The Modern House publishes its first book of trade secrets

Find out what moves Britain’s most liveable homes

Fans of beautiful modernist real estate will be familiar with The Modern House. The curated estate agency brings together buyers and sellers of design-led British homes that embrace well-considered layouts, clean-lined furnishings, ‘honest’ materials and natural light – all the benchmarks of 21st-century modernity.

And aesthetes can’t get enough. Over 16 years the site has evolved into a symbol of good taste with its own design directory, e-shop, online magazine and visual shorthand.

Frankly, it’s a wonder co-founder Matt Gibberd has taken this long to publish a proper book of his favourite escapist properties. Better late than never.

Yet A Modern Way to Live is more than a picture book. Per its subtitle, Gibberd outlines the ‘5 Design Principles’ that link so many of the estate agent’s listings – and attract so many buyers – on the mother-site. The golden rules cover: how to maximise natural light, make use of neglected nooks, maintain an urban garden, add flourish to walls and create space.

Offering snippets from his clients’ lives alongside tantalising photography, Gibberd guides readers toward a timeless aesthetic and, ultimately, expert house-fluffing.

A Modern Way to Live: 5 Design Principles from The Modern House by Matt Gibberd is published via Penguin on 28 October 2021

Strange House by Hugh Strange Architects. Photography by Dan Glasser.
London house, by Thomas Downes and Erica Toogood. Photography by Elliot Sheppard.
Kent beach house by Marcia Mihotich. Photography by Elyse Kennedy
Brockley flat by Cyndia Harvey. Photography by Elliot Sheppard
Nithurst Farm by Adam Richards Architects. Photography by Elliot Sheppard
Outhouse by Loyn & Co. Photography by French & Tye

London’s prop houses take on a starring role in these photographs by Jasper Fry

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