It’s that time of the year again — around the city, everything from ancient establishments, modern offices, design studios and a handful of private residences throw open their doors to an inquisitive public.
With over 850 locations to chose from, Open House London’s vast programme can get overwhelming. That’s why we’ve trawled the lists and come up with a selection of iconic buildings, all in the North London area, to make your Open House experience the best one yet.
Architect and designer Ernő Goldfinger’s former family home on 2 Willow Road, Hampstead is a Modernist dream. The house remains unchanged since 1939, with its futuristic structure, Ernő’s furniture prototypes and his striking collection of modern art (including rare pieces from Modernist maestros Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore) lending an air of unparalleled uniqueness. For all its perfectly preserved interior design, Ernő’s home remains ahead of its time.
If you have a penchant for brilliant aesthetics, the Philip Hughes Studio will make you weak at the knees. A private gallery with an incredible art archive, this converted Mews workshop boasts a bright and airy interior. Wander at your will through the architectural delight, whose mezzanine studio (accented with a punchy red carpet), stylish garden room and statement mirrors will leave you in a dreamy haze — just don’t forget to snap some photos to take back as design inspiration.
A handsome Baroque house in the heart of Old Hampstead, Burgh House is a homage to the past. With wrought-iron gates, original panelled rooms and grand mantels, it is difficult not to be in awe of its arresting interiors. Take the chance this Open House Weekend to wander up palatial floors, past opulent decorations that capture the long and wonderful history of its occupants.
Set on the edge of Hampstead Heath and surrounded by beautiful landscaped gardens, Kenwood House is its own oasis. Its intricate neoclassical design pours through elegant interiors and dazzling art pieces, making the 17th century home a definite highlight of this year’s Open House Weekend. Marvel at the famous faces that adorn its walls (Rembrandt’s self-portrait, to name a few) and explore the grandeur of its library.
Kebony House is a breath of fresh air. Aptly named after oiled kebony that lends the house its brilliant wooden façade, this modern masterpiece oozes with style and sophistication. Decked with full-height panorama windows overlooking views of Hampstead’s leafy surroundings, Kebony House’s stripped-back construction and minimalist design makes it an attraction to be reckoned with.
John Keats once said, ‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever’. In a lovely twist of fate, Keats’ former 19th century Hampstead home is certainly a thing of beauty. With its interior carefully restored and reopened in both 2009 and 2014, the refurbishments reflect the property’s original Regency style — lavish and hinting at the fantastical. Venture through the house and out to the garden, where, almost 200 years ago, Keats wrote his famous “Ode to a Nightingale” under a plum tree.
Much can be said about the beautiful Fenton House. The 17th-century brick mansion is home to an extensive range of art, porcelain décor and Baroque musical instruments. Its palatial floors and ornate rooms tell a charming story of its past. Pay Fenton House a visit this Open House Weekend and you can soak up panoramic views of London from its top-floor balcony, finishing your tour with a scenic stroll through its 300-year-old orchard.
If you’re inspired by these hidden gems, discover your own with our diverse selection of beautiful properties in the North West London area.