Two designers take on the restoration of a British masterpiece.
“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 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.
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.
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