Monday, December 30, 2013

Keira Knightley Snags New Digs in London

BUYER: Keira Knightley and
PRICE: £3,930,000 (list price)
SIZE: 2,775, square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms

YOUR MAMAS NOTES: The celebrity real estate word out of the U.K. is that Oscar-nominated period piece actress Keira Knightley and her new husband, James Righton of the indie rock Nu-Rave band Klaxon, acquired a family friendly house on a pretty, tree-lined street in the Canonbury conservation area in the the central London borough of Islington that was last listed for £3,930,000.*

The children will recall Miz Knightley and Mister Righton listed their boho-chic love nest in the arty farty and still somewhat gritty Spitalfields area of East London in mid-September (2013) for £3,000,000. It appears to Your Mama that the house was sold but—iffin we're being honest—we're not sure of the details. Anyhoo...

Listing details for the Knightley-Rightons new digs in Islington show there are five levels on four proper floors with five (or more) bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, and seven working fireplaces in a fairly compact although hardly tiny 2,775 square feet.

Although we think it's highly unlikely the newly wedded couple will take on a renter, the ever so slightly subterranean lower ground level has a separate exterior entrance as well as a walk-through wine cellar, a roomy laundry room, a flexi-use living room/lounge/media room with fireplace, and a potential bedroom—also with functional fireplace—that the sellers, according to digital marketing materials, did up as a home fitness room.

A zig-zagged central foyer and stair hall with well-placed and luxuriously windowed guest privy connects the various rooms of the raised ground floor including a street-facing living room with wide-plank wood floors, a marble-manteled fireplace, and two almost floor-to-ceiling windows equipped with internal shutters for privacy and light modulation.

The adjoining compact formal dining room has more wide plank wood floors, another marble-manteled fireplace, a rear garden view window also with internal shutters, and, at the time of its sale, the most godawful flesh-toned wall color that Your Mama sincerely hopes Miz Knightley and/or her team of lady and/or nice-gay decorators has the good sense to change out for something less corporeal.

The eat-in kitchen, located in an added-on section of the house above the single car attached garage, is reasonably large, well-equipped, and flooded with sun light due to the large sky light and wood-framed glass doors that open to the rear garden but it's also rather inconveniently located a half-flight of stairs and half a dozen steps or more from the dining room.

The first floor—we Americans call it the second floor—includes a small bedroom with built-in wardrobes and bookshelves and a larger bedroom—presumably the master—with an adjoining dressing room and direct access to a long and narrow hall bathroom with ordinary (but probably expensive) beige tile work accented with a lonely (and ill-advised) cobalt blue stripe. Two more bedrooms on the uppermost floor—one much larger than the other, both with fireplace—share a hall bathroom.

The deep, west facing rear garden is wonderfully un-fussy with a large, flat lawn that meanders through mature shrubbery and trees.

*A few quick clicks and clacks on Your Mama's bejeweled abacus shows that £3,930,000 converts to a whopping $6,474,090 at today's rates.

listing photos and floor plan: Savills


Harley Jackman said...

Thanks for sharing this! This house is beautiful! I am looking for something with this much charm at

Anonymous said...

Who cares. Next..

Sandpiper said...

Incredible home. Love it. The meandering English gardens are priceless. But, ouch, staging is a eye-gorging disaster. Better off shown empty.

One compromise is the European reality of omitting closets in old-old-old homes. A few retrofits here, but what the camera perhaps avoided here were space-consuming wardrobes (in already small-ish bedrooms). It happens.

Anonymous said...

The new Knightly home is lovely. As mentioned by Mama, the one minor concern for contemporary entertaining are the several stairs separating the kitchen from the dining and raised ground floor reception rooms. The house appears to be of either the late Victorian or Edwardian era. Perhaps the Kinderlach will weigh in and provide more information?

Rabbi Hedda LaCasa

lil' gay boy said...

Really quite lovely; if I may be somewhat politically incorrect, to me it's quintessentially English in the sense of good bones, bad teeth. Some cosmetic changes are needed, but the grounds alone are priceless.

The decor is not always to my liking, but in the right hands this could be a stunning showplace -- however; as it stands, the decor may strike a few sour notes, but never a false one. If nothing else, it reflects that rarest of qualities -- a real home.

Sometimes, just sometimes, the rich are not so very different from you and me. The current owners must be people worth knowing; good call, Keira.

Petra's said...

Love it. This is similar to how I imagine my future (hopefully!) pied-a-tierre in London will look like.

Sandpiper said...

Rabbi Hedda, call me crazy but poking around lead me to some touch points that make me believe this is Georgian...perhaps as early as mid-1700s. Who knew?

Anonymous said...

Happy New Year Sandpiper and all,

The Rabbi could certainly be wrong concerning the era of this home. The rear brick facade and divided light windows appear to be from the eighteenth century, while the coal burning fireplace inserts and large pane windows on the front of the home suggest a nineteenth century origin. Perhaps your research definitively provides the answer?

Rabbi Hedda LaCasa

Sandpiper said...

Such a special house. It's pure Georgian, I'm positive. My touch points happily hold but too many links to fool around with pasting. Your brick and window mentions are dead on; described exactly as part of the specs. Not a clue on when the fireplace detail was introduced. Yesterday I also picked that up as a tool and like you saw the pattern of its style elsewhere. My effort tanked. That could have nicely supported timeline age. Anyone out there have a book on old foundries that made fireboxes in 17-1800s London? lol

Something I stumbled on and found interesting. These were meant to be utilitarian for immediate housing needs. Not expected to be grand or stand for long. Many were lost due to lack of structural integrity. Those still standing are there to the credit of ethically prideful craftsman. They built them as soundly as possible. No cutting corners as instructed by the boss. I like that.


jbeebs said...

Ooh I see an AGA in the kitchen.

Anonymous said...

I'm an architectural historian and live in Highbury nearby. The house was built about 1850 I would guess from the bracketed eaves. Canonbury itself is a fascinating area, with a number of the houses built from the remains of a Tudor great house. The tower - Canonbury Tower - remains as a reminder of this big house. Its garden survives behind this and other houses - a huge shared space. There are a couple of Tudor octagonal pavilions which remain a little down the hill, built into Victorian houses similar to this. I ride past this house daily on my way to work.