The agent lists this as a Frank Lloyd Wright. It is actually a 1950s D. Rosslyn Harper midcentury property in Solihull, West Midlands. But there’s a good reason for the mistake.
This has been described as a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired property by pretty much everyone. In fact, we did when this was last on the market back in 2012. That was only the second time it had been offered for sale. Did it sell? I’m not so sure. The furnishings on the old listing and the new one don’t look too different, so perhaps not.
Back then we didn’t have the architect’s name, although we knew it was grade II-listed. But to set the record straight, this is the work of D. Rosslyn Harper of Yorke, Harper and Harvey and a house designed for himself back in the late 1950s.
Historic England describe it as having ‘Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie house inspired style’ with a design around a central hearth and a ‘clear relationship’ to the garden, along with a ‘well-detailed’ brick, timber and glass construction.
In fact, if you can mentally take out the furniture and furnishings, you realise that much of the original details are still in place. Ok, we aren’t talking about the kitchen and bathrooms, obviously recent updates. But the main living spaces still radiate the FLW vibe that there architect was obviously looking for when he constructed this one.
The structure itself of course, which looks to be faithful to the original plan. But also the layout, the exposed brick and wood finishes and flourishes, the glazing, the window seats, some of the light detailing, the built-ins and if you look on the previous listing, that wonderful stairway too (which we presume is still as it was).
If the house was ‘dressed’ more for the era then I think you would perhaps get a better feel for it. That’s no criticism of the current owners. I’m just making the point that it is easy to be distracted away from the features by focusing on the modern rather than the vintage. The basis of this house is still as the architect intended outside of the obvious updates mentioned.
In terms of the living space here, the ground floor has a porch and entrance hall, with stairs to the first floor and access to the ‘spacious’ lounge/dining and its original full-height feature fireplace Also on this floor is a fully fitted kitchen with separate utility laundry room and ‘good sized’ double bedroom with dressing room and en-suite shower room. The integral garage can be accessed via the porch too.
On the first floor are three ‘good sized’ double bedrooms, a shower room and the family bathroom.
Outside you will find a large plot covering around a third of an acre and a driveway leading to the garage mentioned above.
Actually, something significant has changed since 2012, which is the price. Back then, you could have had this for around £800k. The current asking price for this grade II-listed house is £1,250,000. That’s the modern-day property market for you.
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