A 21st-century update to a mid-century property has been perfectly executed in the renovation and interior design of the late-1960s home of creatives Marcus and Caroline Hoggarth
Image Credit: Tamsyn Morgans Photography
Making a design statement in an ordinary residential St Albans street is the late 1960s-built home of Marcus and Caroline Hoggarth, their four children – Evan, Roan, Bayley and Isla – and the family dog Joni, named after Canadian singer-songwriter and painter Joni Mitchell. Architecturally simple and unfussy, the building nods towards brutalism, showcases bare materials and structural elements over decorative design, and has the relaxed open-plan style of Californian homes.
Having completed the remodel of their Victorian home to accommodate baby number four, Marcus, a product designer and president of Native Design based in Shoreditch, London, and San Francisco, spotted the house for sale while scrolling ‘hip houses for sale’ website WowHaus. ‘Given that a mid-20th-century find like this is a rarity, we thought it was worth a look. Stepping through the front door we immediately knew we weren’t just looking; we were buying! We moved in in 2014,’ he says.
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The detached property was designed and built by a retired couple who moved from a house in the street behind, and the perfect drinks-party layout and lofty double-height atrium suggest that entertaining may have been high on their agenda. ‘It’s the most fantastic party house as well as being perfect for day-to-day family life; the lack of corridors, cool half-storey levels and wide views of adjoining rooms make it feel very connected,’ says Caroline, a professional restorer and upholsterer of mid-century furniture, and owner of Hoggarth Studio. ‘The feeling of space throughout the house is a real luxury and the large windows and sliding doors create a good connection with the outside; the subterranean garden we created outside the bedroom reminds us of the Barbican Centre, where we got married,’ Marcus continues. While they loved its originality, the layout of the house wasn’t optimised in terms of bedrooms and bathrooms, so the couple made changes here along with turning the integrated garage – complete with inspection pit – into a studio for Caroline’s business. ‘We fashioned the inspection pit into a concealed cupboard which is accessed from our bedroom via a cool sliding headboard.’
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With their working life and passions centred around art, design and good craftsmanship, it’s no surprise to learn that Marcus and Caroline originally connected over their shared interests, something which has continued as they nurture their home filled with original furniture and art. Here Hans Wegner and Gio Ponti pieces sit well alongside works by Tracey Emin and Barbara Hepworth. With only two previous owners, luck would have it that no original features had been covered up – it’s this sense of authenticity which has provided an abundance of inspiration for the couple to flex their love of all things mid-century and modern.
As featured in Reclaim issue 69 – Issue 69 can be purchased here
Words & Styling Alice Roberton. Images & Styling Tamsyn Morgans