Womersley designed it in 1954. Christian Harvey and Victoria Davies, the current owners, are working to update the house—and undo some of the previous alterations, including removing the greenhouse inserted under the cantilevered second floor—while staying true to its original aesthetic.

The Farnley Hey house in West Yorkshire has undergone many changes since Peter Womersley designed it in 1954. Christian Harvey and Victoria Davies, the current owners, are working to update the house—and undo some of the previous alterations, including removing the greenhouse inserted under the cantilevered second floor—while staying true to its original aesthetic.

Photo by Taran Wilkhu

The two-story, flat-roofed residence, wrapped in glass and wood, is indeed an anomaly among the traditional gray stone cottages of West Yorkshire. Designed in 1954 by architect Peter Womersley as a wedding present for his brother John, the home stands on one and a half acres of lawn and woods overlooking the majestic Pennine Hills.

The living area—or

The living area—or “dance floor,” as the Womersley family called it—has an expansive feel, thanks to high ceilings and full-length windows.

Photo by Taran Wilkhu

Christian and Victoria bought Farnley Hey in 2013, a few years after the death of its second owner, Joe Battye. Whether it was the home’s relatively remote location and historic status or its original asking price that initially turned off buyers, the property had been on the market for more than two years when the couple, both commercial interior designers in nearby Leeds, took the plunge. They moved in five years ago and are now in the middle of restoring and updating the house.

The original brick wall is made of a sand-lime mix; in front of it sits a sofa by Robin Day for Habitat. In the study, a Louis De Poortere rug, from a collection inspired by the 1960s, evokes Farnley Hey’s early years. The Yorkstone flooring has been well varnished over time. The seating unit is by Robin Day and the side table is by Oliver Bonas.

The original brick wall is made of a sand-lime mix; in front of it sits a sofa by Robin Day for Habitat. In the study, a Louis De Poortere rug, from a collection inspired by the 1960s, evokes Farnley Hey’s early years. The Yorkstone flooring has been well varnished over time. The seating unit is by Robin Day and the side table is by Oliver Bonas.

Photo by Taran Wilkhu

See the full story on Dwell.com: A Designer Couple Restore a British Modern Masterpiece

©






Loading...