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a life in architecture kate kellaway

Meditating on three domestic buildings, journalist and writer Kate Kellaway suggests that taste is often unconsciously shaped by homes one has lived in. 'A house takes on a different charge as you get to know it - rather like a person's name.'

She lived with her parents at 2 Grove Terrace, London NW5, until her early 20s.'It was a Regency house.Expansive - like a person with an uncommonly generous spirit. It made me feel very partisan about Regency domestic architecture. I particularly remember the beautiful blue fanlight.'

The second house was 'another version of home'- a country cottage called Waveney Rising in south Norfolk where Kellaway spent her family holidays.'It was thatched, like a nest, and as satisfying - rather like wearing a hat yourself.'She recalls the very low doors which looked 'homemade, like badly cut pastry'.

Tara Lodge, where Kellaway lives today, is a double-fronted, detached Victorian villa in Barnet, north London.'A tremendous horizontal space.When we moved in I was very aware that the house was exceptionally beautiful. It was like trying on a beautiful dress and worrying about spilling something on it.Now it no longer seems alien, it has become a repository of memories.'

She cites the conservatory as 'almost my favourite room in the whole world.There is a ceiling of vine leaves so that when you look up you don't know whether you're inside or outside.'

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